Diet, Weight Loss Ease Menopause
Most women going through the "change of life” struggle with weight loss, and even if they have battled the bulge for years, the drop in estrogen can make things even more challenging.
Menopausal women who lose weight eating a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables could reduce or eliminate their hot flashes, cramps and night sweats.
This approach at weight loss as a way of dealing with menopausal symptoms was because of long-standing research linking hormone-replacement therapy to heart disease. Women who lose weight using this healthier type of diet -- decreasing fat, increasing whole grains, fruits and vegetables – are much more likely to reduce or eliminate unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.
The reduction of hot flashes and night sweats happens in both overweight and normal-weight women who lose weight, and this is because fat tends to retain heat and losing weight helps the body dissipate heat more easily, so the body doesn’t need to sweat as much to lose the heat.
Weight gain is a major risk factor for a number of maladies, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is by far the number one killer of postmenopausal women, and this risk is increased by excess weight. Women need to be aware of this, especially during menopause when estrogen levels drop. A woman may need to alter her previous routines to ensure a healthier life after the menopause.
Healthy foods such as vegetables, soy, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fruits, decrease the risk of many chronic diseases and can improve health and well-being dramatically. One hurdle that caused many unsuccessful weight loss attempts is women not knowing how or where to begin. Nutrition counseling takes the guesswork out of creating a healthy lifestyle and helps motivate and empower women to stay on course.
Menstrual cramps usually start beginning of a woman's menstrual period and may last for several days. Doctors attribute this pelvic pain to prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance that are the culprits to the pain associated with contraction and relaxation of muscles and blood vessels.
You can feel the painful cramps in a number of different places, such as in your lower tummy, across the front of your hips, in your lower back and even in your buttocks or down your legs.
Most women experience some cramping as a part of their menstrual cycle. It doesn't happen to all women, and most have only some discomfort or minor to moderate pain. This abdominal pain can begin weeks before menstrual bleeding or midway through the cycle when ovulation takes place. Once menstruation ceases and menopause begins a woman should no longer experience the cramping. Menstrual pain after menopause can be caused by medication side effects or various reproductive conditions.
Avoid certain foods that can aggravate menstrual cramps:
The body uses a fat called arachidic acid to produce series-2 prostaglandins, which cause muscle and uterine contractions. Foods containing this fat include meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, dairy products and saturated fats.
Women who tend to be bloated before menstruation feel better if they decrease the sodium in their diet, as sodium causes fluid retention.
Constipation may also contribute to bloating and worsen cramps. Women should avoid eating food that contributes to irregularity, such as processed and refined sugars and white-flour products. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are better for regularity.
Food sensitivities can cause fluid retention and bloating. Dairy products are a frequent problem. Women with menstrual cramping may want to try an elimination diet, beginning by excluding all dairy products for a full cycle. Other common sensitivities include wheat, eggs, soy, corn and nuts.
Some women reduce their menstrual cramping by lowering their intake of caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, colas and chocolate.
Women can use many methods of controlling menstrual cramps, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), like the pain reliever ibuprofen, and for those with severe pain, birth control pills. But both have potential risks: NSAID users can experience stomach or kidney troubles, for example, while birth control pills are linked to blood clots in certain women.
Pain relievers, heat therapy and dietary changes may help soothe your menopausal discomforts.
Menopause and the symptoms associated with it can severely disrupt your quality of life.
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