Perimenopause and Menopause Apache Junction AZ
General Practice, Geriatric Medicine
Clinical Mental Health, Aging/Gerontological, Couples & Family, Sexual Abuse Recovery, Depression/Grief/Chronically or Terminally Ill
National Certified Counselor
Nutritionist, Personal Trainer
Geriatrics, Geriatric Medicine-Family Practice
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1958
Nutritionist, Massage Practitioner
Healing Foods - Balancing Act
By Gabriele Kushi, BFA, MEA
“The most creative force in the world is the postmenopausal woman with zest,” said cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. Indeed, many women describe the years following menopause as a renaissance—a time when identity strengthens, goals crystallize, and the spirit reawakens.
Of course, to those in the throes of that transition, the promise of wise womanhood does little to alleviate the pangs of getting there: the hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, low libido, mental fogginess, and the numerous other insults associated with the “change.” These perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms vary in intensity from person to person and can last one to five years.
The culprits behind much of menopausal malaise? Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones. Your ovaries produce estrogen at the highest levels one to two weeks into the menstrual cycle, while the egg-carrying follicle develops. After the egg is released, the vacant follicle becomes a corpus luteum and begins secreting progesterone. These hormones play important roles in regulating temperature, metabolism, mood, bone formation, and other physiological processes.
During perimenopause and menopause, however, the ovaries’ activity decreases, and estrogen and progesterone cycles become more erratic—generating plenty of physical and emotional turbulence. Many women turn to synthetic hormones for relief. But while hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be called for in some circumstances, it can trigger side effects such as headaches, breast tenderness, and weight gain and, more seriously, raise the risk of certain diseases. A landmark study by the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002 examined more than 16,000 postmenopausal women. The researchers found that those who’d taken synthetic estrogen plus progestin for five years had a 26 percent higher risk of breast cancer, 41 percent higher risk of stroke, and a 29 percent higher risk of heart attack compared to women who had taken a placebo. The massive study overturned the acceptance of (HRT) as the first choice for women’s menopausal health.
Natural methods for cooling the menopausal fires, consequently, make a whole lot of sense. A good place to start is with the foods you eat. A healthy diet helps balance hormones and improve well-being. A not-so-healthy one, on the other hand, can aggravate an already off-balanced system. To make navigating all this easier, we’ve put together a list of foods—five to shun and five to embrace during or even well before menopause. After all, estrogen production in the ovaries starts to fluctuate when you’re in your mid-30s, long before your periods end. So adopting healthy, whole-foods habits early on will help prevent the hormonal roller coaster later in life and allow you to more fully embrace the gifts menopause brings.
• Sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Author: Gabriele Kushi
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