Q&a: Is Paleo Good For Menopausal Women?
Here’s an interesting question from a reader that I thought a lot of people might be able to relate to… Q: My midwife is interested in Paleo. She says she feels like Paleo is more for the 18 to 40 crossfit crowd than for her… She is nearly 50 though and she is curious if there is anything to do or not do specifically for hormone changes. Do you have any thoughts? A: I think it sucks that Paleo has become so intertwined with the CrossFit scene that a 50 year-old woman doesn’t think it would be good for her. People of all ages, including babies, children, adults, and the elderly, can and do benefit from eating Paleo. Paleo is a diet to reduce inflammation – not just get people ripped – and 50 year-old women often have all kinds of inflammation, whether it be in their joints, their arteries, their digestive tracts, or their sinuses. The diet is also awesome for so many reasons for people who have hormonal imbalances, like women on the brink of menopause or in the throes of it. Hot flashes, weight gain, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms aren’t actually a normal part of getting older. They’re a product of life-long hormonal imbalances, very much brought on by eating neolithic foods like grains, dairy, and sugar. Here’s an interesting article on menopause that compares Western women to women from more primitive cultures. So, how, exactly, will the Paleo diet potentially affect women in their pre/peri/menopausal years? Blood Sugar First, eating sugar and refined grains can really throw off your blood sugar, and blood sugar can severely affect how well your hormonal systems are working. If one hormonal system is off, like your adrenals or thyroid, then often your sex hormones get out of whack, too. Dairy Dairy can seriously affect sex hormone balance Continue reading >>
Hot Flashes In Menopause And How To Alleviate Them?
What are hot flashes during menopause and how long do they lasts? Hot flashes in menopause affect nearly 85 percent of middle-aged women. Unfortunately, the sudden hot flushes do not circumvent young people, which is more noticeable in the past few decades. Mentioned problems can very much impair the quality of life, but do not despair, for the solution do the following. Women who face a very unpleasant symptoms are advised drinks based on medicinal plants. Read on to learn how to relieve hot flashes in menopausal women using hops, sage and red clover. Stay tuned. What you need to know about hot flushes Menopause usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age after 12-month absence of menstruation. Some of the first symptoms that accompany it are hot flashes and night sweats. These sudden heat waves cause blush and sweat, and rapid heartbeat can also occur. The exact cause of their occurrence is not known even today. The doctors believe that hot flashes in menopause are the result of the expansion of blood vessels due to falling of estrogen levels. The most common symptom of this condition is night sweats in women, which cause nervousness, insomnia and irritability. However, proper nutrition, especially towards the end of the day, can significantly reduce hot flashes at night to improve sleep quality. Factors that increase hot flashes Smoking cigarettes. Caffeine and sipping a large quantity of coffee during the day. Alcoholic beverages. Everyday stress. Elevated blood sugar. Overeating especially late in the evening. Tight shoes and clothing made of synthetic materials. How long do hot flashes in menopause last? Sudden heat waves can last only 30 seconds, and 15-20 minutes as individually. Sometimes they occur only at the beginning of menopause, or last for the entire p Continue reading >>
Menopause And Keto Dieting
Menopause and Keto Dieting: Too many women are being mistreated during menopause with prescription antidepressants and HRT. The liver can’t convert oral progesterone efficiently, plus most oral progesterone prescriptions are way too high at about 200mg. I had one client gain 40 pounds in a year after starting oral HRT. Where topical creams bypass the liver. Functioning ovaries produce 20mg of progesterone daily, far less than 200mg! A small 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Progest cream helps balance estrogen dominance. Healthy progesterone levels also stimulate new bone growth, help lower anxiety and increase sleep. Antidepressants are not a solution to hormonal problems. If you are truly depressed, medication may be the answer, but less than 10% of people truly have a chemical imbalance… so why are 80% of the clients I see on an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication?! Well, low progesterone also is the leading cause of anxiety, insomnia and hot flashes. And estrogen determines fat distribution. To top all the uncomfortable things that can follow menopause, prescription antidepressants cause weight gain, low libido and night sweats… the same things you are fighting because of low progesterone! Low hormone output will also raise blood cholesterol and triglycerides because cholesterol produces hormones. All our major hormones are made from cholesterol: estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, thyroid, DHEA, and t estosterone. If we don’t eat enough, our bodies divert cholesterol from our endocrine system to use for brain function and repair. When that happens, it’s almost impossible for our bodies to maintain hormonal balance. Hot flashes, here we come! This is why I suggest everyone to use coconut oil! Lots of healthy fats = healthy hormones! Dr. Frank Tallis found his patien Continue reading >>
How To Identify Ketosis
Expert Reviewed Ketosis is a normal metabolic process by which your body breaks down stored fat for energy, which can also result in a dangerous buildup of ketones in the body called ketoacidosis. Ketosis is often the product of a low-carbohydrate diet that people use to lose weight and gain muscle or it can also be a product of malnutrition. Although the long-term risks of ketosis are not clear, there is some evidence that it can increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. By recognizing the signs of ketosis, you can help minimize your risk for developing ketoacidosis. Continue reading >>
Avoiding Menopausal Hot Flashes By Changing Your Diet
Millions of American women suffer from hot flashes during menopause, but not many realize that diet can have a lot to do with it. Fortunately, hot flashes do not have to be an inevitable part of menopause. In fact, women in some cultures -- namely in Asia -- rarely experience discomfort from hot flashes at all. What's their secret? It could very likely be what's on their dinner plate. Research indicates that soy, a significant element in the traditional Japanese diet, may be useful in preventing hot flashes in women. Edible beans, especially soybeans, contain the compounds genistein and daidzein, which are estrogenic and help control hot flashes. That may explain why only 7 percent of menopausal Japanese women suffer from hot flashes, as compared to 55 percent of women living in the United States, according to Dr. Lindsey Berkson's estimates in "Hormone Deception." In fact, there is no Japanese word for "hot flashes." "Healing With Vitamins" author Alice Feinstein writes, "If you're fed up with menopause, move to Japan. In the Land of the Rising Sun, hot flashes and night sweats are virtually unheard of. Researchers believe that it has more to do with their traditional diet. Besides providing more vegetable protein and less animal protein than a Western diet, it's also low in fat and high in soy products such as tofu. These foods are rich in plant compounds known as phytoestrogens, which seem to mimic some of the biological activities of female hormones." In addition to soy and tofu products, women can help combat hot flashes by eating more calcium-rich foods, magnesium-rich foods and foods rich in vitamin E -- like cold-pressed oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts and almonds, as well as plenty of mineral- and fiber-rich foods, like whole grains and fresh vegetables. Jan Continue reading >>
Ketosis And Hormone Changes
While working as a nurse with Dr. Robert Atkins, I adopted a low carb diet. My goal was to avoid my genetic tendency for developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. I had the tools at hand to monitor urinary and breath ketones frequently. After months I noticed that a few days before my period, ketones would drop or even disappear. This coincided with mild PMS symptoms including weight gain and the re-emergence of hunger and cravings. Ketones would return by the 2nd day or so of my menses. I began to mention this to my patients who wanted to monitor urinary ketones. I didn’t want them getting discouraged if they experienced the same. Many would return and tell me they noticed the drop in ketones as well. They appreciated having advanced warning. We also observed that with low-carb regimen, PMS symptoms over time would decrease, sometimes to the point that a woman would be surprised when she began her flow. At the start of the plan others would mention that the first period would in some way be worse before getting better. To my knowledge this has not been studied. What I learned is that any hormone changes in women can increase insulin resistance, which makes the body produce more insulin to get the same insulin benefit. At puberty and menarche when girls need to gain body fat they become more insulin resistant. I have been a carb addict but my cravings increased significantly at this time as did my weight. Hormones also fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause there are significant hormone changes accompanied by increased insulin resistance. This change of life stage (peri-menopause) for me was difficult. I lost ketones but still gained weight on my maintenance plan (my strategy was to adopt a 20 gram carbohydrate level and st Continue reading >>
The Connection Between Weight Loss And Hot Flashes
If you've had one, there's no mistaking it: the sudden, intense, hot feeling in your upper body, perhaps accompanied by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, nausea or headache. The initial rush is followed by a warm flush, leaving you red and sweaty. Up to 85 percent of women in the United States experience hot flashes of some kind as they approach menopause and for the first year or two after their periods stop. Between 20 and 50 percent of women continue to have them for many years after as well. But, to the delight of women everywhere, research focused on alleviating these troublesome symptoms is growing. The Link Between Weight and Hot Flashes Studies have found that obese and overweight women, in general, report more severe and more frequent hot flash symptoms. However, the mechanisms underlying this association are not well understood. Hot flashes are mostly caused by the hormonal changes of menopause, but can also be affected by lifestyle and medications. A diminished level of estrogen (seen during menopause) has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling your body temperature (as well as appetite, sleep cycles and sex hormones). By some physiological mechanism, the drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus - which has been called the body's "thermostat" - making it read "too hot." In a recent study, 40 overweight or obese women who were experiencing four or more hot flashes a day were randomized to either behavioral weight loss intervention or a wait-list control. Using physiologic monitoring, a diary and questionnaire, hot flashes were assessed before and after the intervention. The results? Women who were randomized to the intensive intervention reported a significantly greater improvement in hot flashes compared Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Menopause
Menopause can be very difficult on a number of levels. Although each woman's experience is different, many find that they gain fat, lose muscle tone, and struggle with hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings during this time. In this article, I'll discuss how a low-carb or keto diet combined with other lifestyle strategies may help you manage some of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of menopause. What is the Menopause Transition? Although a woman technically reaches menopause when she has gone 12 months without a menstrual period, symptoms related to perimenopause – the time where hormonal changes begin - can start much earlier. In addition, they may last for several years after this point, and new symptoms may develop within the first few years after menopause. The average age of onset for perimenopause is 46, and it typically lasts about 7 years. However, a woman may start perimenopause anytime between her mid-30s and mid-50s, and the transition can last from 4 to 14 years (1). The day after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period, she is considered postmenopausal. During and after the menopause transition, as many as 34 symptoms may occur. The most common ones include: Hot flashes and night sweats Weight gain, especially around the middle Insomnia Vaginal dryness Mood swings Fatigue Poor memory, ie, “brain fog” Interestingly, while some women find that their symptoms are more severe during perimenopause, others report that their symptoms intensify after they are postmenopausal. Hormone Fluctuations and Insulin Resistance During Menopause During a woman's reproductive years, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) causes the release of an egg from one of her ovaries approximately every 28 days and stimulates ovarian production of estrogen. Af Continue reading >>
Keto For Women Show
I'm making it my mission to get through as many of YOUR questions as I can for the next few weeks so you get the answers you've been waiting for! Today's episode will help clarify your questions on blood ketone readings, insulin resistance markers, hunger, hot flashes, other hormonal symptoms, and more! I've also been getting LOTS of questions about the inflammatory response I got from mold exposure, so I'm taking the time to go into detail about testing and treatment for that. TOPICS: How to test to see if your body has been affected by mold What treatment steps are necessary to combat mold illness and the inflammatory response it causes Question #1: Why am I getting hot flashes (and other hormonal symptoms) while keto? Question #2: Will my blood ketone readings get higher the longer I am in ketosis? What do low numbers mean? Question #3: What are the signs of being fat-adapted? Question #4: Is it normal for ketone readings to fluctuate throughout the day? Question #5: Why am I so hungry while eating keto? Question #6: Why are fasting glucose readings normal when I suspect insulin resistance? What markers do I test for insulin resistance? IMPORTANT LINKS: Continue reading >>
The time of life when a woman's ovaries stop producing hormones and menstrual periods stop. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn't had a period for 12 months in a row. PubMed Health Glossary (Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute) About Signs and Symptoms of Menopause About half to two-thirds of women will have hot flashes (also called "hot flushes") and sweats during menopause. These are the most common symptoms. If you have them at night, they can disturb your sleep. In some women hot flashes and sweats are hardly noticeable and do not cause any problems. In others they are sometimes so severe and frequent that it really affects their daily life. Hot flashes last about three minutes on average. How often women have hot flashes, how severe they are and how long they last can also vary from day to day. In most women hot flashes stop on their own after a year or two. But about a third of women have hot flashes for about five years. A few women have them for even longer. The lining of the vagina changes around menopause. It usually becomes thinner and drier. As women get older, their risk of bone fracture increases. Many women also gain a bit of weight around... Read more about Menopause: Symptoms This guideline is a partial update of ‘The epilepsies: the diagnosis and management of the epilepsies in adults and children in primary and secondary care’ (NICE clinical guideline 20, 2004). It updates the pharmacological management sections of the 2004 guideline and also includes the use of the ketogenic diet. In summary, a large number of women in the UK experience menopausal symptoms which, in many cases, can significantly affect their quality of life. It is probable that a minority of these women seek medical Continue reading >>
Does Ketosis Cause An Internal Rise In Body Temperature?
Ooh, ooh, ooh, I feel my temperature rising Help me, I’m flaming I must be a hundred and nine Burning, burning, burning And nothing can cool me I just might turn into smoke But I feel fine –Elvis Presley singing “Burning Love” Somebody’s turned up the heat up in here and it’s gotta be that low-carb diet I’m on, right? That’s what everybody does with livin’ la vida low-carb when something new happens to them after starting this way of eating–they blame it on low-carb! I mocked this notion in this blog post about an earache a couple of years ago, but what if there is merit to some rather strange side effects of following a controlled-carbohydrate nutritional approach? Hmmmmmm. There are several things we KNOW will happen to most people when they begin the low-carb lifestyle: their HDL “good” cholesterol goes up, there is a marked improvement in mental health, for women it helps with reproductive health, blood sugar levels are stabilized, they end up having less acne, triglycerides plummet (a VERY good thing!), and so much more I could spend hours sharing with you about. But there are some things that can vary from person to person as one of my readers shared with me in a recent e-mail. This 43-year old man starting cutting his carbohydrate intake beginning in January 2008 and has lost over 25 pounds so far. WOO HOO! He has really enjoyed this new low-carb lifestyle change, but was curious about an unexpected side effect that has been plaguing him with no apparent cause. Here’s what he wrote: Hey Jimmy, After lots of searches, I’m having trouble finding out if anyone experiences a sensation of a rise in body temperature while in ketosis. There are some days I feel like I am literally burning up (but I don’t have a fever or anything). Coinciden Continue reading >>
Hot Flashes *and* Estrogen Dominance?
Lots of questions have come up in response to my latest video about Estrogen Dominance. First of all, let’s bust a myth that hot flashes mean someone necessarily has overall low estrogen levels. Not true! In fact, research does not generally show a correlation between circulating estrogen levels and the incidence (or severity) of hot flashes. Surprised? Most practitioners are. A hot flash is triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain and occurs to release heat that has built up in the body in response to a surge of norepinephrine and/or epinephrine (catecholamines or “stress hormones” – what we typically call “adrenaline”). In fact, a woman can indeed be estrogen dominant (and even have relatively high levels of estrogen) and still wrestle with hot flashes. It is a sudden drop in estrogen (meaning a higher level of variation) that can trigger the cascade that causes a hot flash. But it’s more complex than than… High cortisol, low cortisol, low progesterone, or low serotonin can all be drivers for hot flashes! This is such a fascinating topic; I could go on and on… Clinical study shows that no hot flash remedy works for everyone (e.g. ) My favorite combination that seems to get excellent results for nearly all late perimenopausal women with persistent (day and night) hot flashes includes 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed daily Black cohosh and Vitex twice daily Caffeine reduction Lower alcohol. Elimination of wine (especially red wine!) Dedicated help with Stress Relief and stress management habits. And if you need more oomph – perhaps maca root powder (This is the key item for some – myself included! Start slowly though (e.g 1/2 tsp). It’s highly stimulatory to some, while others need much more (e.g. 1-2 Tbsp)). Chronic stress often causes HPATG axis imbala Continue reading >>
Hot Flashes No More!
Deb posted this comment in response to the Smarter, Faster, Better post describing the transformations in her brother’s life and her own health minus wheat: After watching my 52-year-old brother drop 53 pounds in 6 months, I knew he was onto something BIG! For years he had experienced severe digestive issues, was turning into a recluse, he complained constantly about aches and pains, and he was depressed. A friend turned him onto Wheat Belly and it changed his life. Thank you for giving me my brother back! After eliminating wheat, he no longer has any digestive-colitis issues, his depression is gone (without medications) and the weight is flying off. He also never feels hunger and feels completely satisfied by the amount of food he eats each day. He is dedicated to losing another 90 pounds. I truly believe this goal is in sight. His doctor is overjoyed with his results. As I watched this happen, I thought, why not do this myself? After struggling with 30 extra pounds for years–taking it off, putting it back on, excessive exercise routines, Weight Watchers, reduced caloric intake–nothing ever stuck. I eliminated wheat 4 weeks ago and the changes have been dramatic: My thinking has cleared, my aches and pains are gone (thought I had arthritis – no), my sudden outbursts are gone, and much to my husband’s surprise (after 25 years of marriage) I have libido (not sure I ever had it to begin with, poor guy). However, the absolute best thing that happened: my debilitating hot flashes are gone! I struggled most of my life as a hot person, but after menopause I was having severe hot flashes, soaking wet, at least 10 times an hour. When my doctor suggested HRT [hormone replacement therapy], I went along with her, as I was not living. When she said my time was up on HRT, Continue reading >>
Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained
What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase). If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu. Ketosis symptoms include: Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc. It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. What Is Ketosis? It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pas Continue reading >>
Does Anyone Feel Very Hot Whilst Eating High Fat?
Ive been on the paleo diet for 3 weeks now, i was very hungry for the first couple of weeks but i feel im eating enough fat now and im not really getting hungry between meals. how ever the last few days I have been feeling extremely hot, I don't know if that's a sign of my body adapting to the high fat content or what, I should mention I have been keeping my self very well hydrated. I would say my carbs are very low to what im use to, I have 2 bananas in the morning with a bit of protein straight to the gym a strength workout (mon,wed,fri) or 30 mins at 65-75% HR max followed by core training (tue,thu, I have another protein shake and one banana after taht and then for the rest of the day i'm just eating veg with meals, so not a lot of carbs. Im 6'4" and 230 lbs, I would probably say I'm around 15 % body fat. 1 Worst Carb After Age 50 If you're over 50 and you eat this carb, you will never lose belly fat. HealthPlus50 I feel like Im doing a lot, Im not getting stronger in the gym due to the lack of carbs and im feeling very hot for the rest of the day at the moment and quite tired to say the least. Is this normal for someone adapting to the paleo way of eating, is this a sign of me detoxifying or something? my aim is to lose body fat so hence the low carbs, but i feel like im running on empty. Thanks for reading. Continue reading >>