Menopause

Although a natural part of the aging process, menopause is a time of physiological change. Many women will find menopause occurring between the ages of 45-55 years and signals a time when the ovaries cease to release eggs and the two hormones, progesterone and oestrogen are dramatically reduced.  

Some of the symptoms women may experience from menopause are hot flushes however more importunately the long term health issues include low estrogen levels which can cause bone loss due to the significant loss of calcium from the bones. Bones then become thin and brittle and can fracture easily. This is known as osteoporosis.

Heart disease and stroke are other diseases that put post menopausal women at risk as our oestrogen levels fall the amount of HDL cholesterol also drops.  HDL is the good cholesterol that all of us need to include more of in our diets.

So is there anything you can do about it?  There are always some helpful tips for just about any condition that we can do to improve the symptoms and it most often has to do with your diet and exercise.Soy and Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring substances found widely in plant foods and are thought to be of particular benefit for women who experience hot flushes.  Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soybeans, soy products and linseed. 

Try a soy drink that provides a good source of calcium where you would normally use dairy milk, and choose breads of the soy and linseed variety in place of white bread and try adding Tofu, soybeans & soyburgers to your diet & look for soy based dairy products as snacks.It is still essential that you improve and manage your generall health and body weight by ensuing you eat more fruit and vegetables, wholegrain foods and legumes.

Start reducing the saturated fat in your diet. Foods such as butter, deep fired foods, pastries, cakes and both processed and fatty meats. Use small amounts of olive oils, canola oils, sprays and spreads, some nutty oils and avocado as these can help to lower blood cholesterol levels.  Keep your eye out for advertisements on products that say they can help reduce cholesterol, as they can be good to add to your diet in exchange for something that you would normally have in it’s place.

Most people are unaware of how much calcium on a daily basis they should consume. If you are a female under the age of 54 then you need to ensure that you have at least 800mg of calcium a day.  If you are over the age of 54 then you need to have at least 1000mg of calcium per day.

Choosing products high in calcium is something you need to start doing so read the labels on the back of your dairy products and make sure that you are choosing the products with the most calcium per serve. Tinned fish and edible bones also provide good calcium but again check your amounts and make sure you are having at least 1000g per day.

Remember we were speaking about bone loss earlier – well a regular BONE BUILDING program (is what I like to call it) will help you to maintain your bone density and strength as well as help you maintain a healthy weight so let us help you with a personalised weight training program today! Remember walking aerobics and other weight baring activities will also help to maintain bone density and muscular strength.

Remember you may require additional treatment for more sever menopausal symptoms so consult your doctor for further information on HRT.