15 Dec 5 things to avoid during the menopause
Menopause treatment and support
The reduction of oestrogen in your body as you enter the peri-menopausal stage of life can cause some unpleasant symptoms. But there are also some serious side effects of the menopause that should be considered when looking at your lifestyle, such as bone weakness, poor liver function or disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain.
These are a few foods and drinks to avoid that may help to prevent or minimise the long-term damage that the lack of oestrogen may cause:
If you regularly like a tipple, then reducing the amount of alcohol you drink will not only support your liver in redistributing the oestrogen you are producing or consuming in your diet, but it will also support your overall liver health which is important for a lot of critical reasons. Alcohol is actually a depressant and as low mood is a symptom of the menopause it can really exacerbate this. It can also trigger hot flushes and night sweats. Drinking alcohol before bed causes you to stay in far too deep a sleep which sounds good on the surface, but REM sleep, the lighter sleep, is what helps you to process your day and deal with emotional difficulties so this too could worsen your low mood.
Spicy foods are known for making you feel a little hot under the collar and as can exacerbate hot flushes. They are still safe to eat and may not cause any problems at all. However they could make you quite uncomfortable, so just be aware of your reaction to them.
Caffeine and fizzy drinks
Caffeine is a stimulant and as your body is already stressed by the hormone changes, it can trigger hot flushes, palpitations, headaches, itchy skin. It can also interfere with your sleep. Tea and coffee can be enjoyed safely but may trigger your menopause symptoms. So switching to decaffeinated options or having fruit/herbal teas will aid your symptoms. Caffeine is also found in chocolate, sadly, so watch out for that too!
Fizzy drinks contain chemicals such as phosphates that are used to enhance flavours. These can affect calcium absorption which can in turn worsen or encourage development of osteoporosis (bone weakness). This is important as the absorption already a concern due to the decrease of oestrogen as you enter the menopause.
Processed foods or fast foods
You may find as you enter the menopause that you are more prone to bloating. You are also at higher risk of developing heart or liver diseases, plus weight gain. Processed foods are high in sugars, salts and fats that can exacerbate symptoms, so enjoy them in moderation.
Fatty cuts of meat such as bacon can lower the body’s serotonin levels. When serotonin drops you may feel low, feel angry, grumpy or irritable. Best to make these a very small part of your diet.
We have a team of menopause experts to support you as you move through the stages of the menopause. We offer menopause treatment in Surrey with a range of different approaches to support you.