What You Eat & How Beliefs Impact Menopause Symptoms

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: November 13, 2014

Contributed by Dr. Michael Goodman, Red Hot Mamas® Medical Expert
Clinical consequences of obesity(BMI> 30) include a much higher incidence of sleep apnea, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disease, and “oxidative stress.” Increased oxidative stress leads to more illness, lower longevity.                

To calculate your own BMI, go to: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

70-90% of the chronic illnesses we see are related to one’s lifestyle and the environment they live in. Your lifestyle trumps your genes! Junk In = Illness out

Food impacts your health. Pay the grocer, or pay the doctor…

  • Don’t get crazed about fats vs. carbs. It’s not specifically one or the other- It’s the CALORIES that count..!
  • High glycemic load foods (white rice, potatoes, refined flower, “sugary stuff…”) increase waistline, decrease energy

How Beliefs Impact Menopause Symptoms:

There is compelling data regarding stress, menopausal symptoms, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Researchers have shown that beliefs about coping and control over hot flashes and beliefs about sleep and night sweats regulated symptoms.

  • Women who completed CBT therapy had far fewer symptoms, while having the same physiologic changes. It turns out that women’s beliefs contribute tocreate or alleviate their symptoms.
    An individual may evaluate the sensation of a hot flash as normal, problematic, or bothersome. This perception is effected by the environment and the individual’s propensity towards somatization and negative affect.
  • A key finding in these recent studies is women’s beliefs about their hot flashes/night sweats matter as much as their individual symptoms. If beliefs and attributions can be changed, symptoms are alleviated.

Health care providers can truly help their patients by understanding this and working holistically and integrate with information, hormonal therapy, lifestyle work and especially stress reduction, mindfulness, and in many cases, cognitive behavioral therapy.

This information derives from an editorial in the journal Menopause by Miriam T Weber, PhD, and Pauline Maki PhD, and an article in the June 2014 issue of Menopause by S. Norton et.al.

Remember, your long-term health is not just in a pill or a hormone or a 10-minute doctor’s visit.
To find a Certified Menopause Practitioner go to www.menopause.org, the website of the North American Menopause Society.

Dr. Micheal Goodman at NAMS 2014

Dr. Micheal Goodman at NAMS 2014