Good morning all – Welcome DAY 1 of the Hormone Harmony Programme.
Each day I will be writing a post based around female Hormone Health from peri to post menopause. These are intended to be educational so that you finish the programme with a more informed idea of what may be contributing to any symptoms you may experience or perhaps how you can prevent certain symptoms from affecting you.
Some of the information is quite complicated, so take your time reading the information and do post any questions. We will be covering lots of subjects from bone health to weight management during the programme.
Remember there is no “one size fits all” – your journey is unique to you – but by sharing our experiences we can support each other and create more awareness.
My hope is that the course will guide you in finding hormonal balance and offer changes which you can implement into your daily life. Sometimes it is a matter of testing different things to find what works for you.
As you know, when we age our sex hormone levels drop. The symptoms we experience in (peri)menopause happen during the largest drop with the female sex hormones. Common symptoms are: weight is harder to shift, anxiety increases, changes in menstrual cycles and bleeds change, low mood and sleep difficulties. A small percentage do not experience symptoms (or maybe don´t recognise them as being part of perimenopause.
These “PERImenopausal” symptoms may appear 2-12 years before a female reaches her menopause.
This final stage is associated with a decrease in ovarian secretion of oestrogen and progesterone. After this you belong to the category “post” menopause, often termed ”menopausal”.
We may spend more years in post menopause eg: from 50-90+ years, than any other stage of life!
Some ladies will be producing less oestrogen and progesterone than others (for example very busy ladies or those going through a stressful time with have a downward production of sex hormones – more in the posts to follow). Those with too many environmental oestrogen mimicking compounds or too much of an enzyme called betaglucoronidase in the gut may have too much oestrogen relative to progesterone (discussed in another post).
It is not possible to fix decades of hormonal issues in 20 days or promise to stop every peri-menopausal/post-menopausal symptom in its tracks! However the course will help you put all the right pieces in place to support hormonal balance and point you in the right direction.
If you have questions that you would like addressing anonymously in the presentation with The Menopause Medic, Dr Fionnuala Barton, please send them to me. We are having a live conversation on Thursday 18th January at 1 pm.
Take time to view the presentations available to you on the membership page by myself and other expert guests.
There is also a nice overview in the Ebook available to you and a symptom questionnaire should you feel inclined to complete it.
Briefly an overview for the nutritional part to AIM towards as best as you can.
Try to avoid the following for the programme
- Red meats and processed meats (ham, sausage, bacon etc)
- All dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, milkshakes, cream)
- Gluten grains and gluten containing products: wheat, barley, rye, regular oats (gluten free oats are fine)
- Beverages: soda (i.e colas), fruit juice, squash, diet drinks, sweetened drinks
- Processed foods, ready meals and take aways. Deep fried foods.
- Processed sauces, ketchup, brown sauce etc.
- Processed oils e.g. sunflower, safflower, corn, soya, vegetable, margarine and spreads etc.
- Refined sugar in all forms including syrups, honey, molasses, fructose sweetened drinks
- Reduce or avoid Alcohol: you may include 2 units on a Friday and/or Saturday to get the most out of your programme if it can not be totally avoided)
- You may drink 1-2 cups coffee or black tea per day without sugar preferably before noon (caffeine has a negative effect on the adrenals and increases anxiety)
Some recipe suggestions are provided in the online E-booklet.
If you’re of reproductive age (i.e., not in menopause), phytoestrogens like soy or flaxseed generally have a beneficial anti-oestrogen benefit. They will not raise oestrogen. Aim to increase phytoestrogens, even if it´s just some ground flaxseed/flax oil everyday:
tempeh, miso, tofu, linseed (flax), sesame seeds, berries, GF oats, dried beans, lentils, rice, alfalfa, mung beans, apples, carrots, rice-bran, edamame. If you´ve time to start sprouting some beans, lentils, peas for 1-3 days this will increase the phytoestrogenic properties.
Above all – eat the rainbow and go for diversity!
After menopause, phytoestrogens can stimulate oestrogen receptors and have a mildly pro-estrogen effect. This is good for most, but if you have had an oestrogen receptor sensitive breast cancer, you would need to be careful not to overeat phytoestrogens in concentrated amounts such as maca powder.