Welcome to Hot Flash.
The weather has been very changeable over the last week or so. One minute it's raining and the next its glorious with the sun shining over the last week. But for many of you going through the perimenopause and menopause, this can reek havoc with your symptoms – especially coping with unpredictable hot flushes. Quite a few people have been asking me for advice on how to cope with this, so I have included it in the Top Tips section of the newsletter this week.
Please keep the questions coming and I will try to answer as many as possible in the upcoming newsletters.
Vegetable protein can turn back our biological clock
A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that women who consume a good ratio of vegetable protein in their diet stand a much better chance of delaying the onset of menopause.
Early menopause is defined as before the age of 45 and women who have 3 or 4 servings of vegetable protein including tofu made from soy, nuts, enriched pasta and cold breakfast cereal were more likely to delay the onset of their menopause than similar aged women who focus on consuming animal protein such as meat and fish instead.
The study analysed the Nurses' Health Study II to examine the link between diet and early menopause. This included 85,682 women who experienced natural early menopause from 1991 onwards. They found that 1 woman in 20 experienced an early natural menopause. It seems that Mother Nature may well have the secret to delaying the onset of our ovaries ageing.
Hot Flash Top Tip
Here are my tips for dealing with hot flushes at night during high temperatures (or in fact at any time of year)
- Make sure your bedroom is cool at night and keep a fan, wet wipes and a cold drink by your bed
- Use cotton sheets, pillowcases and nightclothes.
- Say no to spicy foods and alcohol at parties, as both can trigger night sweats.
- Keep your summer weight covers on and throw off when the heat is on.
Dirty Little Secrets
This week it is just one word. It drives many of us out after dark. We crave it sometimes more than sex and it has the best mouth feel. Of course, it’s chocolate. Many women become a slave to their cravings spending almost as much on chocolate as they do on the rest of their food budget. Patients often report that they get through several bars of chocolate a day and I once had a patient who consumed 20!
But cravings can be controlled. They are usually fuelled by a shortage of important nutrients including magnesium, B vitamins and the trace mineral chromium. Magnesium is the most common deficiency amounts in women, B vitamins can be in short supply especially if we have experienced stress, and we are only born with 1/16th ounce of chromium which is further depleted as we age.
Consuming plenty of wholesome food including nuts, seeds, whole grains, green vegetables and black pepper as well as taking a supplement rich in these nutrients like Chromium Complex will help to curb the cravings and a positive effect on your waist line as a result.