I couldn't find any posts or threads on menopause - any perimenipausal/menopausal women out there on paleo? Have you noticed any effects from going paleo - any alleviation (or increase!) in the symptoms? I went paleo about two months ago, and the perimen. symptoms seem to have increased (hot flashes, moodiness, and mostly very heavy bleeding) but that could just be coincidence and timing. Just wondering if any paleo women there have any experiences realted to this. I'm going to get some black cohosh to see if that helps.
Great thread. I'm 46 and started w/hot flashes 2 yrs ago, very mild and infrequently.
I started PaNu/Paleo mid-Dec 2010 and immediately started having hormonal changes. I'm on the BCP and have been for decades with no problems. Within wks of starting Paleo I started -bleeding extremely heavy w/clots mid-cycle. I wonder if the clots are my fibroids that are diminishing. This has now been occurring every month for the past 3 mths. Of note, Skins tags and fibroids are assocated with insulin resistance/pre-diabetes. Most of my skin tags can now be scraped off!
I have also concurrently been experiencing lowered basal temp (lowest 96.6), nightly intermittent chills, lowered tolerance to cold in general. I aslo had some facial skin eruptions where I had great complexion before. I have not lost weight but have lost inches at the wrist, waist, bust thighs, hip and calf. I've hidden the scale and the tape measure has stopped measuring decreases. I average an 1800 -2600 cal diet (60-80% fat, 25-30% protein and 12-15% carbs). I've tried eating more fat to increase my basal temperature to no avail. Ketostix done 2-3 times a day x3 mths indicate ketosis state for approximately 5-12 hours daily. If I try to reduce protein or fat to lose the wt, I get terribly hungry or headachey. I think IF or smaller window of eating time (11am to 6:30pm) was simulating starvation mode and my fat cells were clinging to what they had. I'm now forcing myself to eat 3xd to reassure my fat cells there's not famine coming.
Of interest I've developed cramping mid-cycle ("mittelschmerz" - ovulation pain/midcycle pain) that has never occurred to me on BCP before; mid-cycle discharge which I've never had before; markedly decreased vaginal dryness but increased libido (and that's putting it mildly; last yr DH suggested I see a shrink for my decades of lost libido but now loves our new Paleo diet! and he's a traditional chef by trade!!).
Of interest, according to Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, estrogen does not decline as literature has taught us, but is higher than not only 30-40 yr olds, but higher than 20-30 yr olds. Whooo hooo! In regards to estrogen being high, it's progesterone that declines and there's info on the site too for that discussion (The Estrogen Errors: Why Progesterone Is Better for Women's Health). This is contrary to Dr. Larry McCleary statements in his book which I've read. I'm opting to float on Dr. Prior's boat and plan to do some lit search presently.
Please see Dr. Prior's website at http://www.cemcor.ubc.ca/ for a ton of extremely valuable info on cycles, peri- and menopause and similarities and differences with hypothyroidism and much more. It's helped me sort out so much what's going on as I thought all my symptoms where, gasp, due to Paleo. Now, I think Paleo kicked in the start of my perimenopause. She even has a powerpoint slide w/a line item showing the Atkin's diet affects our cycles but she doesn't go into it.
Alcohol has always bothered me as the other ladies have mentioned here. Tequila is always my best option to avoid flushing and early am awakenings (which alcohol is known for anyways).
Brain fog is gone as long as I stay VLC or LC or Moderate. Energy levels are the best they've been in 4 yrs or more. It did take a good three months for me to start to see these benefits and I've yet to lose the 16lbs I want but I'm definitely feeling much better!
I am 54 and haven't had a period for 3 years. I have been low-carb/paleo for about 1.5 years and during that time I have had no hot flashs or night sweats. Even better, my vaginal dryness simply disappeared, plus I feel better than I have in decades. I wasn't low-carb/paleo when I was peri-menopausal, but boy, do I wish I had been because. But much, much better late than never :)
When I was going through menopause the max safe dose of vitamin E helped a lot with the hot flashes. I worked up to 1800 IU/day. 1000 IU/day had no effect on me but 1800 IU/day did. I think I took it for at least a year.
Vitamin E appears to be helpful in the reduction of menopause symptoms.22 A dose of up to 1000 IU daily over the course of three months is suggested to see if supplementation will have any effect.23 References: 22Perloff WH. Treatment of the menopause. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1949;58:684–94. 23McAlindon TE, Jacques P, Azang Y. Do antioxidant micronutrients protect against the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis? Arthrit Rheum 1996;39:648–56.
If I avoid alcohol, I have zero, none, no hot flashes. One glass of wine, red or white, and I have scores of them for three or more days. I pretty much avoid all other alcohol, except for an occasional tequila with lime- (tequila seems to cause by some order of magnitude far fewer hot flashes, but I'm still careful not to over-do it. I chose it because the alcohol is not grain based...don't know if it makes any difference, but still). Otherwise, since going Paleo almost nine months ago, the experience of menopause has VASTLY improved, until at times I don't notice anything except being happy I'm not eating crap anymore, and looking and feeling better than I have in a long time, and have gotten to connect with a community of great people! Now, I wish I could get my family on board...sigh.
I'm 52 and menopausal. My symptoms improved as I went increasingly paleo, but that could be due to other things (such as my happy, informed decision to use a sandalwood fan and deep breathing instead of HRT – or just my natural progression through the process). Like Samantha, I did find that alcohol in any amount made my life a hot-flash hell, and sugar/wheat foods caused palpitations. I still have some symptoms, but not so badly that I'm rat-arsed from them. Hang in there. It does get better.
Hope this helps.
I seem to do good with hot flashes the less sugar/carbs I eat. I read an interesting book, "The Brain Trust Program," by Dr. Larry McCleary, and he has an interesting chapter on menopause. When estrogen is gone, our brains need to adapt to less ability to push glucose to feed the brain. This isn't an issue if you're in ketosis. This works better than glucose and gives the brain what it needs to NOT have hot flashes. By the way, that may have been way too simplistic a description of what McCleary wrote.
I have not had an increase or decrease in my peri-menopause symptoms. My symptoms are bleeding on and off again at all times of the month times about 1 1/2 years. I have gone 4 months with no bleeding and then back on again. I have been tested for everything and all is okay. That is my only symptom and I figure this is nature taking its course.
I do not experience hot flashes yet but I suppose that will be coming.
The wife drinks regulary light german beer which has no additieves like most other stuff. She feels much better now. Maybe because of the hops. No hot flashes anymore and less stressful, better sleep. She feels best with middle protein/fat and some potatoes as carbs. She was on keto and VLC but actually gained weight from too much fat calories. Hot flashes were most badly with too much calories or food intolerances/allergies. Mood improvements with high quality fish oil, magnesium and b-complex.
Such a good question. I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you, but just questions: do you eat organic, pastured animal products? I think this can make a difference. Also, have you given up dairy completely? I think that can help. Are you losing weight? I think I read here that losing weight can result in an increase in hormonally related symptoms, such as you describe, but I'd have to search for that comment and find a link to back it up. Hey, isn't brain fog a symptom of peri-menopause?! Oh, yeah, I'm so there. I have just started paleo, and I'm taking fish oil supplements and magnesium. I know exercise and stress reduction helps with hormonal angst, too, so I'm working on that as well. Best to you and please report back how you are feeling; this is a subject near and dear to my heart.
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