Half of the women who enter the menopause period in Spain suffer from overweight or obesity. This is the result of the survey “Nutritional education in menopause” carried out by the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists. They aim to determine what the impact of menopause on women’s health is, and what lifestyle and eating habits they have at this stage of their lives.
In Spain the average age of onset of menopause is 49.3 years and the life expectancy of women is 82.9 years, therefore they will be an average of thirty years in the menopausal stage. In addition, 83.8% of women with menopause do not receive any hormone replacement therapy.
This stage causes a large series of changes in a woman’s body that can affect her physically and emotionally.
Symptoms of the menopause
These changes that occur in a woman’s body are known as symptoms. These are the most common:
- Hot flashes and sweats during nighttime: They manifest as sudden heats from the chest to the head at night and make you sweat. In these cases it is advisable to wear cotton clothes and regulate the thermostat at 18 degrees. Avoid power-ups like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine or very spicy foods.
- Sleep disturbance: It is derived from nocturnal hot flashes and it is recommended to create a routine to go to sleep. Do not drink caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. Remove all electronic devices from the room and exercise early in the day.
- Palpitations: Accelerations and decelerations in the heart that can be accompanied by hot flashes. Always make sure that it is not a heart problem by consulting a doctor.
More symptoms of the menopause
- Vaginal dryness: This can make intercourse uncomfortable and may increase the risk of a bladder infection. You can apply treatments in the form of cream, ring or pills as an estrogen supplement.
- Drier skin: The skin during menopause suffers itching, dryness and loss of elasticity. It is recommended to drink plenty of water and not taking baths very often.
- Migraines: The headaches are accentuated at this stage and worsen due to hormonal changes.
- Hair loss: Due to the decrease in estrogen, the hair is weaker. In addition, the increased sensitivity to testosterone makes facial hair appear.
- Lack of concentration and memory: You experience difficulty concentrating and remembering things. It can also be a symptom of another problem such as stress, sleep apnea, vitamin deficiency or depression. Always consult a doctor.
We recommend that if the symptoms become very strong, consult your doctor to discuss the possibility of starting a hormone treatment that will make you feel better. In addition to these symptoms, you can also experience decreased libido, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
What to do to avoid getting fat during menopause?
The great change of hormones causes the body of the woman in menopause to gain weight, although this weight gain has also been linked to aging and age, more so than menopause. However, it is true that the fall of estrogen causes the increase of abdominal mass. Especially from the third year of menopause women experience a storage of fat in the waist and hip.
75% of women gain between 5 and 10 kilos during menopause. To maintain the ideal weight during menopause, this guidelines can be followed:
- Increase calcium: Experts recommend consuming 1,500 mg per day, which is equivalent to two glasses of milk, a yogurt, 200 g chard, a sardine in oil and 30 g of “manchego cheese”. The milk should preferably be skimmed and enriched in vitamin D and calcium.
- Eat two pieces of fruit a day: The fruits that are white (pear, apple) reduces the risk of suffering a brain or heart disease that usually increases during menopause. Other fruits such as strawberries or oranges are rich in bioflavanoids and also help relieve hot flashes.
Tips for not getting fat during menopause
- Eat whole oat flakes: Whole wheat rye bread is also recommended at breakfast, as well as vegetables and legumes.
- Prioritize these foods: Spinach, broccoli, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic and onions.
- Eat healthy fats: Like olive oil and nuts. At the same time, the consumption of non-recommended fats such as pastries, sausages or fried foods should be reduced.
- Blue fish twice a week: It contains a large amount of “Omega 3” and its proteins have a high biological level.
- White meat four times a week: Fish, chicken or turkey.
- Two liters of water per day: Good hydration is essential. You can have dinners with a glass of wine as it decreases the risk of depression and is a good influence for mental health.
- Decrease the caloric intake at night: Concentrate caloric intake at breakfast and lunch.
- Practice physical exercise: It is recommended to practice two sessions of 45 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity.