10 Ways To Ease Menopause Symptoms

You don't need to completely revamp your dietary habits simply because you're experiencing menopause. However, eating specific foods can ease symptoms, and here’s what you need to know.

By URLife Team
22 Sep 2023

Menopause often poses challenges for numerous women, which makes it entirely understandable why many are inclined to explore supplements or dietary adjustments as potential remedies. However, the crucial questions to consider are: Can any interventions genuinely alleviate symptoms? And can dietary modifications genuinely contribute to long-term well-being?


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According to a 2021 report issued by National Institute on Ageing, menopause is officially considered to have occurred when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. The menopausal transition typically commences between the ages of 45 and 55, with an average duration of about seven years. However, it can extend for as long as 14 years, influenced by factors such as lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking), the age at which it initiates, and one's race and ethnicity.


Related story: Menopause: What You Need To Know


What happens during menopause?

Throughout the perimenopausal phase, there is significant fluctuation in the production of oestrogen and progesterone, two crucial hormones produced by the ovaries. During menopause, a woman's ovaries gradually produce fewer hormones, specifically oestrogen and progesterone. This hormonal shift leads to a variety of physical and emotional changes.


Common symptoms of menopause

1. Irregular periods

According to a 2021 report issued by National Institute on Ageing, menstrual cycles may become irregular, with variations in the timing and flow of periods.


2. Hot flashes

Sudden and intense feelings of warmth, often accompanied by sweating and flushing of the skin.


3. Night sweats

Hot flashes that occur during sleep, leading to night sweats and disrupted sleep patterns.


4. Sleep disturbances

Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, can interfere with sleep and lead to insomnia.


5. Decline in bone density

As per a 2022 report issued by the Associations of UK Dieticians, from the age of about 35, women slowly lose calcium from their bones. A decline in oestrogen can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weakened bones.


6. Changes in libido

Some women may experience a decrease in sexual desire or changes in sexual function during menopause. After menopause, the decrease in oestrogen levels can lead to changes in the vaginal tissues, including reduced lubrication. This can result in vaginal dryness, making sexual intercourse uncomfortable or painful for some women. Additionally, women's attitudes, mood swings and changes in self-esteem, changes in breast tissue and skin. 


7. Weight gain

During menopause, hormonal changes, particularly a decrease in oestrogen, can contribute to a gradual loss of muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue, so a reduction in muscle mass can lead to a decrease in your basal metabolic rate (BMR). As a result, you may require fewer calories to maintain your weight.


8. Heart health degrades

As per British Heart Foundation, as women get older the blood vessels can become stiffer, caused by high blood pressure. This is a risk factor associated with heart attacks and stroke.


While menopause is a natural part of ageing, the symptoms can be managed through lifestyle adjustments, hormone therapy (HRT) if deemed appropriate by a healthcare provider, and other treatments tailored to individual needs. It's essential for women to discuss their menopausal experiences and any concerns with a healthcare professional to develop a personalised plan for managing this life stage.


Related story: The Ultimate Guide To Pain-Free Periods


Dietary modifications to ease menopause symptoms

Being mindful of your calorie intake, portion sizes, and increasing physical activity can be effective strategies to prevent weight gain during and after menopause. A well-balanced diet can help ease some of the common symptoms associated with menopause. While dietary strategies may not completely eliminate symptoms, they can contribute to better overall health and alleviate some discomfort. 


Here are some dietary tips to consider:

1. Calcium and Vitamin D

These nutrients are essential for maintaining bone health, especially as oestrogen levels decline during menopause. Good sources of calcium include dairy, calcium-fortified plant-based drinks, tinned fish (with bones), spinach, fortified bread, baked beans, tofu and dried figs. Consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement containing ten micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D. Include foods rich in vitamin D in your diet. Some sources of vitamin D include:

  • Oily fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, and sardines)
  • Certain mushrooms (look for packaging marked with Vitamin D)
  • Red meat
  • Fortified plant-based beverages (e.g., soya or oat drinks)
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Eggs


2. Whole grains

Opt for whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa, and oats. These foods provide fibre, which can help with digestive issues and support stable energy levels.


3. Fruits and vegetables

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can help manage weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and promote overall well-being.


4. Healthy fats

Incorporate sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help reduce inflammation and support heart health.


5. Lean proteins

In a 2021 study published in the Iranian Journal of Public Health, researchers discovered that late perimenopausal women exhibited a 9 per cent decrease in muscle mass compared to their early perimenopausal counterparts. Postmenopausal women, on the other hand, had a 10 per cent reduction in muscle mass. If your diet lacks sufficient protein during menopause, you may experience a rapid loss of muscle mass. Include lean protein sources like poultry, fish, beans, tofu, and legumes in your diet. Protein is crucial for muscle maintenance and can help control hunger.


6. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which have oestrogen-like properties and may help alleviate hot flashes. Grind flax seeds and add them to yoghurt, oatmeal, or smoothies.


7. Soya products

Soya contains phytoestrogens, which can mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body. Some soya-based products include:

  • Soya beans 
  • Soya flour
  • Tofu
  • Soya milk


8. Stay hydrated

Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Limit caffeine and alcohol, as they can exacerbate hot flashes and affect sleep quality.


9. Moderate Sugar and Processed Foods

Reducing sugar and highly processed foods can help manage mood swings, stabilise energy levels, and maintain a healthy weight.


10. Herbal Teas

Some herbal teas, such as chamomile and peppermint,   may provide relief from symptoms like anxiety and insomnia.


Related story: Irregular Periods: When To Worry


Lifestyle changes for long-term health

This change in metabolism, combined with other factors like lifestyle changes and age-related reductions in physical activity, can indeed increase the risk of weight gain during and after menopause. However, it's important to note that weight gain is not inevitable, and there are strategies to help manage your weight and overall health during this life stage:

1. Exercise regularly

Incorporate both cardiovascular (e.g., brisk walking, swimming) and strength-training exercises into your routine. Strength training can help counteract muscle loss and boost your metabolism.


2. Calorie Awareness

Be aware of your calorie intake and adjust it based on your changing needs. Consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine an appropriate daily calorie target for your age, activity level, and goals.


3. Handle stress

Chronic stress can lead to weight gain. Explore stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or mindfulness to help manage stress.


4. Opt for hormone therapy

Some women may consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Discuss the potential benefits and risks of HRT with a healthcare provider.


5. Have regular check-ups

Continue to have regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health and discuss any concerns related to weight management.


Every woman's journey through menopause is unique. If you are experiencing discomfort or changes in your sexual health and well-being, it's advisable to discuss your concerns with a healthcare provider. They can offer guidance and recommend strategies to address any issues related to sexual health, including options for managing vaginal dryness, exploring different forms of sexual intimacy, and addressing emotional and psychological aspects of sexuality during and after menopause.


Related story: Frequently Asked Questions On Periods And Pregnancy


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Looking for an exclusive and unique experience, expert staff, and unparalleled member services? Come join us at URLife Studios! We offer a comprehensive range of wellness services that promote optimum well-being. We are a trusted source for unique holistic health and pregnancy care workshops. Our physiotherapists design customised rehab programs based on health conditions. 



Ramarao 28 Sep 2023


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