Can I manage menopause with my diet?
It’s estimated that a third of the entire UK female population is perimenopausal or menopausal, with symptoms affecting over 75% of them. Dietary changes can improve menopausal health, so what should you be eating if you’re entering (or already in) this life stage? We turned to Field Doctor’s Dietitian Laura Tilt for advice.
Menopause is when your periods stop and your fertility comes to its natural end, officially reached 12 months after your last period. The transitional stage leading up to menopause is known as perimenopause (from the Greek word ‘peri’ meaning ‘near’).
Most women enter perimenopause in their mid-40s, reaching menopause at an average age of 51 in the UK. For 1 in 100 women, menopause happens before the age of 40 years. This is known as premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI).
Like most aspects of ageing, menopause doesn’t take place overnight. It’s a gradual process during which your ovaries become less responsive to two hormones (follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone) which tell your ovaries to release oestrogen and progesterone. As a result, your body produces less oestrogen and progesterone, which leads to many of the physical and mental symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause.