Any functional medicine menopause doctor knows that just giving hormones to women experiencing symptoms may not be enough. What you eat, drink, think, how much you sleep and exercise and your environmental exposures can all affect your hormones.
When under stress, cortisol is produced at the expense of other hormones and levels fluctuate. These fluctuating hormones cause night sweats and hot flashes. Many women also observed and experienced wine has the same effect. A functional medicine menopause doctor who understands medical nutrition can help you discover how food can affect your menopause symptoms, mood and metabolism. Some common foods can cause sensitivities or intolerances that can cause these and other symptoms.
There are compounds in our environment that can act on or block the estrogen receptors in our body. BPA otherwise known as bisphenol A, herbicides and pesticides and hormones in our meat, poultry and dairy can disrupt your hormones and cause imbalances. Menopause is not just about estrogen. Thyroid, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone all play a role in your health, well being and metabolism. These drop during menopause. Ridding your body of these hormone disruptors can help bring you into better balance naturally.
Nutrition is not just about calories in and calories out or the balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. We are chemistry labs and the difference between a dietician, nutritionist and a functional medicine physician knowledgeable in medical nutrition is the perspective they take. The effect food has on your hormones and metabolism has to be taken into consideration when treating the root cause.
Hormone Friendly Diet
A hormone friendly diet can balance some of your hormones naturally. Following these steps can help you harmonize your hormones.
- Eliminate BPA’s by not heating anything in plastic and cans or other containers lined with BPA. Look for BPA free containers.
- Reduce exposure to herbicides and pesticides. It may be hard to eat everything organic so choose to eat the food that is known to have the highest level of residue organic. These are known as the dirty dozen: apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach and strawberries.
- Eat organic meat, dairy, and poultry or at least choose hormone free and antibiotic free products. Fish can also contain hormones so eat wild caught.
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber found in high amounts in apples, beans, oats, pears and high fiber vegetables as well as fresh ground flax meal. These bind excess hormone metabolites and eliminates them from your body
- Eat cruciferous vegetables that have compounds that help your body metabolize hormones to a benign, non toxic form. These are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and radishes
Consuming a hormone friendly diet can greatly reduce symptoms. When symptoms are sever or don’t resolve, contact a physician experienced in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to stay slim, sharp, sexy, and supercharged.