podcast on menopause

Is this the most comprehensive podcast about menopause ever?

Posted by Sarah Bacon on

Perimenopause and menopause are stages in a woman's life that are often misunderstood. Thankfully, in very recent times, the stigma related to perimenopause and menopause has decreased and women and men are talking about this stage (and its many symptoms) openly. 

The UK based company, Zoe Science and Nutrition, broadcasts an excellent podcast on wellness and nutrition. A recent episode entitled Dr Mary Claire Haver and Dr Sarah Barry: 5 essentials for a menopause toolkit is a stand out. In fact, it might be the most comprehensive podcast on the subject we have heard. Lots of new information and a whole host of research delivered in an easy to understand way by experts. 

You can read the transcript here and listen to the podcast hereYou can also find the Mary Claire Wellness website here

We thought it might be helpful to summarise the podcast (although you should definitely listen to it): 

  • Contrary to popular belief, hot flashes, commonly thought to be the primary symptom, are actually only the fifth most common symptom of menopause. More prevalent are symptoms like poor sleep, anxiety, brain fog, and joint pain, which explains why many middle-aged women experience conditions like frozen shoulder.
  • Perimenopause is a prolonged transition lasting about seven to ten years. During this period, the body produces inconsistent amounts of estradiol, a form of estrogen, leading to significant hormonal fluctuations. This hormonal inconsistency is why there is no definitive test for diagnosing perimenopause.
  • As estrogen levels dip during perimenopause and menopause, the risk of several long-term diseases increases. For example, women's cholesterol levels often shift unfavorably during this transition, rapidly increasing the risk of heart-related diseases and osteoporosis. Additionally, the longer a woman has had sufficient estrogen levels, the lower her risk of cognitive deficits later in life. 
  • Research indicates that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can mitigate some of the adverse effects of menopause. Women on HRT often experience significantly lower blood pressure, heart rates, and bad cholesterol levels. They also tend to have better insulin sensitivity, reduced visceral fat, and lower inflammation. 
  • Diet and exercise play crucial roles in managing menopause symptoms. A study by Zoe found that switching to a higher-quality diet helped 70% of participants see a decrease in symptoms within just four months. A Mediterranean-style diet, in particular, has been shown to alleviate menopause symptoms more effectively than other diets. Key dietary tips include doubling fiber intake and reducing added sugars. 
  • Exercise is equally important. It is recommended to engage in weight training twice a week and to consider wearing a weighted vest during the day to help manage symptoms and maintain bone health.
  • Understanding the complexities of perimenopause and menopause is essential for managing their symptoms and associated health risks. By incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise, and considering options like HRT, women can navigate this transitional phase more comfortably and maintain better overall health.

Finally, Dr Haver says she has a list of over 70 symptoms that are menopause related. Perhaps the things you are feeling or experiencing are menopause related. You do not have to suffer in silence: go and see your GP. 

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