Sugar and the Menopause: What You Need to Know
Is cutting down on sugar one of your New Year’s resolutions? More and more people are eliminating refined sugar from their diets in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle, with potential health benefits including weight loss, lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of obesity-related type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Could reducing your sugar intake also help you with managing menopause symptoms? When you’re going through a difficult time with severe hot flushes, night sweats stopping you from sleeping and mood swings keeping you from feeling like yourself, it can feel as though anything is worth a try. But is there any evidence to suggest that cutting down on sugar could help to ease menopause symptoms?
Blood Sugar Levels During Menopause
The change in your body’s oestrogen and progesterone levels that can bring on menopause symptoms can affect the way your cells respond to insulin, potentially having a knock-on effect on your blood sugar levels.
If you’re diabetic and have any concerns about this, you should always speak to your GP. Menopause symptoms can be similar to the effects of low blood sugar - fluctuations in your body temperature and fatigue, for example - so it’s important to seek advice from your doctor if you’re unsure about what you’re experiencing.
Even once you’ve ruled out anything serious, you’ll still need to make sure you’re following a healthy diet to help manage your blood sugar levels during menopause, as this could help you to stay on top of your symptoms.
Menopause and Sugar Cravings
Fatigue and low energy levels can be common menopause symptoms, and both of these can cause you to crave quick sugar hits in the form of unhealthy snacks, with weight gain - and all of the health risks associated with this - a potential consequence.
For many women, this is the primary factor behind menopausal weight gain, and it can bring an increased risk of osteoporosis with it due to the extra pressure excess weight places on bones and joints combined with the drop in oestrogen that can trigger brittle bones.
It’s therefore important to find a way to manage menopause and sugar cravings so that you can continue to maintain a healthy weight and carry on feeling like the best version of yourself.
However, it’s not just your sugar consumption that you need to be mindful of - you should be thinking about how healthy your lifestyle is as a whole, as this is what’s more likely to help you with managing menopause symptoms.
Why an Overall Healthy Lifestyle is Important in Menopause
Cutting down on sugar may help you to keep on top of your weight and to manage your cholesterol levels, but you should be taking stock of your overall diet, making sure it’s balanced and full of vitamins and foods that will provide you with extra energy in a healthier way.
Make sure you’re getting regular exercise too, as this can help with managing menopausal fatigue, keeping your energy levels up, and keeping your muscles and bones strong.
Official NHS advice is that no more than five per cent of your daily calories should come from added sugars, which equates to around 30 grams per day.
As part of your lifestyle, you may wish to take menopause supplements, which are designed to fit in with a healthy way of living.
Femarelle® supplements, for example, contain DT56a, which is a natural soy derivative and may be able to mimic the effects of oestrogen in your body. This could provide relief from symptoms of menopause including hot flushes, night sweats, trouble sleeping and vaginal dryness, to name just a few.
There are three varieties of Femarelle®, depending on your specific needs, with each containing different vitamins to boost a healthy lifestyle; Femarelle® Unstoppable, for instance, contains vitamin D, to help keep your bones strong and healthy.
Try Femarelle® yourself and see if it helps you to feel better in yourself. Shop the full range here.