Easing Perimenopause with Diet

As the body ages, a number of changes can occur. The body begins to produce fewer hormones and it begins to transition into a life with fewer activities. These shifts in the hormones of the body can lead to a variety of symptoms in one’s life and well-being. In women, the years before the actual arrival of menopause are called perimenopause. It is during this transition that the body begins to slow down the production of estrogen to help the woman enter in to a new phase of life after their childbearing years.

A New Stage of Life

While on the outside, women may not feel or look any different as a result of perimenopause, this process can last anywhere from two to eight years before menopause takes place. The estrogen levels of the body begin to move up and down during this time, causing the menstrual cycles to fluctuate and become more irregular. Some women will not enter this phase until they are in their forties, but in families where perimenopause has occurred earlier, women have a higher chance of beginning these changes earlier in their lives.

Common Signs of Perimenopause

There are a variety of changes which can begin to emerge in the body as perimenopause takes place.

  • Mood changes – As the hormones fluctuate, it can be common for a woman to have troubles managing their moods. They might have troubles with having periods of intense sadness as well as rage.
  • Menstrual irregularity – The periods will become less frequent or more frequent, having less and less regularity in the cycle times.
  • Fertility issues – As some of the periods will not produce an egg, it will become more difficult to be fertile enough to conceive a child.
  • Hot flashes – Some women experience hot flashes when the hormone levels in their bodies change.
  • Libido changes – As hormones shift, a woman can become less interested in sex.
  • Vaginal dryness – The body can be less likely to produce natural lubrication, causing sex to be painful or uncomfortable for the woman.

While this is not an all inclusive list, these signs are generally found not only in perimenopause, but also in menopause. If you are concerned about what stage you are in, having hormone tests at a physician’s office will help to assess where your hormone levels are.

Diet Changes to Alleviate Symptoms

Since the hormone changes can lead to symptoms which are uncomfortable, patients will want to make some diet changes to help them cope. Many women find it helpful to adopt a low fat diet to help them manage their symptoms. Also, adding fiber to the diet has been shown to help a woman cope with the hormone shifts. Adding more calcium to the diet is also beneficial during this time.

When you are entering perimenopause, there are many ways in which to manage the symptoms and begin to feel better. This transition period is one which readies the body for a new chapter of life, but this doesn’t mean it has to be a difficult one.

Could Blood Sugar Spikes Be Keeping You Fat?

Blood sugar, the concentration of glucose in the blood, could possibly be the reason you aren’t able to drop excess weight. Digestible carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar or glucose. It’s important to know exactly what food causes blood sugar spikes, as well as which keep blood sugar levels consistent. The blood sugar level has a significant effect on how energetic you are feeling, as well as how hungry you might be. Most importantly, blood sugar determines if you store fat or burn fat.

Storage or burning of fat is based on insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas that transports glucose into your body’s cells. Eating foods that are refined, processed, and sugary are converted rapidly and cause blood sugar spikes. This blood sugar spike causes the pancreas to have to work so much harder to produce enough insulin for all this blood sugar to be used as energy. Boosting insulin production rapidly tells your body there is way more than enough energy, and will cause you to stop burning fat and begin storing it.

These surges of insulin may actually be the bigger issue when trying to lose weight. Insulin surges cause too much blood sugar to be transported out of your body which will eventually result in blood sugar and insulin levels dropping below normal. When blood sugar and insulin levels drop below normal you will begin to feel fatigued, hungry, and crave foods with a high sugar content. This will once again start the vicious cycle.

Blood sugar spikes can result in the storage of fat. Avoiding foods that will cause your blood sugar spike may be the answer to preventing the storage of fat and helping your body to burn more.

Avoiding many foods such as:

  • syrups like high fructose corn syrup
  • white bread
  • candy
  • chocolate
  • honey
  • baked goods soft drinks
  • fruit juices
  • white pasta
  • cake
  • pastries
  • packaged cereals
  • molasses
  • Maple syrup
  • brown sugar

Blood sugar spikes are caused by eating foods that are simple carbohydrates which are basically not very healthy. If you want to keep blood sugar on a consistent level you should eat carbohydrates that take time to break down and have a high fiber content. Avoiding foods that will trigger a rapid increase in insulin production is key to avoiding fat storage. You should also make sure you do not end up on the vicious high sugar cycle.

Benefits of L-Tryptophan for Sleep

What is L-tryptophan?

It is an amino acid, that can be found in both plant and animal proteins. It is referred to as an essential amino acid because the body cannot make it, therefore it must come from food.

L-tryptophan uses:

People can use L-tryptophan for sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, insomnia, facial pain, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), teeth grinding while sleeping, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome, and sometimes people use it to improve their athletic abilities.

L-tryptophan is very heavily involved with the brain, and can alter moods. It is an essential amino acid because of the body’s inability to make it. It is naturally found in plant and animal proteins and it is absorbed from food. After eating plant and animal proteins containing L-tryptophan, our bodies then absorb it and convert it to serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for your moods, sleep patterns and behaviors, as well as the way you conduct yourself while you are awake. Serotonin is actually a hormone that transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain.

L-tryptophan can be ingested through food as well as taken by mouth. However, there is some risk of health problems in supplement form. You can find L-tryptophan in foods such as:

-egg white
-soy sauce
-chicken breast
-sunflower seeds

L-tryptophan promotes the overall feeling of relaxation, and induces sleep. When people do not get enough L-tryptophan their hormone levels are unbalanced and they tend to have trouble sleeping. It also affects how productive and focused they are during the day as well. L-tryptophan promotes relaxation because it is converted to serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for your nerve cell transmitters in the brain. Not having enough serotonin can cause insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, depression, and other things linked to and associated with not sleeping or resting.

There are many benefits of L-tryptophan for sleep and relaxation. Getting enough L-tryptophan is vital to mental health and well-being. There are many plant and animal foods that contain L-tryptophan for sleep, health, and happiness.