Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

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Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Nightly Orange on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:28 pm

I am not a woman, though like most people, I have a mom. She's in generally good health, though she's middle-aged now and I understand that this can be a tricky transition period for women in particular. I don't have any personal experience with this, so I'd love to hear insights from other members, in case I ever need to give my mother advice on weight loss or anything else. This is a rather broad and free-ranging topic, but a few things that might be relevant:

  • Estrogenic foods? I remember in the old MDA forum, sbhikes mentioned that eating soy products helped reduce hot flashes. Anyone have a similar n=1?

  • Hormone replacement therapy. Do you think this is advisable, and under what circumstances?

  • Weight loss--does it get harder with increasing age? What strategies work better?

  • Macros. Possibly related to the above issue, but how do things like keto, intermittent fasting, or general carb intake affect you?

  • Any supplements or practices in particular that might be more helpful for women rather than men, for whatever reason?
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Annieh on Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:08 am

I sincerely doubt the wisdom of preparing yourself to give your mother advice on weight loss, or anything else for that matter.
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Narrowminded on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:45 am

I do have to agree with Annie - my mom won't listen to me and we are both women. However,

I am 10 yrs post menno due to surgery, but would be it now due to age anyway. doing a whole 30 helped me lose weight quite easily. So a general primal diet would would wonders.

soy never helped me, it causes me to bloat and I feel horrible when i eat it, even w/o realizing it's there

I was on estrogen post surgery for 10 years. Can't say if it was good or bad.

for me Keto doesn't work, at least not trying to force it. I would venture to guess while doing W30, I may have dropped into it here and there, but forced causes my body all kinds of crazy cravings and that's after having already been sugar, grain, diary, legume etc free for nearly a year.

Good luck with trying to advise your mom. Best bet, is if she is reader, get her something she might read to get the convo started. In my case even that didn't help with my mother.

grok on
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by ONTARIO on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:20 pm

Well, whether or not his mother will take his advice or not (and I have to agree - not likely!) I would love to see this thread take off.

Why?

Because I am a peri-menopausal women (46) who is, obviously, seeing many changes in myself. And for some of them I say, "Huh? Well, that's not cool", and to others I say, "Um...is THAT normal?", and then others I just shrug and move on. But the one thing I refuse to believe or feed into is that it is anything but a NORMAL, physiological experience of being a woman. It is not a disease process and I will not "treat" it with drugs or hormones, etc.

I would love to have someone who went through it all primal-ly pop in with their experience. Did being primal help you? Did you experience less of a hellish experience as so many others claim to have had?

It's a wonderful time. Rolling Eyes

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"Transformation is just a fancy word for the choices you make on a daily basis."
- Nancy Levin
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Nightly Orange on Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:43 pm

Annieh wrote:I sincerely doubt the wisdom of preparing yourself to give your mother advice on weight loss, or anything else for that matter.
Narrowminded wrote:I do have to agree with Annie - my mom won't listen to me and we are both women.
ONTARIO wrote:Well, whether or not his mother will take his advice or not (and I have to agree - not likely!) I would love to see this thread take off.

Hahaha, point taken.
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Narrowminded on Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:27 pm

Ontario when I started on Estogen therapy there were two reasons involved, one I knew nothing of Primal at the time and I was only 45. Add to that, my issues with DH. I didn't start right away, I wanted to go au natural then, but the symptoms because too much to bear along with dealing with DH, so i went on natural ones, not synthetic. For me it worked to deal with the symptoms. If I had been primal, maybe I would not have had the symptoms at all. who knows.

Grok on my friend
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Meant2Move on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:38 pm

I think I went through the change (feels weird to call it that but it was a change) quite naturally and I believe I was aided by being loosely primal.  It isn't something one can change, but I  suspect I may have had an easier time of it for never having had children.  Also, I think I was aided by being very physically fit and of normal weight. (My mother and sister both had terrible problems and had surgery to get rid of everything as a result - they had kids, were not fit and were overweight.)

I had PMDD in my late 30's and 40's and took Sertraline (Zoloft) to ease the symptoms (anger, depression, complete irrationality at times). I wanted to get off the drug and knew I needed to make some changes to do so. I've long known that what we eat is about the most powerful influence there is on a body. I improved the quality of my diet first by getting rid of most processed food, eliminating fast food, and mostly foregoing alcohol.

I've always been very active, but after listening to the book Spark by John J Ratey, MD in 2011, I modified my workouts to better handle the menstrual junk.  In 2012 I listened to Wheatbelly by William Davis, MD and decided to give up wheat to see what happened.  Between those changes, I was able to get myself off the drug and felt a lot better.  I kept listening to books  and experimenting with dietary changes and things kept getting better.  For example, when I dropped bread (my main source of wheat), I figured I should replace those calories with food of higher nutritional content.  I'm 5'7" and weigh in around 140, so I'm a slightly taller than average but normal sized woman. My daily calorie allotment is not huge and I figured that given how hard I like to play, I should make those calories count. So I increased my veggie consumption hugely. Good bang for the buck too - eat loads, get nutrients, don't go hungry. It took a while, but now I adore veggies and happily eat piles every day.

My periods got lighter and came with fewer PMS/PMDD symptoms, then I started skipping months entirely (I had a tubal at 35 and knew I was not pregnant). I tracked over 2 years, just noting the date when I'd start. The time extended, and more than once I got close to that magic year with no period, then it would come for a month or 2 before missing again.  Finally, I passed the one year mark, then two... that part of it was done. I'm 54 and its coming up on 3 years I think.

As things were winding down, I definitely noticed that I felt more symptoms (PMS/PMDD) when I ate more carbs - which in my case would have been bread, pasta, and treats (cookies, candy, cake). And of course, cravings were for those things - a vicious circle.

I heard about a study where mice better handled stress when given probiotics. I added yogurt as a regular food and found it seemed to help me with stress and mood swings. I also noticed that I felt better with more fat in my diet, so while I've never tracked macros or calories, I paid attention to total diet composition and tweaked things towards moderately low carb and good quality fats.  

Over time, I've adjusted further by paying attention to the amount of protein I get, as I went through a very slow body recomposition effort to build some muscle and lose some bodyfat while maintaining roughly the same body weight. While I am a committed carnivore, I have never been a big meat eater, I just don't like it that much. I get protein from a serving of meat most days, eggs (2-3 per day), Greek yogurt, and collagen powder or protein powder. I'd like it if I didn't need those powders, but I just don't get what I need without them, and now as a "Post-menopausal" woman, I am well aware of the risk of muscle loss that comes with age.

I had my first hot flash about 18 months after I stopped having periods. Ugh - those are nasty. Once again, I found that keeping carbs at a moderate level made the biggest difference (and still does!).

These are the things that come to mind and that I believe aided my relatively smooth transition.


Last edited by Meant2Move on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Annieh on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:31 pm

Thankyou M2M.

I have recently realised from comments by friends, and you have confirmed, that hot flashes can come after the menopause. I previously assumed they would be part of the season of change and then be gone when periods were finished.

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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Meant2Move on Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:03 pm

Annieh wrote:Thankyou M2M.  

I have recently realised from comments by friends, and you have confirmed, that hot flashes can come after the menopause.  I previously assumed they would be part of the season of change and then be gone when periods were finished.  


I imagine it varies with the woman, but I didn't have any pre-change, and it was a good while after my periods stopped before the hot flashes started. I was hoping I might skip them all together.

I experimented some with supplements and I do believe that can make a difference in addition to carb moderation. I take evening primrose oil and something called Menosense, a combination of some herbs. These seem to help. I occasionally stop taking them to see if anything changes and so far, after a week I notice more night sweats and hot flashes so I start back up again.
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by Heuristicfireflower on Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:05 am

I just learned a thing or 2 from your experience, M2M.  I wasn't  watching my carb intake as I should the last few months and, now, having to drastically cut them back to between 60-80 gms, I have noticed less issues even from reduced bio-hrt use.

When I entered Meno,  that is a year without menses,  I began to experience extreme symptoms.  The hotflashes were debilitating - To the point of making me light headed and dizzy when they hit.  Often I had to sit down while it passed.  I began to suffer dehydration issues that was hard to keep up with dealing with severe day and night sweats. Drinking water was no help, it would go right through me.  Since then I've learned a few things.  But, it was torture during summer and I tried to find a non-prescription solution for 5 - 6 years - herbs, homeopathy which in other areas is fantastic.

Cortisol levels were whacked and sleep was impossible for more than 5 hours at a time during this time. My body was in constant stress. There were, also, some hard personal issues I was recovering from, deaths in the family lack of support, etc. before menopause arrived and with it's arrival my adrenals tanked.  After trying many options to combat the horrendous hotflashes I decided to go on HRT's.  2 weeks into therapy was like night and day.  I rather not be on them, but, it's kept all the other hormones from turning into a cascade of deterioration. My thyroid is humming along nicely, now.  Cortisol issues mostly under control and I've become quite sensitive to stress and allowing the flashes to continue would have kept me in an ever downward spiral.  I would say this is one of those situations where the intervention of the application of hormones was warranted.
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by The Walrus on Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:18 am

I typed up a long post and somehow lost it. Grrrr.

I had a very late menopause and had very bad hot flashes for a year or so. My doctor and I discovered HRT but he wanted me to try non-pharmaceuticals first. I gave up red wine (sniffle) and cutting carbs helped enormously. Also, I took a supplement called Estrotone that helped. Luckily the hot flashes have disappeared and I am quite happy to be done with periods and hormonal changes. I love being an old lady! So freeing.

My fat distribution is very different now - my hips and thighs have slimmed and extra weight is around my middle (yuck.) I don't seem to have the stamina I once did, but I'm not blaming that on menopause. I'm much more likely to avoid stressful situations now, but I think that is just an 'older and wiser' response.

I wouldn't hesitate to take HRT if it was warranted. The hot flashes are not benign - they kept me from sleeping well and I was becoming exhausted. I was at my wit's end.

I had short term memory loss, which seems to have resolved, perhaps because of my new dancing habit, and also a supplement I take called galantamine.
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Re: Primal Protocols for Peri- or Post-menopausal Women?

Post by mudhenny on Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:16 pm

At 55, I am SO happy to be out of the woods and on the other side! I had dreadful problems with depression, insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, etc... For a short period of time I took topical progesterone, and thought it was great, but it pooped out eventually. I also tried tiny amounts of estrogen, but my body reacted quite violently to that. I'm very skeptical of HRT now, but it can be extremely helpful for some.

The best thing I have done is to slowly improve my diet over the last 4-5 years and introduce intermittent fasting. Now I feel like I'm in a pretty good place with very minimal hot flashes (very subtle now), pretty good sleep, fairly even moods and no depression. I really think a good diet has been key. Both of my sisters eat pretty well (low carb, organic, pastured, etc..) and seemed to sail through menopause.

Much like Meant2move I am 5'7" and 140 lbs, and also very active (I work outdoors for a living). Also like the Walrus, my body fat distribution is different and my once flat belly is pudgy. But overall, it's not bad, just different. I look around me at other people my age, and it is rather shocking to see how they are aging! Once you get to this age, how you've cared for yourself really starts to show.

I would be VERY careful about approaching a woman in the throes of menopause and trying to tell her what to do--a good way to get your head bit off!Evil or Very Mad Modeling the good results from a proper diet can go a long way. sunny

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