Oh great you say…what else does menopause have in store for us. Stay with me because there is stuff you can do about it…
Oestrogen is a sex hormone found in larger amounts in females than in males, which declines in females as we approach and reach menopause. Scientists have found that there is an association between this reduction in oestrogen in postmenopausal women, and an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Importance of health screening
So how can you reduce this risk? Pre-diabetes may have no signs or symptoms, so it is especially important for women to have regular health screens with their doctor to check blood glucose levels, as type 2 diabetes may develop at this age even if there has previously never been an issue with blood glucose levels. By finding out early using this simple test, you can take action and reduce complications.
The power of balance
You can also reduce your risk of increased blood glucose levels by tailoring your diet. Ensuring you have a good balance of protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates at each meal to assist with this. Also ensuring you eat the recommended amounts of fibre will help by slowing the absorption of sugar into the blood stream and stabilising blood glucose levels.
The role of phytoestrogens
What else can you eat? Due to the reduction in oestrogen around this time it can also be beneficial to add in foods known as phytoestrogens which naturally occur in plants that are a similar structure to our bodies own oestrogen and may help to ease symptoms of low oestrogen. Foods such as soybeans, tofu, tempeh and miso all contain phytoestrogens.
So even though the decreasing oestrogen increases our risk, there are plenty of things we can do to reduce this and it is best to be proactive. Feel free to seek my help if you’d like a tailored plan to sail through your menopausal years.
Guo, C. et al. (2019). Association of age at menopause and type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies. Primary Care Diabetes. 10.1016/j.pcd.2019.02.001
Yan, H. et al. (2019). Estrogen Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Suppresses Gluconeogenesis via the Transcription Factor Foxo1. Diabetes, 8 (2): 291 DOI: 10.2337/db18-0638
Muka, T. et al. (2017). Age at natural menopause and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study. Diabetologia, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-017-4346-8