Can A Carnivore Diet Reverse Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is an important transitional phase in a woman’s life that is often ignored. While it is linked to various uncomfortable symptoms and health risks, your diet may play a significant role in reducing those symptoms.
The carnivore diet is an easy to absorb, anti-inflammatory, and zero-carb diet. It helps to shed weight and maintain hormonal balance. With a carnivore diet, you will be able to balance the microbiome, stop autoimmune reactions, lose fat, increase your insulin sensitivity, and reduce your blood glucose levels. With all these positive effects, can a carnivore diet reverse menopause symptoms? Let’s find out!
What Happens During Menopause?
1. Hormonal Fluctuations During Menopause
Hormones are the chemical messengers in your body that help control physiological processes such as; metabolism, immune system, reproduction, and menstrual cycle. Estrogen and progesterone; are the key hormones that control the reproductive system, menstrual cycle, and fertility in women.
During a Menopause stage, ovarian follicles decline, and they become less responsive. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) will not function properly, creating an imbalance in your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels.
During your perimenopause, your estrogen levels fluctuate rapidly and decline significantly. This leads to some characteristic symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats, mood changes, and menstrual irregularity.
Estrogen plays a crucial role in,
- maintaining a healthy cholesterol level
- promoting bone health
- And in maintaining good brain health
High levels of estrogen cause risks in women’s health, namely:
- Irregular periods
- Increased bleeding in women
- Sudden weight gain
- Excess body fat on hips, thighs, and midsection (aka belly fat)
- Endometriosis and fibroids
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Breast development in men (gynecomastia)
- Poor sleep and insomnia
- Low sex drive
- Breast cancer
- Hair loss
- Cold hands and feet
Estrogen binds with thyroid hormones and interferes with the normal production and utilization in your body. Reduced thyroid hormone production leads to the increased production of estrogen, which causes weight gain and fatigue. Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining blood sugar, thyroid hormone, iron, and calcium levels in your body.
However, as estrogen levels decrease during menopause, the fat level increases in your body and gets stored in the abdomen. Increased fat levels affect your appearance and can make you feel depressed. Decreased estrogen levels have been linked with insulin resistance, heart disease, and other health problems.
Fortunately, by making some diet changes, you can overcome these symptoms of menopause.
2. Insulin Resistance During Menopause
Insulin resistance is a condition when your cells don’t respond well to the insulin and cannot use glucose from your blood for energy. Increased Insulin resistance has been linked with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer.
Variations in the growth hormones can cause insulin resistance. Estrogen regulates the insulin activity in your body; during the menopause stage, estrogen variations can lead to insulin resistance.
During menopause, females are more prone to coronary artery disease(CAD). One of the most common reasons would be decreased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and a rise in plasma insulin levels. This might increase the total body mass and abdominal adiposity during your menopause.
3. Weight Gain During Menopause
Most of the women observe that there is sudden weight gain during and after perimenopause. Lower estrogen levels increase insulin resistance, and higher insulin levels in the blood promote weight gain.
Ghrelin is a hormone produced by enteroendocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract in the stomach. It is also known as hunger hormone that increases in the early stages of perimenopause. Research suggests that low estrogen levels during and after menopause lead to damage of leptin and neuropeptide Y, which helps regulate appetite and weight balance. It results in increased appetite, overeating, and weight gain.
Some studies also suggest that loss of muscle mass and the aging process can slow down metabolism, making you gain weight during menopause.
Carnivore diet for Menopausal Symptoms
Including quality proteins and avoiding empty calories can significantly reduce some of the symptoms linked to menopause. Many women have experienced these positive changes with the carnivore diet. Kelly Keelan has explained in her video how adapting to the carnivore diet helped her through the menopause phase.
Here are the ways a carnivore diet can help to improve your menopausal symptoms:
1. Reduces Insulin Resistance and Increases Insulin Sensitivity:
Menopause can reduce insulin susceptibility, which can hinder your body’s capacity to utilize insulin sufficiently. A carnivore diet increases insulin and other hormone levels so that you do not experience insulin resistance, a rise in blood sugar level, or the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Even if you experience such side effects, it will last for a short duration, and it would be less discomforting. As per the research conducted in this regard, a carnivore diet helps to cure insulin resistance and helps manage blood sugar levels more efficiently.
According to a study, a keto diet or a carnivore diet improves insulin levels and insulin sensitivity in women with ovarian syndromes. Reduced carb intake will decrease insulin levels and help to improve and maintain a balanced state of hormones.
2. Lead to a Healthy Weight-Loss
Experts suggest that a zero-carb diet or a carnivore diet and keto-based diets help in prompt weight reduction.
According to a study, the carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM) of obesity was observed in people who consume more processed and high-glycemic carb foods, leading to hormonal changes. It was seen that there was an increase in the calorie deposition in adipose tissue, increased hunger, reduced energy expenditure, and phenomenal weight gain.
A significant advantage of adopting a carnivore diet is that it reduces hunger and also reduces ghrelin hormone levels. A carnivore diet reduces the hunger-stimulating hormones leptin, reduces your cravings, and thus maintains your physique. A zero-carb, protein-rich diet helps decrease the stomach and visceral fat and reduces triglycerides levels.
Best Low-Carb Foods for Menopause
Fatty fish has a high EPA and DHA content and the long-chain omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Consumption of fatty fish reduces inflammation, lowers triglycerides, improves artery function, and protects your brain health. According to a study, women who were administered omega 3 supplements had a significant reduction in insulin resistance, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers compared with people who did not get sufficient amounts of omega 3.
Lifestyle modifications during menopause.
Staying active and fit is very important during and after menopause. Several studies suggest that regular exercise can relieve stress, boost metabolism, and help in fat burning and the prevention of loss of muscle mass.
According to the study, it was observed that women who were engaged in a six-month program during menopause had a lower hot flash score compared with women who didn’t do regular exercise.
Yoga and meditation are the best-known exercises for relieving stress. Some studies suggest that yoga, meditation, tai chi, and similar mind-body therapies help to improve menopause symptoms such as sleeping issues and weight gain in some women. Yoga is the best exercise for the overall development of the mind and health.
The Carnivore diet offers many health benefits for women during menopause. With increased insulin sensitivity, reduced weight gain, and reduced cravings, the carnivore diet helps to ease some symptoms of menopause.