Information, Diet Suggestions, and Resources

What is Menopause?

Menopause occurs in middle-aged women when there is an absence of menses  (periods) for at least 12 continuous months. During this time, there is a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries that  permanently haults ovulation and the ovulation cycle. The age that this naturally occurs ranges from 40 to 58 years with the average being about 51 years old. There may be a period of time leading up to menopause when periods are irregular and other symptoms may begin to evolve (perimenopause).

The most common symptom associated with menopause is hot flashes, which  are periods of flushing, sweating, and a sensation of heat that comes and goes. Often they can include anxiety, chills, and feelings that the heart is racing or pounding. Other symptoms include vaginal dryness, burning, or soreness during intercourse. While the episodes of hot flashes tend to go away after about one to two years post-menopause, vaginal symptoms may be a permanent issue but can be managed appropriately by talking with a provider.

The Diet

The hot flashes associated with menopause can be managed with diet modifications. To understand the foods that trigger your hot flashes that can often be hot drinks or meals, spicy foods, or alcohol, keep a food diary. Eliminating triggers can significantly improve hot flash symptoms.  In general, follow a general healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy sources of fats. If you are experiencing constipation, make sure that you are getting adequate fiber and fluids in your diet. The recommended fiber intake for women is between 21-25g per day.


For additional resources on Menopause and recommended diets go to: