by Dr Anna Cabeca
For many of my patients, menopause spells absolute misery. Hot flashes cut into their sleep and create heart palpitations; they frequently feel irritated or “off;” and they often sacrifice their sex life during the transition. Hormonal imbalances like estrogen, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which decline around middle age, contribute to these and other issues. Altogether, these imbalances create a perfect storm for problems with weight gain, mood swings and a crashing libido.
Many patients are surprised to learn that diet and lifestyle choices can dramatically impact menopausal symptoms. Even if a patient is watching calories, a high-sugar diet (and remember: all carbohydrates break down into sugar) can spike and crash insulin levels, which then leads to the storing of fat, exacerbation of inflammation, and the creation of a hormonal-imbalance domino effect.
These hormonal imbalances, coupled with the chronic stress and anxiety that nearly every patient experiences, contribute to hot flashes, while also setting the stage for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Altogether, it can be a dismal picture. Yet after working with hundreds of women going through menopause, I’ve found a solution. It’s a perfect plan I developed to help my patients feel better, reduce their disease risk and help them become the most fabulous version of themselves overall.
5 Ways the Keto-Alkaline Diet Can Alleviate Menopause
by Dr Josh Axe
From my clinical plan came my Keto-Alkaline Diet, which juxtaposes all the benefits of a high-fat keto diet, while keeping the body alkaline to minimize the potential drawbacks of the keto diet.
Among its benefits, during menopause a Keto-Alkaline Diet can help:
Balance hormones. A Keto-Alkaline Diet optimizes insulin, cortisol and other hormone levels so you experience fewer symptoms like hot flashes. If they do occur, they’re usually shorter and less misery-inducing.
Improve brain function. Maria Emmerich, author of Keto-Adapted, says a hot flash is your brain trying to protect itself from starving. One of estrogen’s jobs is to get glucose into your brain for fuel, yet during menopause when estrogen drops, so does its ability to get glucose to your brain. When glucose can’t get into the brain, hot flashes increase while brain health declines. The good news is that ketones can replace the glucose in your brain and other tissues.
A Keto-Alkaline Diet eliminates that glucose problem, reducing or eliminating miserable menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Here’s how it can work:
1. Burn fat. As many patients can attest, weight loss can become a serious challenge during menopause. I’ve found that a Keto-Alkaline Diet optimizes hunger-regulating hormones like insulin and leptin, reduces the hunger-growling hormone ghrelin, and eliminates cravings so you can lose weight and keep it off.
2. Boost sex drive. The Keto-Alkaline Diet is rich in healthy fats, which improves the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. This is especially true with vitamin D, a precursor for your sex hormones. A Keto-Alkaline Diet actually improves my patients’ lipid profile, while helping balance testosterone and the other hormones menopause can knock out of whack. Results: Increased libido and more spark between the sheets.
3. Stabilize energy. Menopause can often leave you feeling fatigued and wiped out. A Keto-Alkaline™ Diet helps maintain steady energy levels because healthy fats provide a clean, efficient energy source to maintain healthy hormone levels, especially when combined with an alkaline diet.
4. Improve sleep. When your diet is filled with sugar and carbohydrates, even those seemingly innocent 100-calorie snack packs can spike and crash your blood sugar, which ultimately impacts sleep levels. Combined with hot flashes, heart palpitations and other menopausal symptoms, your sleep can really start to suffer. A Keto-Alkaline Diet balances blood sugar levels and optimizes hormones like cortisol, serotonin and melatonin to improve sleep and reset your circadian rhythm.
5. Lower inflammation. Chronic inflammation can increase during menopause, sparking unpleasant symptoms like chronic pain and playing a significant role in nearly every disease on earth. My Keto-Alkaline Diet, which combines healthy anti-inflammatory fats (Omega-3 Fats) with alkaline-rich foods, reduces joint pain, back pain and other inflammatory conditions.
The best alkaline foods are: Fresh fruits and vegetables promote alkalinity the most. Some of the top picks include mushrooms, citrus, dates, raisins, spinach, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, summer black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheat grass, broccoli, oregano, garlic, ginger, green beans, endive, cabbage, celery, red beet, watermelon, figs and ripe bananas. Also, Alkaline water and green drinks help you to become alkaline.
My Keto-Alkaline Diet is a two-step process: Before you go keto, I want you to get alkaline.
You needn’t accept hot flashes, low libido, hormonal imbalances and other menopausal miseries. As many patients can attest, my Keto-Alkaline Diet can help you live a healthy, lean, sexually fulfilling and vibrant life.