It’s no secret that girls in center age are the brand new goal of the wellness and food regimen industries, and as a dietitian, I’ve had nearly sufficient of it. No extra shady menopause diets!

With extra disposable revenue, increased stress ranges, and a way of urgency and anxiousness round their altering our bodies, we’re the right demographic to purchase into the narrative that menopause is one thing to be ‘fastened,’ and the disgrace that we’re offered round our evolving look.

I’m constantly listening to lots of myths about menopause and girls’s our bodies which might be being instructed with a purpose to promote services and products. Listed below are a few of the most typical ones, why they’re incorrect, and the reality that girls must know.

Menopause Fantasy #1: menopause is a hormone deficiency. All menopausal ladies must be on hormones.

Let’s sort out this one instantly, as a result of I do know of at the least one well-known menopause ‘skilled’ who’s insisting that that is the case.

Menopause is a really regular physiological state that outcomes from the lower of hormone manufacturing by the physique. 

A ‘deficiency’ of something in our our bodies tends to imply that we require remedy – often substitute or supplementation – of no matter it’s we’re poor in. It implies that menopause is a illness or an irregular state, which is inaccurate. Do pre-pubescent women have a hormone deficiency, too? How about pregnant ladies? Are they affected by an estrogen overload?

A current editorial in The Lancet describes how corporations (and I’m going so as to add, sure menopause docs who’ve standard books and huge followings) co-opt feminist narratives and the idea of ‘empowerment’ to promote merchandise, all of the whereas convincing ladies that menopause is a illness.

The framing of this pure interval of transition as a illness of oestrogen deficiency that may be eased solely by changing the lacking hormones fuels unfavourable attitudes to menopause and exacerbates stigma. Moreover, appropriation of feminist narratives by business organisations, which place use of menopausal hormonal remedy (MHT) as a method to empower ladies to regain management of their our bodies, whereas downplaying dangers, additional endorses the framing of menopause as a illness.

I’ve mentioned this many, many occasions within the remark part of social media posts by sure ‘menopause gurus’ promoting misinformation and this ‘empowerment’ agenda to hawk their newest food regimen guide, however I’ll say it once more:


Whereas menopausal hormone remedy is useful to many ladies, different ladies both don’t discover profit or can’t take hormones in any respect.

This 2022 joint place assertion by the British Menopause Society, Royal School of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology describes greatest practices for the administration of menopausal signs. As a dietitian (and a lady in menopause), I believe one of the vital necessary statements in all the doc is that this one:

All ladies ought to have the ability to entry recommendation on how they’ll optimise their menopause transition and the years past. There must be an individualised method in assessing ladies experiencing the menopause, with explicit reference to way of life recommendation, food regimen modification in addition to dialogue of the function of interventions together with HRT.

The administration of our our bodies is as much as every of us, and may embrace a two-sided dialogue with our healthcare suppliers. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resolution to menopausal signs, and we aren’t all the identical!

Menopause Fantasy #2: Pellets/pure hormone therapies are higher than ‘artificial’ ones.

The Attraction to Nature fallacy is all over the place within the Wellness business, and it does a full-court press to persuade menopausal ladies that ‘Huge Pharma’ is all dangerous and that prescribed drugs like MHT are ‘dangerous.’ This narrative usually accompanies content material pushing ‘pure’ alternate options like hormone pellets, natural dietary supplements, and various therapies (espresso enema, anybody?)

Amanda Thebe, health skilled, speaker, and creator of Menopocalypse (I extremely suggest this guide! You should purchase it right here), says, ‘compounded hormones could also be combined with sawdust and mouse sh*t.’

She’s proper, however that isn’t stopping ladies from utilizing them. She explains the reasoning right here:

The time period bioidentical has been offered to ladies as a extra pure means of taking hormones for his or her menopausal signs, when in truth that is simply advertising jargon. Bioidentical signifies that the hormones are comparable to those who the physique produces, and could be both regulated or unregulated. 

When a hormone is compounded, it’s usually upsold as being personalised for the person or extra pure than “Huge Pharma” manufactured hormones. The assertion is fairly ironic contemplating all of the hormones are from the identical manufactured supply and are in truth regulated.  

The medication are then combined by compounding pharmacies, or utilized by pellet corporations like BioTe to create new formulation. By doing this the dosage, security and efficacy of the preparations can’t be assured and truly pose a public well being concern, based on Nationwide Academies of Science Engineering and Drugs.

In case you’re contemplating hormones, please use solely permitted manufacturers prescribed by respectable well being professionals.

Menopause Fantasy #3: fasting is the one means for ladies in menopause to shed pounds.

I do know that this will come as a shock, however there isn’t any particular menopause food regimen. 

We do must pay explicit consideration to sure vitamins in midlife, resembling protein and fibre, however so far as weight reduction, there’s no magic bullet.

There are, nevertheless, lots of people (together with licensed physicians) who’re promoting food regimen applications and books geared toward serving to menopausal ladies shed pounds. What I’ve seen from most of them is that they’re often some kind of mixture of low-carb consuming and intermittent fasting. 

The gross sales pitch nearly at all times entails claims that the routine is an ‘straightforward’ resolution to all of our hormone and physique points, however it is a large crimson flag.

To start with, for lots of girls, a low-carb food regimen is hard to maintain just because it’s restrictive. Combining it with a fasting routine is much more difficult, and I consider lowers the likelihood for long-term adherence. Above all else, it appears extreme and punishing to make use of two strategies of meals restriction to fulfill a weight reduction aim.

Whereas fasting can lead to weight reduction, it’s merely a technique of slicing energy. Going for prolonged durations with out meals has no well being advantages by itself; enhancements in metabolic well being could also be a results of weight reduction attributable to fasting, not fasting itself.

As a dietitian, I take main situation with the messaging {that a} particular food regimen is the one means for anybody to shed pounds, or that it’s one thing of a holy grail for weight reduction. It’s not. Some ladies can’t quick, and a few don’t need to. For some ladies, it’s downright harmful. 

Mary Claire Haver’s Galveston Weight loss program (learn my Galveston food regimen assessment right here) and Mindy Pelz’s Quick Like a Woman (learn my Quick Like a Woman assessment right here) are each plans that truthfully, I believe convey the incorrect message to ladies about how they need to be consuming and treating their our bodies.

I additionally need to warning you about any weight reduction plan that’s touted as being ‘straightforward.’ Why we weigh what we weigh is commonly very complicated and multifactorial. A plan to shed pounds must acknowledge and handle these complexities, which could be completely different for everybody. It also needs to sort out the emotional aspect of our relationship with meals and our our bodies, however that not often occurs with business diets/weight reduction plans.

Inform individuals {that a} plan is ‘straightforward’ solely units them up for disgrace in the event that they discover the plan too troublesome to take care of and/or don’t lose the burden they’re anticipating. 

Menopause Fantasy #4: Center-aged ladies can ‘get their physique again.’ 

Nature dictates that our bodies change all through the life cycle. We don’t count on to look 16 after we’re 30, so why would we consider that it’s doable – and fascinating – to look 30 after we’re 50?

Your complete idea of sustaining a youthful, contemporary physique all through our lives not solely flies within the face of physiology; it’s additionally patriarchal. 

Thanks, however no thanks. Why are ladies in Western societies topic to the shaming round our growing older our bodies, however in different elements of the world, menopause is taken into account to be a rebirth, or time of energy and freedom?

How did we go so incorrect? 

Oh yeah. The traditionally male-dominated medical occupation, coupled with our tradition’s concern of loss of life, and the notion that growing older females are now not ‘helpful’ or enticing. 

No marvel so many people see our growing older our bodies as one thing to ‘repair’ or disguise. 

The gross sales pitches that prey on the tousled expectations for ladies’s our bodies are on full show with ‘hormone diets’ like Metabolic Renewal (learn my Metabolic Renewal assessment right here) and the Quick Metabolism Weight loss program. (Learn my Quick Metabolism Weight loss program assessment right here)

There are utterly unproven dietary supplements from corporations like Higher Physique Co. (they promote Provitalize) or Comfortable Mammoth, whose total gross sales plan depend upon womens’ anxieties and discomfort with their altering our bodies.

Learn my Provitalize assessment right here, and my Comfortable Mammoth assessment right here.

I really feel like (one other) dishonourable point out ought to go to Mary Claire Haver’s The Galveston Weight loss program, Mindy Pelz’s Quick Like a Woman, and principally something by Sara Gottfried, for implying that girls’s our bodies ought to look younger endlessly, and that it’s okay to undergo to realize that.

Learn my Hormone Reset food regimen assessment right here.

Menopause could be a time of nice power and exploration. We should not have to reduce ourselves bodily or emotionally to fulfill another person’s thought of what we should always seem like or how we should always ‘be.’

If in case you have menopause-related signs which might be interfering together with your life and well-being, please see your physician. Not glad with the care you’re getting? The North American Menopause Society has a ‘discover a menopause practitioner’ search on their web site, as does the Menopause Basis of Canada.

Listed below are a few of my favourite Instagram accounts and books for correct menopause info:

Dr. Jen Gunter @drjengunter The Menopause Manifesto

Amanda Thebe @amanda.thebe Menopocalypse

Dr. Annice Mukherjee @the.hormone.doc The Full Information to the Menopause

Elizabeth Ward, RD and Hillary Wright, RD @menopausedietplan The Menopause Weight loss program Plan

Dr. Jen Huber, ND, RD @menopause.nutritionist

Dr. Amy Louis-Bayliss, Dr. Woganee Filate, Dr. Sarah Shaw @itsourtimecanada

Additionally stay up for these two on-line menopause and well being websites:

Pauz Well being @pauzhealth

Nyah Well being @nyahhealth

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