Menopause Mechanics: Why Do These Peri/Menopausal Symptoms Happen?

  • Hot flushes, night sweats - your brain is having an energy crisis and ramps up adrenaline to flood the body with sugar because it can't access your fat stores to burn fat. A high adrenaline level makes you sweat, as if you'd just run a marathon;

  • Anxiety - high adrenaline creates anxiety which can lead to panic attacks;

  • Heart palpitations - high adrenaline destabilises potassium balance which means the heart can't function properly;

  • Brain fog, depression, memory loss - a starving brain can't function;

    Sandra Ishkanes

'Surgical menopause' linked to poor memory and early-onset dementia

Almost 4,000 women in the UK undergo operations each year to remove their ovaries. The procedure, which triggers the menopause, is often carried out on younger women to prevent cancer.

But now scientists from Toronto University have linked the surgery with a reduction in memory and thinking skills.

Experts fear this may eventually lead to early-onset dementia for many women, and even to Alzheimer's.

How the menopause has given women a new lust for life

The menopause is so often regarded as a negative experience, but it can be a new chapter in which many women find themselves with a new lease of life.

The rush of energy and increased confidence that women can experience can be the perfect springboard for pursuing long-held ambitions or new dreams, whether that's embarking on a new career, taking up a new sport or hobby, or simply taking the time to focus on feeling your best.

Here we speak to women about the greater self-assurance that comes with menopause – and what it inspired them to do.

How Omega-3 Can Provide Relief for Menopausal Symptoms

The therapeutic benefits of omega-3 fatty acids – which are abundant in certain fish oils – have long been known. In the 1950s, upon the discovery that omega-3 improves brain development, cod liver oil was given for free to young children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. In the 80s, scientists reported that eskimos enjoy better coronary health than their mainland counterparts as a result of their fish rich diets. And in 2009, a study published in the Menopause journal suggested that omega-3 helps reduce the frequency of hot flushes in menopausal women.

Iron Builds a Better Brain: Brain integrity is Linked to Iron Homeostasis

Brain imaging and gene analyses in twins reveal that white matter integrity is linked to an iron homeostasis gene.

 Iron deficiency is a well-known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development, but a report out today (January 9) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that even in apparently healthy young adults, variations in iron levels correlate with variations in brain structure integrity.

Nutritional Interventions for Protecting the Brain

More forgetful? Not thinking as clearly? Simple arithmetic coming more slowly? Worried that mental functions are worsening? Are the processes of aging catching up? There is much that can be done to prevent worsening mental functioning and memory loss. For some, memory loss heralds the onset of dementia. Regardless of a person's occupation or social environment, loss of memory is the most feared consequence of aging...

 ...Specific nutritional interventions and nutritional supplements can help to detoxih/and protect individual cells of the brain and nervous system.

Have you got Rushing Woman Syndrome?

Rushing Woman Syndrome is a phrase coined by Dr Libby Weaver and it speaks to the phenomenon that is modern woman: a woman in a mad rush to do everything, and be all things to all people. The woman who is wired but tired, who has the perception that there is not enough time in the day, combined with a never-ending to do list.

Women are now working at work and working at home for their families, doing a frantic double shift with very little rest. This is changing the face of women’s health in such a detrimental way, with stress causing everything from IBS to PMS to menopausal issues.

Sandra Ishkanes

Winter Metabolism - Get It Up and Keep It Up

Winter is creeping up, is anyone else feeling it? A research paper out a while ago showed that more women go through the menopause in the winter than in the summer, which would make sense from an evolutionary perspective.

The summer is a time of abundant sunlight, warmth and calorie dense food which keeps metabolism high to allow for high activity. The menopause is a time when our bodies are switching from using sugar as energy to using fat, and this would be the natural state of being in the winter, when the amount of sugar from fruits and vegetables is low.

Sandra Ishkanes

Menopause Mechanics: 1. Introduction

At least 30 symptoms have been associated with the menopause, ranging from the well known such as hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety and depression, to the less common such as allergies, tinnitus and itchy skin. The default position is that all of these are caused by a decrease in the level of oestrogen and that replacing oestrogen should be the primary therapy in resolving these health issues - whether by HRT or bio-identical HRT, or plant oestrogens such as soya and flaxseed. 

Oestrogen replacement always struck me as an odd way to tackle symptoms - after all, oestrogen going down is our natural state of being which has evolved over millions of years.

Sandra Ishkanes

Menopause Mechanics: 2. It’s Not an Oestrogen Problem. It’s a Brain Problem.

Hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, headaches - what do all these symptoms have in common? They all start in the brain - they are neurological. 

The brain is the control centre of the body and 70% of it is made of fat. It consists of grey and white matter, and is mainly made up of neurons. Neurons are like electrical wires which are insulated with an outside covering of fat instead of plastic. Neurons are responsible for receiving sensory input from the outside world, for sending motor commands to our muscles, and for transforming and relaying signals at every step in between. They form the information superhighway.

Sandra Ishkanes

Menopause Mechanics: 3. Hot Flushes: Overheated and Underpowered.

The hot flush - that sudden feeling of warmth that can leave a woman flushed and drenched in sweat - has long been considered the defining symptom of menopause, experienced by around 80% of women.

The typical narrative around hot flushes is that they last for 3-5 years around the last menstrual period, that every woman follows the same pattern, and that they are all about the decline in oestrogen hence replacing oestrogen -whether synthetic, bio-identical or plant based - is key to reducing their frequency.

So let’s bust these myths.

Sandra Ishkanes