Menopause – Part 2

We will continue with our discussion on side effects of menopause. Changes in appetite is a common problem and here are some tips to help.

Appetite ChangesEstrogen controls serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a role in appetite regulation. When estrogen decreases so will serotonin, which may increase food consumption. The solution could be estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). However, ERT may increase your risk for heart disease and should be discussed with your doctor. Some things that may help to control appetite include regular exercise (to increase estrogen levels and for heart health), smoking cessation, and increasing your consumption of phytoestrogens (soy and plant products). Again, this should be done under doctor’s supervision as soy products could increase your risk for some types of cancers that are linked to excess estrogen. Sources of phytoestrogens include: Flaxseed, whole grains, celery, alfalfa, fennel, apples, parsley, nuts, soy flour, soy milk, miso, tofu, tempeh and natto. Also, you should be aware that spicy foods may make hot flashes worse.

Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD