Positive Impact on Menopause from Intermittent Fasting

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural process in a woman’s body when she reaches between 40-50 years of age and changes begin to happen throughout her body (of course, when this happens is determined by one’s individual’s body). The process includes the decline in

the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control a woman’s menstrual cycle and the release of eggs during ovulation. During menopause, the ovaries no longer release an egg every month, and menstruation stops.

Signs of Menopause

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Hot flashes

These are the most common symptoms of menopause, but there are many others. The only way to identify if you are going through menopause is to speak with a gynecologist and have blood levels done. You may need to see an Endocrinologist.

Many women misunderstand, as do many in the medical profession, the symptoms of menopause. During this phase of a woman’s life her body is moving through extreme changes, and other issues may arise with those changes. Without being dramatic, some women develop other conditions and diseases such as heart disease during this process. Because of the weight gain, some “women become sensitive to salt in the diet, which leads to higher blood pressure.”

Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help mitigate some of these symptoms but not all. Sometimes additional medications are required to help women move through this, at times, physically uncomfortable time. Again, speak with your doctor or a knowledgeable person who deals with women and hormones to help you manage your menopause symptoms.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

To understand intermittent fasting, we should first examine the concept of fasting. Many people are familiar with certain religious days that require some form of fasting. That means no intake of food or beverages, though water and black coffee are allowed. This type of fasting is not related to the discussion here. We are looking at a strategic approach to eating and fasting.

Fasting leads to lower levels of Glucose [blood sugar]. In response, the body uses fat instead of Glucose as a source of energy.  After turning the fat into ketones (ketones are a type of chemical produced by the liver when it breaks down fat. The body uses ketones for energy during fasting and exercising.) This shift from Glucose to ketones changes body chemistry in healthy ways.

There are a variety of intermittent fasting schedules, but all fasting schedules include the cessation of food and beverage during certain hours of the day. Before the development of farming, men, and women, who had a wide variety of foods in their diet, might go for long periods without eating. According to a Johns Hopkins dietician, 50 years ago, it was easier to maintain a healthy weight– no computers, no extended hours of watching TV, no sitting in an office chair for hours. And meal portions were smaller. Remember the start of “Super-size it!”

Types of Intermittent Fasting Schedules for both Men and Women

  • 16/8: eight hours of normal eating, 16 hours of fasting
  • 12/12: 12 hours of normal eating and 12 hours of fasting
  • 18/6: six hours of normal eating and 18 hours of fasting
  • 5/2: 5 days of normal eating and two days of eating one meal a day at 500-600 calories per meal
  • Alternate fasting days: one day you eat regularly and the next day you fast
  • 24,36,48,72- hour fasts (these types of long fasts need to be considered with regards to your health, mental condition, and other issues. It is best to consult a physician before engaging in longer fasts)

It should be noted that while doing intermittent fasting, eating periods are to include healthy items and rational portion size– binge eating is not part of this process. Additionally, intermittent fasting is not suitable for everyone’s body: a young child, a pregnant woman, a mother who is breastfeeding, some people with diabetes and blood sugar issues, some who are taking certain medications or those with a history of eating disorders. With regard to medication, a fasting plan that does not interfere with medication can be developed.

What are the Implications of Intermittent Fasting on Menopause?

The symptoms of menopause can be challenging to manage. But intermittent fasting has been shown to help reduce some of these symptoms and can help address some of the medical issues that result from menopause. Intermittent fasting can help a woman lose that menopausal weight. It can help increase insulin sensitivity, “which makes your body better at processing sugar and carbohydrates and may reduce your risk of certain metabolic diseases…[It] can promote the quality of sleep in as little as one week.”

According to a study on the role of therapeutic fasting in women’s health, middle-aged women susceptible to metabolic health disorders benefit significantly from intermittent fasting. Research has demonstrated that fasting reduces inflammation associated with musculoskeletal health, which is “one of the major conducing factors for musculoskeletal disorders: osteoporosis and related fractures…Fasting potentially slows the progression of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Many research studies about intermittent fasting and menopause focus mainly on weight loss. But as we have discussed above, many issues related to female mid-life changes can be positively influenced by intermittent fasting, such as slowing of cognitive decline, reduction in osteoporosis, and reducing the risk of heart disease.

When we speak about a woman’s body, it is essential to consider her health holistically. A woman moving through menopause is not just a woman who has gained weight and cannot lose it. She is not someone who has suddenly and inexplicably fallen into a mood disorder. She is not someone suffering from night sweats for unexplained reasons or tired because she has become lazy. She is a woman who is going through menopause, and her symptoms must be acknowledged and addressed sometimes with medication, always with diet and exercise, and intermittent fasting.

At Androgenix, we can help you determine what is happening with your body. Our caring, knowledgeable staff will be able to help you address your body’s needs and reduce the symptoms associated with menopause.


*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.