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Training Around the Menopause

In: Science

Submitted By RhysF
Words 1053
Pages 5
After reading and looking into the matter of how the menstrual cycle might effect one's training, I then became more and more curious about the affects of menopause. The more I read into this topic, the more that I realized I needed a little more help from a professional when it comes to perimenopause and how to suggest treatment and training. It was at this point that I decided to do the unthinkable... I turned to the internet!

Whenever I have a supplement related question, the first thing I do is type in on my phone or computer and allow the insanely intelligent minds on the other side of the computer to send me back the examination of the data surrounding whatever supplement I'm interested in. I decided to take this one step further one day and ask Sol Orwell for some advice, outside the scope of supplements, on a good Doctor to talk to about an article on menopause and training. As if it was not cool enough that I was talking with Sol, he then forwarded the message on to Dr. Spencer Nadolsky (just some guy who manages to be the director of while practicing medicine AND looking WAY better than me with his shirt off) who said he would love to contribute. The following is based on an interview that I was fortunate enough to get from Dr. Spencer Nadolsky:

Interview with Nadolsky:
Me: What is perimenopause, menopause, and what are some of the symptoms to look for?

Nadolsky: Menopause is the time in a woman's life where her ovaries stop producing eggs and the menstrual cycle ends and brings on hormonal changes. The average age of Menopause is around 50-51 and 40-45 is the average for women who experience perimenopause. Perimenopause is when you start getting the changes in menstrual cycle and the eggs seem to kind of come and go, leading to the inconsistency in the cycle. Common symptoms to look for are hot flashes, poor sleep, vaginal dryness, fogginess, and irregular periods.

Me: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to dealing with hot flashes?

Dr. Nadolsky: Hot flashes can actually be treated with estrogen or with progesterone which goes to show how women's studies can be tough. Some people you can give a little estrogen and that will fix the hot flashes while some people will experience improvements from progesterone. This process should be very individualized. The randomized control trials is difficult because each woman is different. There is quite a bit of varying data and opinions.

Me: What are your thoughts on Hormone Treatments?

Dr. Nadolsky: Back before I was in medical school there was a time when every doctor added back estrogen was common. Then they found out there were some adverse affects and everyone stopped. They have now found this can be very beneficial if started right when a woman is going through menopause. The problems compound as a woman waits to get treatment. I tend to be on the cautious side when it comes to this. If they are going through the change and aren't experiencing symptoms, I'm not going to give them hormones, but if they are miserable you can change a woman's life with them. I think it should be used in some cases but should not be used in the shotgun method to all.

Me: What are some supplements you recommend during menopause?

***Dr. Nadolsky: The one that a lot of people know about is black cohash. I don't think it works that well, but there is vitex agnus testus (chastetree) which is used more for PMS but can also be used in perimenopausal women. I wish there were more supplements out there that helped, but the only one that I really like is the vitex agnus which I like to use more for PMS and not as much in menopausal women.

Me: What type of diet would you suggest during this time?

Dr. Nadolsky: Just simply exercising and keeping a healthy diet here will help. Ultimately it is staying on a diet that promotes weight loss in a healthy way. Some people do better on lower carbs and higher fat and some do better on higher carbs with lower fat, but the protein tends to be the most important in the caloric deficit. Getting leaner and meaner seems to fix everything. A lot of illnesses and ailments can be addressed by proper training and diet and after you have done this, worry about supplements and further medicine. Sleep is also VERY important.

Me: What are some supplements that you suggest for helping with sleep and alertness?

Dr. Nadolsky: The biggest one is melatonin. Hot flashes will still upset sleep during this time. Lemon balm and magnesium can help during this time as well.

Me: What are some further thoughts you would like to add on this?

Dr. Nadolsky: People do not like to talk about menopause and sometimes will even hide it from their doctor. It is very important to be upfront with your doctor as soon as you think you are experiencing these symptoms. Doctors like to use the lowest amounts of hormones possible as early as possible. There are some doctors who will give testosterone to boost libido as well as increase estrogen but does not have as many studies behind it. For your doctor, it is better to know sooner than later in order to provide help.

Me: Is there any consistency that can be tracked during this time or should a woman be prepared to expect the unexpected?

Dr. Nadolsky: It tends to be erratic symptoms that can be all over the place and this is why it is important to monitor these women when dealing with hormone replacement.

Me: What are some symptoms that a woman should pay attention to that might be confused as normal and they actually need to go see their doctor?Dr. Nadolsky: If you think you are going through change and all the sudden your heartbeat starts going faster or you start losing a lot of weight suddenly, it might be hyper thyroidism and should be checked by a doctor. No matter what, if you are experiencing something that seems to be alarming, make sure you let your doctor know.

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