Can Keto Curtail Menopausal Symptoms?
We know by now that hormones play a huge role in so many things within our body. They can play a role when it comes down to our mood. They can play a role when it comes down to our body composition, our hunger, and a number of other things. We also know now that the Keto diet plays a big role in modulating hormones. This means that if we’re having any shift, or change in hormones, the Ketogenic diet might just be a great way to help level that out a little bit. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo, and today we’re going to specifically talk about menopause, and the effect that the ketogenic diet has on the hormone shifts within the menopause cycle.
What is Menopause?
Simply put, menopause is a shift in hormones, it’s a shift in estrogen where estrogen is reduced, and it’s an increase in follicle-stimulating hormone, and a modulating of the luteinizing hormone, as well. In essence, what that means is follicle-stimulating hormone normally triggers the ovaries to start producing an egg, and the luteinizing hormone therefore allows the ovaries to release the egg. As females age, hormones change because there’s less egg production. The hormones shift to balance out which means that estrogen levels fall, and follicle-stimulating hormones increase. Follicle-stimulating hormones increase because of the decline in estrogen, and progesterone, and it’s trying to ramp up production. Follicle-stimulating hormone ramps up to try and release more of the eggs and try to release more estrogen. But it just can’t because biologically, the body has changed.
The Role of Insulin
As a result of this, we start to see some changes in insulin, and believe it or not, when it comes down to menopause and menopause symptoms, a lot of it actually has to do with insulin. See, lower levels of insulin cause a specific type of insulin resistance, which means that the cells are no longer able to see carbs and insulin the same way that they used to. For example, when someone eats sugar, their body is going to release insulin so that that sugar can get into the cell. If you have insulin resistance, that sugar can’t get into the cell very well. So, as a result, blood sugar remains high. When blood sugar remains high, the body still tries to ramp up more insulin to try to solve the issue. You end up with chronically high blood sugar, and chronically high insulin levels, this is known as hyperinsulinemia.
Nutrition and Metabolism Journal Study
For a woman during menopause or post-menopause, a lot of times there is a big increase in insulin which leads to a bunch of other things. A lot of times there are issues with hormone fluctuations, hunger, and hot flashes, a lot of times the result of insulin issues. Now there’s one study in particular that took a look at women with PCOS. I know PCOS is obviously not the same as menopause, but it has a lot of the same hormones at play. So let’s take a look at what this study said. This study was published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, it took a look at 11 women with PCOS, and what they did in this particular study is they had the women go on a very low carb, ketogenic diet, less than 20g of carbs.
What they found for the women that completed the study was that there were some pretty remarkable results. There was a 12% reduction in body weight, which was great, but there was also a 22% reduction in testosterone. You see, when estrogen levels fall, testosterone can get higher, and we don’t want that high androgenic testosterone activity in a woman, it’s just not the best thing, it can throw off other hormones. Now, additionally, there was a balance of luteinizing hormones and follicle-stimulating hormone. Those super-high follicle-stimulating hormone levels came back down a little bit. Luteinizing hormones balanced out as well. But where things get really interesting is they found there was a 54% reduction in insulin, so the hyperinsulinemia issue started to go away. That’s a huge reduction in insulin. This study started to find that a lot of the symptoms, a lot of the issues that happen hormonally with women as they age, or if they’re going through an issue with PCOS, can directly be a result of high levels of insulin.
The Relationship Between Ghrelin and Weight Gain
Let’s go ahead and let’s break it down a little bit further. When you look at women that are going through menopause, or are post-menopause, they also have a higher level of what is called ghrelin, the hunger hormone, it’s what signals us to be hungry. When a woman has gone through menopause and she has a higher level of ghrelin, there’s a good instance she’s going to have more of an appetite. Therefore, that can lead to weight gain. What’s interesting is that the ketogenic diet has been shown to suppress ghrelin levels. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that took a look at 39 overweight individuals. They found that once the body was producing ketones, the presence of those ketone bodies suppressed ghrelin levels dramatically. So, we can combat, sort of in an indirect way, the ghrelin level increase that would occur post-menopause.
The Relationship Between Insulin and Brain Inflammation
But then, we can take it a step further too. You see, insulin is also fairly inflammatory. When we look at brain inflammation, we look at things like that, we can connect the dots. Lower levels of insulin could mean lower levels of inflammation. But additionally, Beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the primary ketone body, and the ketone body that you’d be measuring with the Keto-Mojo Meter, is going to help modulate inflammation, specifically within the brain. So you hear a lot of women that are post-menopause that note that they have brain fog, or they end up with mood swings, or sometimes hot flashes. A lot of times this is a result not just of the hormones, but of actual brain inflammation that’s occurring simply because of the hyperinsulinemia. Again, if we can combat this in an indirect way with the ketogenic diet, we could be in a great place to help make the quality of life a bit better for those that are suffering with some of these symptoms.
When it comes down to ensuring that you’re in ketosis you should be measuring. You want to use a blood meter so you can truly and accurately note if you’re in that ketogenic state where you’re actually reaping the benefits, and that’s where the Keto-Mojo Meter comes into play. The Keto-Mojo Meter allows you to test your blood ketones at an affordable price, you can always know that you’re on the right track. As always, make sure you’re keeping it locked in here with Keto-Mojo and leave the guess work out of the equation. Leave that measuring to the actual meter. I’ll see you in the next video.