One of the leading health challenges faced by women at menopausal and post menopausal period is chronic inflammation. A lot of things have been attributed to be the causes of chronic inflammation to women at menopausal stages. However, studies have found that the kind of food you eat and how you live your life has many things to say about chronic inflammatory pains during menopausal and post menopausal stages.
What really is chronic inflammation? You may ask. Let’s take a look what chronic inflammation is:
What's chronic inflammation?
Inflammation is one of the major components of the body's immune response. It's a way the body tends to heal itself after an injury and also defends itself in the face of harmful invading bacteria and viruses. The body also uses the mechanism to repair damaged tissues. This means, we can simply conclude that inflammation is a beneficial act of our body because if not for inflammatory responses, wounds would be taking a whole long time to heal up.
However, inflammation is often accompanied with swellings, redness, and most times with pain. Inflammation can be of two types; Acute or Chronic inflammation. Acute happens after a minor injury to the body such as a minor scrape in the skin, a cut, or sprained ankle, and usually lasts for a very short time while Chronic inflammation is usually of long-term effect and happens in conditions with 'wear and tear', such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Many things can be the cause of chronic inflammation in menopausal women, but one of the leading causes is the sudden change in hormonal level during the period.
As the level of estrogen hormone drops during menopause and post menopause period, it's often accompanied with inflammation and discomforts arising from pains in the bones, joints and muscles. Nevertheless, estrogen shortage is not the only culprit for these discomforts.
Some major causes of inflammation.
What type of food do you eat?
If you are the type that bites on lots of junk foods, high sugar, high fat and 'white' processed foods, you may not actually be helping yourself against inflammation because these foods will only aggravate inflammation in the body.
It has also been discovered that the consumption of certain foods triggers inflammatory response in some individuals. The continuous intake of such offending foods will certainly do nothing but ultimately lead to tissue and organ damage.
Common foods that have been found to be associated with inflammation include gluten grains (kamut, oats, rye, wheat and barley), dairy products, corn products, eggs, and yeast, so also are the nightshade family; among which include Tomatoes, eggplants, pepper and potatoes.
Just figuring out what triggers immune response in you, may just be all you need to overcome inflammation; so talk to your doctor for a blood test.
Time to drop some kilo’s
Weight and menopause go together like bread and butter for some women. Adding more weight escalates pains and aches, especially at the joints, not just because of the mechanical effect, but also because of the protein; leptins produced by fat cells which aggravates inflammation.
Going for diets high in brightly colored fruits, vegetables and leafy greens which provides anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory effects, is the best thing you need to do to curb inflammation during menopause.
Many women start having issues with chronic inflammation when they get to their menopausal period. The only thing that could explain this is the drop in estrogen level during this time. The drop of this hormone is often associated with inflammation and inflammatory pain. Estrogen is a hormone having anti-inflammatory effect on the body as it helps the brain to naturally suppress pain.
Therefore as estrogen level drops, different pains and discomforts arising from inflammation begins to show up.
This category includes everything from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and heavy chemicals. These toxins build up in the body aggravating inflammation.
Foods and practices that help combat inflammation in Joints
You may not need to continually empty your wallet every week for drugs and medications to fight those pains arising from chronic inflammation. Below are some tips that could help.
You should keep in mind that much of the pain experienced by menopausal women is as a result of inflammation; so inflammatory diet can help relief the symptoms. Recommended foods include foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids; more fish; fresh fruits and veggies.
More recommended foods are:
Exercise can really be a thing to count on when it comes to strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments that support joints and at the same time helps with weight loss.
Regular exercise inhibits the production pro-inflammatory cytokine. Women, especially menopausal ones need to engage themselves more in regular exercise that incorporates cardio, resistance and stretching.
Some practices like Yoga, tai chi, qui gong and meditation are very practices to be engaged by menopausal women. And since their practices are low-risk practices, then you may want to consider trying one.
It’s also recommended that women consider nutritional supplements to address the changes in their bodies, mood, brain, and energy as a result of menopause. You can opt for the ones that will help to stimulate the body's own hormone production.