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  • Anne Mullens

March webinar: Therapeutic nutrition in the perimenopause years

How do insulin resistance and inflammation contribute to the symptoms and hormonal transitions around menopause? How can health providers best help their female patients with therapeutic nutrition, and other tools, as they make the menopausal transition?

These and other questions will be addressed in the March 11 IPTN webinar: Perimenopause, Menopause, and Women's Health: Can Therapeutic Nutrition Help?

The webinar presenter is Dr. Andrea Salcedo, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loma Linda University Health. Dr. Salcedo practices full-scope obstetrics and gynecology but now a large part of her practice involves root-cause investigation into the development of gynecologic disease, particularly as the result of underlying, sub-optimal metabolic health. Dr. Salcedo also has a popular YouTube Channel, “The Conscious Gynecologist.”

Dr. Salcedo notes that at the time of perimenopause and menopause, insulin resistance and inflammation increase in almost all women. In addition, women who have worse metabolic health to begin with (i.e. already existing insulin resistance and inflammation) during this time, may have more severe vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

Don’t accept the attitude “there’s nothing you can do”

“One of the most important points of information for both women and their care providers is to get away from the existing fatalism of menopause, the common thinking that there is nothing that can be done about it and it's just a transition that needs to be endured,” says Dr. Salcedo.

“When women and care providers understand the underlying pathophysiology, they can then understand the role lifestyle can play. Lifestyle should always be the first line treatment, in particular, to reduce insulin resistance and inflammation.”

The 90-minute webinar will cover the definition of menopause (surgical vs natural vs premature) and the related symptomatology including hot flashes, changes in hormones, changes to fat distribution as well as the underlying pathophysiology. Dr. Salcedo will summarize the anthropologic (evolutionary) perspective on the experience of menopause  and teach the standard of care for the treatment of symptoms related to menopause. Finally, Dr. Salcedo will suggest lifestyle modifications that can treat related symptoms.

Finding the best solutions for each patient

While therapeutic carbohydrate reduction is one way to reduce insulin levels and inflammation, it is not the only action and may not be appropriate or realistic for every woman. “The doctor has to work with the patient closely to examine every single aspect of the patient’s life and find the best solutions that work for the patient. It may not be just to look at what they are eating, but to look at their sleep, or stress, or night-shift job.”

Dr. Salcedo notes that research shows women who have gynecological and reproductive issues like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, and endometriosis, have higher rates of cardiovascular disease in post-menopause. She notes that the uterus should be considered an “end organ” that shows metabolic damage just like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

“Instead of looking at women’s gynecological problems as just a female problem, we should look at them as metabolic problems that show up in the uterus. We are talking about microvascular disease.”

Insulin is higher in women with abnormal uterine bleeding

Dr. Salcedo has recently finished a case-control study which she will discuss during the webinar. She took a cohort of women with abnormal uterine bleeding and compared them to age-matched controls. Insulin levels in the women with dysfunctional bleeding were significantly higher than the controls, as were other measures of inflammation and metabolic dysfunction.

“I am excited to share these results because this is the brand-new data that has not been collected before,” she said.

The webinar takes place at 5 pm Pacific time on Monday, March 11. There will be ample time for questions and the session will be recorded.  

Register here                                   


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