Every year 1.3 Million Women enter Menopause. Menopause is a natural biological process that signifies the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, typically occurring in their late 40s to early 50s. The transition which comes prior to Menopause, also known as perimenopause, can start a decade before menopause and is characterized by various symptoms that can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Lots of changes happen hormonally during this time and it really is a miracle how these shifts can really leave a woman confused and unable to cope with her own brain and body. During our reproductive years, the ovaries are producing most of the estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. During perimenopause and later towards menopause, the production of sex hormones from the ovaries lessen and are taken over by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are already busy producing cortisol and so now, they have one more important job to do. Most medical professionals will call this “the shutting down of ovaries” but I believe that the origins of this change begin in the brain.

I am particularly interested in this topic as I will be going to Menopause sometime in the next 5-7 years. However, my goal is to make this process as smooth as possible, keeping in mind that estrogen loss can significantly impact the brain, cardiovascular system and bone health. My personal goal is to thrive through menopause and live the next 4-5 decades of my life joyfully never needing to track my menstrual cycles again. A recent study published this year states that by the year 2030, the average life expectancy for a woman will be 91 so women will be spending as much time in their reproductive years as they will be in their menopausal years.

The ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, has gained attention for its potential to alleviate some of these menopausal symptoms, especially when it pertains to the neurobiology of hormone fluctuations. This blog will explore menopause, its symptoms, and how a ketogenic diet may help manage them.


What is Menopause?

I’ve heard all kinds of hilarious metaphors around menopause, one of the most common being “the change”. We are not morphing into aliens, we are just experiencing yet another shift in hormones. Menopause in scientific terms really marks the end of menstrual cycles and is diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual period. Research shows that the average age for Menopause in the United States is 51 and is the mid fifties in Asian countries i.e. Japan and China. Menopause simply marks the end of the reproductive years of a woman’s life.


Symptoms of Menopause

During perimenopause and menopause, women may experience various symptoms, including:

Hot Flashes: Sudden feelings of warmth, often intense, primarily affecting the face, neck, and chest. Some women may generally be warmer in general

Night Sweats: Severe hot flashes that occur at night and can disrupt sleep.

Mood Swings: Emotional instability, including increased irritability, anxiety, and depression. Some women can have their first bout of Bi-Polar depression around mid-life.

Weight Gain: An increase in body fat, particularly around the abdomen.

Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Fatigue: Persistent tiredness and lack of energy.

Vaginal Dryness: Decreased lubrication, leading to discomfort during intercourse.

Cognitive Changes: Issues with concentration, memory lapses, and “brain fog.”

Low Libido-Some women can experience a lack of interest in intercourse during this time and this symptom ties in very closely with stress.

Autoimmune conditions: estrogen related autoimmune conditions i.e. lupus can start during the time of peri-menopause.

There are about 100 peri-menopausal symptoms in the literature, but the above are the most common. It’s important to understand that the brain is in the middle of all these symptoms happening around it. All of the above symptoms start in the brain with the driver being stress, thyroid, gut, heart and ovaries. This is not an individual symptom aetiology but an axis which interlinks all the symptoms with the brain being the biggest driver.


How can a Ketogenic Diet help?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, high-fat diet that aims to put the body in a state of ketosis. For those who are new to this diet, this diet has been researched for 100 years in the management of treatment resistant epilepsy. For those who want to learn about this and want to dig deeper into research, check out the movie “First Do No Harm” with Meryl Streep. This movie details how a child who had over 75 seizures a day, went into ketosis and within 3 days reduced his seizures to none. I am very interested in this because epilepsy meds, depression and anxiety meds and ADHD medications are all used for seizure control. So, wouldn’t it make sense that a diet which has been used for 100 years for brain health, would help perimenopause and menopause?

In ketosis, the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, which can lead to various health benefits, including insulin sensitivity, improved mental clarity, and increased energy levels.


How the Ketogenic Diet Can Help with Menopause Symptoms

1. Weight Management: The ketogenic diet can be effective for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. By reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat consumption, the body is more likely to burn fat for energy, which can help manage menopausal weight gain​.


2. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Menopause is often accompanied by insulin resistance, making it harder to maintain stable blood sugar levels. The ketogenic diet has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes​.


3. Reduced Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Stable blood sugar levels can help mitigate the severity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. Some women report a reduction in these symptoms while following a ketogenic diet​.


4. Enhanced Mood and Cognitive Function: The ketogenic diet provides a steady source of fuel for the brain, which can improve mental clarity, reduce brain fog, and stabilize mood swings. The anti-inflammatory effects of ketosis may also play a role in enhancing cognitive function​.


5. Better Sleep Quality: Consuming healthy fats and maintaining stable blood sugar levels can improve sleep quality. The ketogenic diet helps regulate hormones that affect sleep, such as cortisol and melatonin, leading to more restful nights​.


6. Bone Health: While there are concerns about bone density on a ketogenic diet, ensuring adequate intake of nutrients like calcium and vitamin D is essential. The ketogenic diet can support bone health by reducing inflammation and promoting muscle mass, which helps protect bones from fractures​ .


For this particular reason, I am introducing new packages into my practise for those who are looking to only bring in the ketogenic diet into their world of wellness. These packages will be separate from my other packages which include testing. I will be monitoring blood glucose, blood ketone levels and showing individuals how to weigh their foods based on keto calculators. Once they are familiar with testing and food basics, we will go ahead and adjust their macronutrient needs based on their goals. This involves changing the ratios of fat to protein and carbohydrates but takes a little practise.

For individuals whose packages are coming to an end, I am also going to be offering a one year Nutritional maintenance. This is catered for individuals who would like one appointment a month talking about their nutritional needs, and needing me coaching them through it. Book a call with me to discuss if this option is right for you.

Once again, here is the link for the Keto-Mojo. Using precision testing with a keto Mojo can make the process of moving into ketosis so much easier and effortless.