Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Menopause: Nutritionists Advise Women

LAGOS - The President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Dr Ignatius Onimawo, has advised women approaching menopause to consult physicians and dieticians for suitable lifestyles. He gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. Reports say that menopause refers to the time of cessation of a woman’s reproductive ability.

It means the end of monthly menstrual cycle and mostly occurs in women between ages 45 and 50.

Onimawo said that menopause was concurrent with a drop in oestrogen production which affected other hormones.

He said that the resultant hormonal imbalance manifested differently in women.

The expert listed hot flashes, weight gain, dry skin, anxiety and bone density depletion as some of the common symptoms of menopause.

According to him, taking or avoiding certain foods can make menopause more bearable.
“It is different for each woman.

“Some experience prolonged bleeding. Such women must first consult a doctor to ensure that it is a symptom of menopause and not something else.

“If the bleeding is menopause-induced, then, the woman is losing iron and needs to incorporate foods rich in iron such as meat and fish into her diet,” he said.

Onimawo urged women in the age of menopause to take enough fruits and vegetables and maintain a balanced diet.

Another nutritionist, Miss Nike Oshinowo, who works at the Gbagada General Hospital, Lagos, advised that women should not wait for menopause to begin before adopting “beneficial eating habits”.

She urged that woman should eat soya beans, legumes and nuts - peanuts, cashew nuts and almonds - which, she said, were rich in Vitamin E.

Oshinowo said,“ Vitamin E is anti-aging.”

She also encouraged women to consume more milk which contained calcium and essential amino acids.

The nutritionist said that calcium would reduce the risk of bone diseases that occurred more as women aged.

Oshinowo said that seafood was also highly beneficial - full of beneficial fats and Omega 3.

She said that these were beneficial to the heart and could prevent breast cancer and hypertension.

She, however, advised women not to abuse the diet options, saying that taking an option in excess was not beneficial.

“For best results, people should not only eat well, they should also live well by shunning a sedentary lifestyle and engaging in exercise.

“Women should avoid loneliness,’’she added.


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