As the cliché goes: like a fine wine, things get better with age. But not all the changes associated with aging are comfortable or perhaps even welcome. For most women in their 40s and 50s, the changes associated with menopause eclipse the benefits of no longer having a monthly period and dealing with PMS, cramps, or feminine products. These unwelcome or uncomfortable symptoms often vary individually, but can include hot flashes and night sweats, low energy, irritability and mood swings, and metabolic changes that lead to weight gain. The culprit? A significant and lasting decrease in the body’s production of the primary female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone.
The Hormone Rollercoaster becomes a Lazy River
The body ramps up production of the female sex hormones (and a small amount of the male sex hormone, testosterone) during puberty. From puberty on, females are subject to a constant fluctuation in both estrogen and progesterone levels, when one is high the other is lower, and these levels change throughout one’s menstrual cycle. Levels of these hormones also rise significantly during pregnancy and continue to vary while breastfeeding. Despite these variations, the levels of both hormones remain relatively high. But things suddenly change during peri-menopause. This transition period into menopause is when the ovaries begin to make less estrogen, and the appearance of menopausal symptoms at the end overlaps with a sudden dramatic decrease and drop in estrogen levels, signaling the onset of menopause.
During menopause our metabolism slows down, and energy levels fall in response to low levels of estrogen and progesterone. Less energy combined with a slower metabolism contributes to changes in body composition and weight gain experienced by many perimenopausal and menopausal women. It’s no wonder that these body changes, combined with a lack of estrogen in the brain, also produces changes in mood, contributing to increases in stress, irritability, anxiety, low energy, and mental fogginess. A revised lifestyle that includes intermittent fasting can have numerous benefits for perimenopausal/menopausal women. While not a replacement for medical intervention if symptoms are severe, lifestyle changes like intermittent fasting may have benefits for some menopausal symptoms. On its own intermittent fasting has been shown to increase energy, stabilize mood, improve body composition, and reduce blood sugar levels, providing a powerful tool with numerous benefits for perimenopausal/menopausal women. The positive effects of intermittent fasting can be best understood (at least in part) by first better understanding how our hormones assert control over our metabolism. As your body’s production of estrogen and progesterone slows down and stops, building a new healthy lifestyle with intermittent fasting can help you adjust to your body’s new rhythm, and regain control over your body and mind during a period of change and transition.
Hormones: Multiple Conductors in a Single Orchestra
Intermittent fasting can help with adjusting to your body’s new hormonal rhythm. As you enter menopause, the decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone at first feel like losing the first chair violin and second chair trombone in an orchestra. Their part’s may not be essential to the performance of the piece, but you notice that something seems off. That is because hormones act in concert with each other to maintain and regulate a stable environment for optimal functioning of the body’s individual components: the organs, tissues, and cells. The absence of these hormones disrupts the harmony of the body’s regular hormonal rhythm, causing a shift in the remaining hormones’ control across a wide range of biological functions, including regulating appetite, metabolism, and controlling blood sugar (glucose) levels. Notably, menopause has negative effects on the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels, posing a greater risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. The lack of estrogen causes a reduced sensitivity to insulin, a critical hormone involved in regulating blood sugar levels.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in response to high levels of glucose in the blood. Blood sugar levels increase after eating as the stomach breaks down foods (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) into a form of energy that the cells of the body can use i.e., glucose. As glucose levels rise in the blood, circulating insulin levels also increase. Insulin’s primary purpose is to shepherd glucose into our body’s cells to use for energy immediately. As glucose is taken up from the blood with insulin into the cells, levels of both insulin and glucose fall to lower levels. Eating several times throughout the day means that the insulin response occurs multiple times, thereby limiting the opportunities for insulin to return down to low levels. If the amount of energy being spent (e.g., exercise or general activity) is less than the amount of energy being consumed (i.e., food and beverages), the body stores the excess glucose away in fat cells for later use. Consistently high levels of insulin can lead to a decreased response by the body’s cells to insulin, contributing to problems regulating blood sugar and the negative health effects of elevated and sustained high blood sugar levels. These conditions can predispose an individual to become pre-diabetic and lead to type-2 diabetes.
How does intermittent fasting help regulate blood sugar?
Let’s first talk about a period of fasting you already do nightly that shares many of the same benefits. A normal night’s sleep by default creates a ‘fasting period’ that allows the body to regulate metabolism and blood sugar levels. Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and wellness. While we sleep, our hormones perform an elaborate concerto, with the levels of various hormones increasing and decreasing throughout the night to help restore and repair our body. This hormonal rhythm helps support metabolism and reduces insulin to low levels, which is necessary for healthy maintenance and control of blood glucose. Unfortunately, many of us do not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, which can interfere with this finely tuned hormonal symphony. Introducing intermittent fasting into one’s lifestyle can introduce some of the ‘fasting’ benefits associated with sleep in regulating blood glucose, especially if getting more sleep proves to be a challenge. Which is often the case for menopausal women, who experience poor or disrupted sleep.
Adapting an intermittent fasting schedule that compliments your sleep cycle can help facilitate improved control over blood sugar levels by creating a period where insulin levels remain low, biasing your body to use energy stores for fuel, and preventing insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting decreases fasting glucose levels, the baseline blood sugar level that is measured by doctors to get a picture of an individual’s glucose metabolism. Since fasting increases insulin sensitivity (which is good!), this can help counteract the insulin resistance that can occur during menopause, where cells become less responsive to insulin and do not take up sugar from the blood. Additional benefits of intermittent fasting for menopausal symptoms include improved mood, greater self-esteem, and better-quality sleep. While the benefits of intermittent fasting alone may help alleviate the negative symptoms of menopause, Temper’s Citravarin fasting mints have additional benefits when combined with an intermittent fasting plan.
With all these great benefits from intermittent fasting for menopause, how does one get started? The choices can be overwhelming: from different variations on the 16/8 method1,Where you fast for 16 hour a day, and therefor eat during an 8 hour daily window to the more extreme styles like OMAD2Short for eating only “One Meal A Day” which means fasting for almost 23 hours every day. or ADF.3Short for “Alternate Day Fasting,” which means eating every other day. Take a deep breath and realize it can be very simple. You only need to make small initial changes in your daily lifestyle. Do you sleep normally from 11pm to 7am? Guess what, that is already an 8 hour fast! You are rocking it! To make it to 12 hours, simply try not eating in the 2 hours before bed and the first 2 hours in the morning after waking up (9pm to 9am). From there, you can slowly challenge yourself to push your first meal of the day back, from 9 am to 11am, noon or even 1 pm. Pushing this first meal back can extend your fast period anywhere from the initial 12 hours to 16 hours (or more!). The best part? You do not need to stress about making major changes to what you eat.4No ‘diet’ food! Although a balanced and healthy diet is still recommended.
Keep in mind that building a healthy lifestyle succeeds most when you choose habits that complement and work with your life. If you look forward to lunch with your friends every Wednesday at noon, keep your lunch date! Keep the meals in your life that are important to you socially and skip the meals that you will not miss out on. Build your intermittent fasting schedule around these existing social dates, by developing new habits that work with you and not against you. Most importantly, don’t stress about perfection. If you eat earlier one day because the hunger pains are agonizing or skip it on a weekend because of a family event, it’s okay. Be kind to yourself and let us help you achieve your goals with Temper’s Citravarin fasting mints. Not only can Temper’s Citravarin fasting mints help support an intermittent fasting lifestyle, but the active cannabinoid in Citravarin itself has positive benefits for menopausal women.
Supporting a healthy lifestyle
Temper developed Citravarin to help people stick to their intermittent fasting routine and improve metabolic fitness. Citravarin fasting mints contain tratrahydrocannabivarin (that’s a mouthful, just call it THCV for short), a cannabinoid that is non-psychoactive and binds to the endocannabinoid receptor CB1 and suppresses activity of this receptor. So, unlike the increased appetite found with its naughty cousin THC (which activates this receptor, producing the “munchies”), THCV blocks activity of this receptor in the brain to produce a decrease in appetite and increase in energy metabolism. But this receptor is not only involved in appetite. It also appears to play a role in glucose metabolism. A recent study reported that THCV helped reduce fasting glucose levels (good!) compared to placebo, improving glucose metabolism and appetite suppression. A separate study showed that blocking activity of the CB1 receptor increased bone mass and prevented bone loss that occurs from loss of estrogen production. This suggests that THCV may support bone health, a noteworthy benefit for women of menopausal age with concerns about bone density. Taken together, THCV containing Citravarin fasting mints have additional benefits for users of menopausal age, which when combined with an intermittent fasting routine, may help to reduce blood sugar, increase energy levels, and even support bone health. The best part of all? Temper’s Citravarin fasting mints derive their THCV from citrus fruits, meaning that they are naturally derived and completely cannabis and hemp free.
Ready to improve your mood by sticking to your intermittent fasting plan, reduce cravings, feel energized and boost your self-esteem? Choose to savor the benefits of Temper’s Citravarin fasting mints to sustain your fasting goals, reduce cravings during your fast, and boost energy levels. Remember, natural changes in your body as you age can require you to adjust and adapt your otherwise already healthy lifestyle for a new life stage. Let us be there to help you succeed and try Citravarin fasting mints.