How Chocolate Craving in Perimenopause Results in Weight Gain

Menopause and Chocolate
Menopause and Chocolate

Before menopause, many physical changes take place during a transitional period known as perimenopause. This transitional period can last from 4 to 8 years and usually takes place anywhere between the ages 40 and 51. The usual symptoms of perimenopause are hot flashes and night sweats. Another common symptom women notice is weight gain. While weight gain in perimenopause can partially be attributed to the fluctuating hormone levels, other factors such as dietary habits such as frequent chocolate consumption also play a great role in perimenopause weight gain. If you’ve been experiencing noticeable weight gain lately and are a victim of frequent chocolate cravings, we offer some explanations these cravings may be influencing your weight.

Why women crave chocolate

First of all, we need to understand what exactly are chocolate cravings. Food cravings refer to an intense desire to eat certain foods, and in this case, this food is chocolate. Food cravings are extremely common with 97% of women and 68% of men reporting food cravings at some point in their life. Food cravings are commonly associated with either nutritional deficiencies or low mood. Chocolate as a food is high in magnesium which is why it was proposed in one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association to be due to magnesium deficiencies. However, there are plenty of other foods with a higher magnesium content but that do not cause such cravings which is why this same study concluded that the combination of taste, nutrients, psychoactive ingredients, hormonal fluctuations, and mood cause chocolate cravings in women.

Hormones and the perimenopause

Menstruation during perimenopause become irregular due to fewer follicles being released from the ovaries and a decrease in estrogen according to an article published in Menopause. The decline in estrogen levels can lead to mood disorders in perimenopausal women as hormones play a large role in the regulation of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Furthermore, these same hormonal changes can in themselves lead to unpredictable weight gain and changes in body composition which can be mitigated with the right menopause treatments such as hormone replacement therapy.

Chocolate cravings and mood

Since women are vulnerable to both weight gain and mood problems during the menopause transition, this could indicate that their chocolate cravings may increase in frequency due to lower levels of estrogen and that they will more easily gain weight at this time in their life as well. One bar of dark chocolate contains as much as 605 calories. Milk chocolate may provide even more calories because it is higher in sugar and fat content. Premenopausal women usually experience chocolate cravings before and during their period. But perimenopausal women don’t have predictable cycles and their food cravings might last even longer due to lower estrogen levels. This might result in a lower overall mood for greater periods of time in the perimenopausal woman which might cause her to have chocolate cravings more frequently.

Other factors
While fluctuating hormones may lead low mood and higher chocolate intake by perimenopausal women, others believe that our habit of regulating our emotions with candy might stem from our cultural background. Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, explains in Psychology Today that American women, in particular, are more prone to chocolate craving because their culture encourages the idea of chocolate as comfort food in times of stress. This notion was further confirmed in a study on the prevalence of chocolate cravings in women of different cultural backgrounds. The study which was published in Appetite found that up to 60% of American women claimed to have chocolate cravings before their periods in comparison with only 24% of Spanish women. Besides chocolate, other ways you could find relief from perimenopause mood swings is with specially designed menopause product.

Chocolate as addictive but fattening food

Since hormones are not the only cause of chocolate cravings in perimenopausal women, we have to ask what other factors lead to chocolate cravings and weight gain during this period in a woman’s life. Another factor that may play a role is addiction. Relying on chocolate to boost your mood with its high carbohydrate content may cause addictive behavior. This was found to be true in a study on mice which found the mice exhibited behavioral and physical changes in response to sugar consumption.

Perimenopause is a period when many physiological and emotional changes take place. The fluctuating hormones and their effects on a woman’s mood may lead to more frequent chocolate cravings. Since chocolate is highly caloric and since women gain weight easily during this period of their life, chocolate cravings can easily cause unpredictable weight gain. While it may be easier to ask your physician to prescribe medicine for joint pain relief ,for instance, it is also important you address mood problems especially if you are a woman going through menopause in which case your physician may suggest products like Brisdelle.

Author Bio:

Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and live in Wasilla, Alaska. She always like to explore her ideas about health, fitness and  beauty . In her recent period ,she got an opportunity to explore best skin brighteners. She has experience researching as a passion as well as profession. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Is Hormone Therapy the Best Treatment for Menopause?

Is Hormone Therapy the Best Treatment for Menopause?


Panic attacks and the menopause
Panic attacks and the menopause

Hormone therapy is among the best treatments for menopause. It involves administering a therapy containing female hormones that replace the ones that the body no longer makes after menopause. Menopause is a natural body occurrence that takes place both in elderly women and men. In women it happens in an earlier stage as from the age of 40 and above while in men it begins at 60 years. Menopause comes with symptoms that can be difficult to handle since they can become severe. Some of the symptoms are joint pains accompanied by arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, mood swings, and lack of appetite among others. It can be easy to handle these signs if you prepared earlier for them or if your body has high immunity. There are varieties if treating menopause symptoms such as the hormone therapy, exercise and proper feeding.

Benefits of hormone therapy to the treatment for menopause

These benefits depend on whether you use symmetric h hormone therapy or low dose vaginal preparations of estrogen.

  • Low dose vaginal products have the best menopause supplements that effectively treat urinary tract infections and also vaginal symptoms such as dryness.
  • Hormone therapy rich in best menopause supplements that help to stabilize blood pressure and increase body immunity hence the body is able to fight any symptom or disease attack.
  • Systemic hormone therapy contains best menopause supplements that help the most stubborn symptom known as hot flashes. This therapy prevents excessive sweating during the night and also allows peaceful sleep. It gives solution to insomnia patients.
  • Hormone therapy maintains the body performance without bringing to a stop any body process brought about by menopause. Due to the best menopause supplements in the hormone therapy, the body is able to remain active and increase in immunity.
  • Decreased tooth loss and lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Lower death rate of women who take hormone therapy at 50’s
  • Reduce joint pains and diabetes
  • Hormone therapy is said to have the best menopause treatments hence has the ability to improve mood swings and stabilize them as time goes.


Menopause and Body Changes – What You Need to Know


Latest Reviews on hormone therapy as the best treatment for menopause

  • Hormone therapy is so beneficial since it allows peace of mind during the process of menopause. The following are the risks that come along with it: breast cancer, stroke, blood clots, and heart disease. This hormonal therapy makes it difficult for the mammogram to detect breast cancer.
  • The latest review reveals that not every woman should consider hormone therapy due to the negative effect. If you need a hormone therapies consider the following qualifications:
  1. If your menses ended before you gained 40 years i.e. early menopause/premature menopause.
  2. If you are experiencing severe hot flushes or any other disturbing menopause system.
  • If you have tried the best menopause supplements one of them is Menopace and they have failed
  1. If you are experiencing rapid bone mass loss.
  • In the latest review is stated that menopause has cause loss of body immunity in many women. This is because by trying to deal with menopause symptoms they acquire other health problems. If a woman got her ovary removed at an early stage, she is at very great risk if she can try hormone therapy. The following are some of the related risks: early death, anxiety, coronary heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis.
  • These reviews gave the advantage of early menopause to be related to breast cancer. Whereby any woman who experienced early menopause i.e. at the age of 30 to 40 is at lower risk of breast cancer. They do not have to take the best menopause supplements since their immune system is still high. It can be able to deal with any disturbing health problem without getting weaker.
  • Featured in the latest reviews the women who take hormonal therapy reap more benefits than risks. This is because the best menopause treatments are involved in the therapy hence will always give a positive result.
  • Hormonal therapy does not treat heart disease.


It is wise to consult your doctor on whether to take hormonal therapy or not since your body hormones may react negatively. Prepare for menopause in advance in order to have an easy time during the process. You can buy a fan that will help you have fresh air in order to reduce excessive sweating at night. You can also talk with a gym instructor to help you perform exercise that will boost your joint activeness and reduce pain. Have prior knowledge in relation to hormonal therapy so that you can be able to deal with some of the body changes and reaction after the hormonal therapy is performed.


About the Author

Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, she likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Get in touch with her on G+, Pinterest and Twitter.

What to eat and what not to eat: Menopause diet

Menopause is one of the major health concerns experienced by women in their early 50’s. Reduced oestrogen levels in the body  cause a number of symptoms such as insomnia, hot flushes, depression to name a few.  The need for hormonal balance is treated by hormonal treatments and supplementation like Estrobalance with DIM.

Diet and the menopause
Diet and the menopause

Estrobalance with DIM balances estrogen levels and promotes healthy estrogen metabolism. Estrobalance contains specially formulate DMI that is readily absorbed by the body to promote hormonal balance. The supplement that is considered safe to use is also known to improve breast wellness and healthy cell promotion in the body.

Aside from hormonal therapy and supplementation, diet planned to address specific nutritional requirements of menopausal women is known to alleviate symptoms of menopause.

Eat healthy to manage symptoms

  1. Night sweats and hot flashes

One of the most common and dreaded symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flushes can be effectively managed when the following dietary suggestions are followed:

What to eat

  • Diet consisting proteins, healthy fats and fibre rich phytonutrients.
  • Pepper, Garlic, strawberries, pasta and moderate amount of red wine.
  • Mediterranean styled diet
  • Plenty of clear water and liquids, fresh fruits and whole grains


What not to eat

  • Junk food that contain unhealthy fats and sugar in high amounts
  • Excessive caffeine, alcohol that may dehydrate the system


  1. Fatigue and weight gain

Hormonal imbalance in the body can cause extreme fatigue and a slow metabolism resulting in accumulation of fat leading to weight gain.

What to eat

    • In general, moderate intake of nutritious food is recommended to combat slow digestion during menopause.

  • Complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal pasta, rice, bread and brown grains can help the body to digest better.
  • Food rich in dietary fibres such as whole grains, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables facilitate digestion and helps menopausal women to manage their weight and energy levels.

What not to eat

  • Processed food that contain unhealthy fat and sugar should be eliminated from the diet
  • Crash diets are not healthy to lose weight.
  • Consuming white bread or rice in excess results in weight gain


  1. Dry and itchy skin

With the onset of menopause women experience dry and itchy skin due to reduced levels of estrogen.

What to eat

  • Food rich in ‘smart fats’ i.e., Essential Fatty Acids. High content of essential fatty acids are found in fish (Salmon/Sardines), fortified eggs, nuts, soy, flaxseed oil and safflower oil.
  • Food rich in Vitamin C such as fresh citrus fruits, vegetables like peppercorns, tomatoes, potatoes, greens etc, can sooth the dry skin.
  • Consumption of water and clear liquid is found to be helpful for dry skin.

What not to eat

  • Excess of caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate the system and skin loses its moisture leading to itchy and dry skin.
  • Unhealthy fats and sugar affect the skin causing acne and dryness.


  1. Irritability and depression

As per a study conducted by Bromberger JT, Chang YF, Kravitz HM and others on  major depression during menopausal transition, it was found that peri-menopausal or post menopausal women were twice or four times likely to develop major depression.

What to eat

  • Food rich in Essential fatty Acids is known to reduce depression and mood swings.
  • Consumption of fresh fruits and plenty of water is known to calm the mind and body.

What not to eat

  • Excess of alcohol and smoking can aggravate mood swings.
  • Excess of caffeine is found to affect sleep patterns and aggravates mood swings and depression.
  • Junk food is addictive and often leads to weight gain causing depression or mood swings.


  1. Bone health

Menopausal joint pain facts are startling. According to a population survey, joint pain was more prevalent in women than men. 41% of Peri –menopausal and 57% of post-menopausal women experienced sever inflammation of the joints.  Menopausal women are at an increased risk of developing Arthritis or Osteoporosis.

What to eat

  • Foods rich in calcium and Iron such as greens are beneficial to prevent bone loss.
  • Beans are an amazing source of calcium
  • Dietary supplementation for Calcium and iron is also advised.

What not to eat

  • Crash diet with unhealthy fats and sugar may deprive the body of essential nutrients to fight bone loss resulting in aggravated symptoms.


A menopause diet is beneficial to fight menopause symptoms.  Aside from nutritious food women can also choose the right dietary supplements from health product reviews to manage the symptoms effectively.




Author Bio

Kathy Mitchell was born and raised in the USA. She has done MA in English literature. She is contributing to consumer health digest since 2011. You can contact her on Facebook and Twitter

Panic Attacks during Menopause – How to Prevent Them?

While symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes are frequently discussed,other symptoms like insomnia, irritability, and panic attacks can occur during  menopause as well. As all women are different, they experience these symptoms differently. For example, menopause symptoms in some women are quite mild while in other women they become severe. In this article, we will discuss panic attacks during menopause and how to deal with them.

Panic attacks – why they happen?

Panic attacks and the menopause
Panic attacks and the menopause

Panic attacks, in general, are known to be one of the most frightening, disturbing and uncomfortable experiences of person’s life. The exact source of anxiety, panic attacks, and even heart palpitations during menopause isn’t quite clear yet.

Although the exact cause of panic attacks isn’t familiar yet, because women are more likely than men to experience panic disorders most frequently during PMS, pregnancy and menopause it is assumed that panic attack has something to do with hormonal imbalance.

In most cases, women start experiencing panic attacks during per menopause, the transition period before the actual menopause. During this time, female hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate dramatically and start to decline.

When women enter menopause, severity and intensity of symptom experienced during that time could lead to anxiety. If left untreated, anxiety leads to panic attacks that can affect person’s wellbeing and even social life.

Estrogen and progesterone act as natural anxiolytics, which means they work together with the anxiety control receptors in your brain to prevent mood swings and cope with stress, anxiety, and panic attacks. Naturally, as the natural production of these hormones declines in menopause, women become more prone to experiencing these symptoms.

However, hormonal imbalance isn’t the only cause of panic attacks. It is believed that occurrence of different factors contributes to panic attacks. For example:

  •     Becoming infertile
  •     Lifestyle changes
  •     Various biological changes
  •     Unhealthy nutrition
  •     Consumption of alcohol
  •     Family history of panic disorder
  •     Stressful situations
  •     Children are leaving home.


Do panic attacks end with menopause?

In most cases, women experience panic attacks during perimenopause and menopause, and the severity of panic disorders decreases in post menopause. However, it is still important to mention that experiencing these attacks varies from woman to woman and while some women don’t experience panic disorders in years after menopause, others do.

For example, Smoller JW, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston conducted a study to investigate the prevalence of panic attacks in postmenopausal women. The study included 3369 postmenopausal women who completed questionnaires about the occurrence of panic attacks in the previous six months.

Findings of the study were published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, and they showed that full-blown panic attacks in postmenopausal women were associated with a history of a migraine, cardiovascular disease, chest pain, etc. Other causes of panic attacks in postmenopausal women were stressful life events and functional impairment.

 Symptoms of panic attacks


  •     Shortness of breath
  •     Chest pain or tightness
  •     Sweating/shaking
  •     Heart palpitations
  •     Hot or cold flashes
  •     Hyperventilation
  •     Nausea/stomach pain
  •     Lightheadedness etc.


Panic attacks prevention


  •     Eat healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that will supply your body with essential components it needs to function properly
  •     Consider taking menopause supplement to avoid missing on essential nutrients. Best menopause supplements are made of natural and herbal ingredients which also decreases chances of experiencing some side effects as well.
  • For example, PM Phytogen Complex is the all-natural supplement that provides your body with substances that mimic the action of estrogen hormone making it easier for you to deal with symptoms of menopause like night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, etc. The product is affordable and can be purchased via the official website and in retail stores as well.
  •     Avoid consumption of alcohol
  •     Exercise regularly
  •     Try out some alternative manners of relaxation e.g. acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation and many others.
  •     Make sure your body gets the recommended dosage of vitamins that will not only protect your overall health but also support you mentally as you go through the menopause.
  •     Avoid or manage stressful situations, find a unique way of relieving stress e.g. listening to music, deep breathing, writing, or even taking a walk.


Panic attacks occur in perimenopause and are experienced in menopause as well. Although some women don’t experience them in postmenopausal period, others do. The exact reason for panic disorders is still unknown, but it’s assumed they occur due to hormonal balance coupled with other factors. Healthy lifestyle and stress management can help you prevent panic attacks.


Author Bio


Meighan Sembrano is an author at Consumer Health Digest. She has a keen interest in writing. She has contributed many beauty related articles in many popular websites. She has done her Mass Communication degree. She now lives in Washington DC. She is a social worker who spends her free time searching about life, healthy, beauty and lifestyles fitness related articles. She is fond of travelling and trekking. To know more about her, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


The menopause and chronic illness – What effect did the menopause and pre-menopause have on your main medical condition?

The menopause and chronic illness
The menopause and chronic illness
A few weeks ago we ran a short blog post on Multiple Sclerosis Heat Intolerance or Uthoff’s Phenomenon. While there has been some interest in the subject there were no comments on the blog until yesterday.

A lady kindly commented “Now add pre-menopause hot flashes, which in PREmenopuase means I get hot hours!! This sucks so bad. It only gets harder.”

The comment really hit home. What really is the impact of the menopause and pre-menopause on the symptoms of a chronic medical condition? Not just multiple sclerosis, of course, but also other related chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis.

Not just that what do women do to help with any exacerbations of their symptoms caused by the onset of menopause? This is the aim of this blog post.

Firstly would it be possible for you to take the poll below so we can assess the percentages of our readers who symptoms are changed (or not) by the meno pause.

Finally it would be great if you could share a bit more in the comments section below. You may wish to consuder the following questions:-

a) What is your main medical condition?
b) What is the impact of the menopause on that medical condition?
c) How did you deal with these new symptoms? How successful were these treatment?
d) What one bit of advice would you give to a women with your medical condition who have just started the menopause?

Many thanks in advance!