Perimenopause Around The World – Food Pharmacy

Katarina Wilk

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Perimenopause Around The World

In one of my first posts I talked about how it is still taboo to talk about perimenopause and that we can hardly confess to ourselves even that something is happening to our bodies. But in fact this is not something that is just happening to your body it happens to all women, all around the world.

I just got the news that my book rights are sold to country number eight which is France. It is already translated to Russian, Finnish, Lithuanian and Croatian and this year you will find it in English, French and Turkish. I am of course very grateful for the fact that my book will be sold all over but I am even more grateful that I will be able to help women all around the world. If publishers from these countries sees the potential in a book about the perimenopause it must mean that there is a demand for information all over. Regardless of where you live. As I said before, some women develop severe symtoms while others seem to sail through this period. But the oddest thing is that the symtoms differ on different continents?

A Polish study shows that the most common symtom in the US is joint and muscle pain. In Australia the hot flashes seem to be the biggest problem and in Africa it’s hard to say. No symtom is worse than the other. In Europe the women suffer mostly of insomnia and depression. And interestingly, women in Asia seem to have less symtoms comparing to other continents.

What is causing these differences? There are a lot of theories but still more research has to be done. Maybe we western women speak more openly about it. Or maybe it’s because of the different diets or the amount of physical activity.

In Africa women walk miles to get water while we in the western world are satisfied with a couple of hours at the gym. But let’s talk some more about the food aspect. We know that women from Asia eat much more soy than we do. Soy is a phytoestrogen that works as our own oestrogen in our body and sometimes you might hear that if you only started to include more soy in your diet your perimenopausal symtoms will disappear.

I believe that it would take a whole lot of tofu to get the same amount in our bodies that Asian women have received since birth. Maybe the intake of soy can help some women but I am not totally convinced that the diet is the biggest reason to why the symtoms differ. I promise that I will dig deeper in this in the future so stay tuned.

As I mentioned before the view of the menopause is different in different countries as well. Looking at the women in India, they view it as a freedom because they finally can live more equally to how men do. The Maya-indians also look forward to their menopause while we western women hardly want to admit that it exists. The research about the differences in the world is still lacking. But what we know confirms that differences exist however, I have yet to see any big studies about what’s causing the differences. What do you think some of the contributing factors are? I would love to hear your thoughts. 

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.



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