Menopause & Men-O-Pause

andropause hot flash menopause weight Jul 05, 2024
Woman cooling off


“I’m still hot—it just comes in flashes now.”

Kathy was the energetic one, always on the go and happily walking or running most days. Suddenly, around at forty, she noticed a series of ailments from bed spins (vertigo), pains in her lower stomach, hot flashes, thinning hair, weight gain, insomnia, and extreme fatigue. She tried to stay active and follow a low-calorie diet to stave off the unexplainable weight gain, but nothing seemed to help! After lab work, her doctor said, "you are low progesterone and estrogen and appear to be in perimenopause.

Throughout their marriage, Kathy and her husband had been deeply in love and virtually inseparable. But when Kathy after a full year of hot flashes and dizziness, she was in “Men-o-Pause” all right—her sex-drive drove away and left her with a spare tire around her waist. They tried going out for dinner to rev up the mood, but it also meant squeezing into SPANX control tops to fit her clothes. Breathing was difficult already but then with a meal and a glass of wine-the hot flashes poured and so did her husbands flirtatious edge eagerly awaiting home. 

Arriving home, with her mid-section compressed like a twisted balloon, she finally undressed. Catching her reflection in the mirror revealed an hour-glass figure transformed into a substantial baby bump. Now, with melting makeup paired with "the bloat", all of Kathy’s intentions killed the mood. It's not as though she didn't crave for her youthful, fun, sexy side to return, as her eyes filled with tears instead.

Meanwhile, after dinner, Kathy’s husband, infused with wine, continued to pour on the charm, offering compliments despite her melting mascara and swollen red eyes. She couldn’t recall hearing compliments while sitting in discomfort all night compressed in her dress. The difference between their moods now created tension in the bedroom. So many mixed emotions came with Kathy’s changing hormones, compounded with the aging process.

There really ought to be a sign in her bedroom listing menopause survival tips. At the bottom in bold print it would say, “You aren’t alone; I miss her too!”



While not all women experience the same symptoms in menopause, weight change seems to be the most common. However, it might also coincide with lowering activity—a domino effect in the wrong direction. A combination of less sleep, corresponding appetite changes caused by an increase in the hormone ghrelin, plus feeling depressed can alter calorie intake and expenditure. Feeling exhausted makes workouts more difficult. Hot flashes can indicate the fight-flight response is in effect, meaning cortisol levels may be rising too—a formula for weight change.

Menopause usually starts around forty-five to fifty years of age, when female ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. After one year of consecutive missed cycles, you are considered menopausal. Many women experience hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, lower bone density, lower sex drive, mood swings, joint pain, digestive problems, brain fog, and hair loss. Who wouldn’t feel a little depressed? Seeing your body change before your eyes can cause grief. Hormone fluctuations can cause low blood sugar episodes, subsequent mood swings, and sensitivities to caffeine and alcohol as well as dehydration, which can also cause hot flashes and add to the looming depression.

In addition, consuming too much sugar can cause higher insulin levels, then cause low blood sugars, followed by an immense craving for more sugar and corresponding increased weight. A vicious cycle. There is hope, though, if you return to your thoughts; your conscious mind can create calm breathing and better sleeping, along with foods and eating patterns for appetite control.

On another positive note, studies show when women with polycystic ovarian disease or in menopause consume high fiber (low glycemic) diets, they may reduce insulin and blood sugar fluctuations. Lean protein combined with carbohydrates can also lessen blood sugar swings and calorie intakes. Studies also show consuming small, frequent meals can help manage heart disease, diabetes, and digestive diseases, all of which are higher risks in menopause. 


Besides weight gain, the other most common and noted nemesis of menopause is the notorious hot flashes! You’ll know when you walk into the home of a “hot flasher” when you remain bundled in layers and she’s wearing shorts with the heat off in winter. The battle between couples sounds like, “Well, you can always put a layer on. If I strip down anymore, it won’t be PG!” The hot flash rollercoaster comes with an internal inferno eruption, insomnia from an increased anxious mind, damp sheets and restless legs, and exhaustion with a dampened desire to do the extra activity needed to fend off the involuntary weight gain. And this daily vicious cycle has an unknown expiration date, though the average can be up to 10 years long. 

Dehydration can create headaches, cramping, and dizziness, and spark even more hot flashes. As indicated earlier, caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate dehydration and elevate heart rates continuing the progression of hot flashes. It doesn’t mean giving up coffee completely but monitoring your tolerance. A cup of coffee later in the day might have been fine at one time, but on behalf of your sleep hygiene, you may need a new cut-off time, such as 12-2:00 p.m.

Good sleep hygiene is too often overlooked as is walking and/or meditation. Each of these allows the Rest-Digest systems to help offset the Fight Flight reaction from catapulting you into hot flashes.


Better Sleep Tips:

(see my blog on sleep also)

1) A bath with smells of lavender 

2) Drink chamomile tea.

3) High Potassium Foods for possible leg cramp

    -banana, potato, sweet potato, spinach, apricots, tomato sauce or a low-calorie sports drink, especially in hot weather, can also be beneficial.

4) Try a small snack 2 hours before bed (high fiber carbohydrate paired with lean protein)

   -high fiber cereal or whole-grain toast with nut butter and half a banana 

5) Meditation with calm music and or Sound machines or sound machine app white noise

6) Stay cool with fresh air and or a fan (use a dual control heated bed cover to help keep compromises for couples ;))

If you think you have a sleep disorder, consider getting an assessment to rule out sleep apnea, etc.


During menopause, due to lowering estrogen, the risk of heart disease increases. Consuming red wine is linked to lowering heart disease by increasing good cholesterol (HDL), but consider the risk-benefit ratio. The national guidelines for women recommend consuming no more than 1- 2--5-ounce glasses of wine a day. Depending on other risk factors, a glass of wine paired with a small snack, especially if you are prone to low blood sugar, is recommended. Surpassing these guidelines may offset the benefits and add to the risk of dehydration and hot flashes. Consider organic wines if sulfites ignite histamine effects, compounding hot flashes.  A little caution though, this remedy does come with an additional 100-200 calories a serving. 

Although controversial, adding one serving of soy products (tofu or soy milk) to help reduce hot flashes can be helpful for many and worth trying. If choosing soy milk. look for those fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Lowering estrogen can increase the risk of osteoporosis. 

Menopause isn’t the same for every woman, but lower estrogen levels will be common for everyone, causing increased risk for other health concerns. Overall, it is best to increase your Rest and Digest response with walking, more sleep, hydration, less caffeine, lower salt intake, and less sugar while consuming healthy fats and foods high in potassium, fiber, calcium, and omegas. A glass of red wine in some cases and a serving of soy products is also worth considering, as is weight resistance training to stabilize hormones.




Men do experience menopause or andropause. Generally, after forty, androgen and testosterone levels decrease. Symptoms can include diminished sex drive combined with episodes of erectile dysfunction. Often, men too have sleepless nights, fatigue, increased body fat, hair loss, and muscle loss. Whether it is the combination of these symptoms or a symptom of its own making, depression is more likely in men during this phase. Believe it or not, some men even experience hot flashes!

The good news is you can naturally increase testosterone with activities such as weightlifting. A diet high in zinc and vitamin D, and good sleep hygiene can also help. Of course, watching the waistline and eating smaller portions is important, especially since men have a higher risk of heart disease, particularly if they have an apple-shaped abdomen. Vital organs are held in the chest and abdominal cavity, and therefore, added adipose tissue (body fat) in this area can hinder organ functions. On top of this, excessive sitting, stress, weight increase, and specific foods can increase episodes of acid reflux. Although a glass of red wine can help with HDL cholesterol levels, consider the added calories from alcohol and the increased risk of reflux.


There are several herbs and natural remedies that are commonly considered safe and effective for managing menopause or andropause symptoms. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications. Here are some commonly recommended options:

Herbs for Menopause Symptoms

  1. Black Cohosh:

    • Use: Commonly used to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe for short-term use, but long-term safety is not well-established.
  2. Red Clover:

    • Use: Contains phytoestrogens that may help reduce hot flashes and improve bone health.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but may interact with blood-thinning medications.
  3. Dong Quai:

    • Use: Often used in traditional Chinese medicine to balance hormones and reduce hot flashes.
    • Safety: May increase the risk of bleeding, especially if taken with blood-thinning medications.
  4. Evening Primrose Oil:

    • Use: Contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which may help with hot flashes and breast tenderness.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but can cause mild side effects like nausea or diarrhea.
  5. Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex):

    • Use: May help balance hormones and reduce symptoms like breast pain and mood swings.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but may interact with hormone therapy medications.
  6. Maca Root:

    • Use: Believed to help with energy, mood, and sexual function.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but high doses may cause stomach upset.
  7. Sage:

    • Use: Traditionally used to reduce excessive sweating and hot flashes.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but long-term use at high doses may not be advisable.
  8. St. John’s Wort:

    • Use: Often used to alleviate mood swings and mild depression associated with menopause.
    • Safety: Can interact with many medications, including antidepressants and birth control pills.


These herbs and remedies can provide relief for many women or men, but individual responses can vary. Always check with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or therapy.

Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms

  1. Flaxseed:

    • Use: Contains lignans that have phytoestrogen properties, which may help reduce hot flashes.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe and beneficial for overall health.
  2. Soy Isoflavones:

    • Use: Phytoestrogens in soy may help reduce hot flashes and improve bone health.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but long-term effects are still being studied.
  3. Vitamin E:

    • Use: May help reduce hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe, but high doses can be harmful.
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

    • Use: Found in fish oil, these can help with mood swings and overall brain health.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe and beneficial for heart health as well.
  5. Acupuncture:

    • Use: May help with hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe when performed by a qualified practitioner.
  6. Yoga and Meditation:

    • Use: Can help reduce stress, improve mood, and alleviate some physical symptoms.
    • Safety: Generally considered safe and beneficial for overall well-being.


Tip: With hormonal changes and especially with hot flashes, you may notice more body odor due to dryness, urinary tract infections, and/or sweating. Stay hydrated, try clinical-grade deodorants, and for urinary infections, try concentrated cranberry juice.

Lifestyle Tips

  • Regular Exercise: Helps with weight management, mood, and overall health.
  • Healthy Diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, healthy fats (such as the Low-Glycemic Index diet_. 
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help manage hot flashes and overall health.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Maintain a regular sleep schedule and create a restful sleeping environment.

Whether you are in menopause or andropause or experiencing what feels like men-o-pause or a life-pause, let's connect. You see, beyond the physical symptoms of these stages of life, there is often a MIND-BODY-SPIRIT  evolution attempting to emerge.

Find out how your MIDLIFE AWAKENING is not a crisis!


Talk to Karie to help customize your diet AND For more on Menopause Nutrition and or Meal planning to help with menopause/andropause, call Karie.



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Phone: 780-814-2983
[email protected]

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