Health and Women Over 40

Health and Women Over 40

| |  Geriatric Medicine

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Women over 40 often suffer many unpleasant side effects of approaching menopause. Their bodies turn into furnaces with no temperature regulation valve. PMS can become a semi-permanent state. Their skin simultaneously returns to spotty puberty and advancing age wrinkles. A good night's sleep can become a distant memory as night sweats, palpitations and insomnia hold them in an unrelenting grip of steel. Waistlines expand, sometimes alarmingly, and clothes start to pinch and squeeze. Life can be very unpleasant for a decade, or often even longer.

While simple to moderate lifestyle and dietary changes can bring relief for many, some of the recommendations might just exacerbate symptoms for others. I became one of those others. In the end, it was a totally unrelated incident which gave me the key. After some further research and immediate self-experimentation, I knew what was wrong. I also realized that I was not alone and that thousands of other women were finding immediate, and pretty much total, relief from many, if not all, symptoms.

I am not talking about any new wonder drug or fad diet. Nothing of the sort. I am talking about nature. About histamine, to be precise. A surprising number of women over 40 are, to some degree or another, histamine intolerant. By eliminating histamine from your diet for a month and then slowly introducing foods again you can see what foods you might be reacting to and how.

Histamine is in a lot of foods, most notably: strawberries, raspberries, cherries, citrus fruit, many exotic fruits, grapes, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants/aubergines, etc.), chocolate, alcohol (except gin and vodka), red meats, dairy products, wheat, eggs, many beans and pulses, tea and green tea, fermented foods, many kinds of fish and seafood, processed food, soy products, some spices, and MSG.

If you think that histamine might be contributing to your symptoms (hot flashes, palpitations, headaches, migraines, indigestion, heart burn, bloating, abdominal discomfort, insomnia and irritability), or are not sure if it could be a cause, try eliminating many sources and see if you notice any improvements. It could also be a good idea to reduce consumption of grain products (bread, pasta, baked goods), processed foods, fast foods, MSG, artificial sweeteners and sugar. See what you react to and slowly introduce other foods back in.

Histamine intolerance can be very hard to determine and is often wrongly diagnosed. Experimenting on yourself can give you a quick, easy and cheaper answer. If you want the diagnosis to be backed up, by all means do ask your doctor about it.

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