Do dietary and lifestyle changes help with menopausal symptoms?

The short answer is, yes, they can. Of course, it depends on several factors how much benefit an individual will experience from changing their diet and lifestyle. Our bodies are all very different, so for some, it takes more effort or extended periods before noticeable changes occur. However, there are many things you can do to help your body manage the changes that are taking place during this transitional phase.


What is menopause? 

Menopause is a phase in a woman’s life when she transitions from one hormonal state into another. Despite the negative connotations that menopause has, this doesn’t have to be seen as an adverse experience. If you want it to be, this can be when you become more in touch with yourself and what is happening to you and around you. You may find that you need to adjust your focus and start to give yourself some time and attention.
Thankfully, people are becoming more comfortable talking about menopause, and women are sharing knowledge and experiences and finding information from the press and social media. Here are a few nuggets about how diet and lifestyle can contribute to reducing symptoms and help you feel more in control of your health.

How to use diet and lifestyle to support your body through menopuase

Blood sugar balance

This refers to how your body manages the energy from food throughout the day. This relates to your energy levels and the storage of fat in the body and is influenced not only by what you eat but also by sleep, activity when you eat and stress. Understanding when to eat, managing stress levels and prioritising your food needs can help control cravings, reduce menopausal symptoms and manage body weight.

Understanding how to influence your blood sugars and metabolism in this way can be a relief for some women after years of counting calories and restricting food. You can learn how to nourish yourself rather than deprive yourself.

Gut health

The digestive system is of paramount importance for everyone and can become particularly noticeable during the changes associated with menopause. Gut health is impacted by what we eat when we eat, stress levels and our health history, and if not optimised over time, it can have a negative effect on overall health as we age.

People often say that we are what we eat but it would be better to appreciate that we are what we absorb from what we eat. If you’re unable to digest food properly, absorption of nutrients is compromised, possibly leading to deficiencies and this impacts multiple areas of body systems.

If you want it to be, this can be when you become more in touch with yourself and what is happening to you and around you.


Everyone knows that moving our bodies is essential for health, however, if you’re a woman in the middle to late forties or fifties, you may have those days when you only have enough energy to get through the day, let alone exercise. Improving the first two areas can help with this by increasing energy levels. Combining these changes with maintaining and building muscle can make you feel stronger and more resilient.

Muscle is important for making energy, providing us with increased levels and helping to utilise and burn off the energy we take in through food. Exercise also stimulates the production of mood-boosting factors in the brain and the production of serotonin, which can bring about a sense of well-being and calm.


Getting a good night’s sleep can become a problem for some women as hormones change, and yet it is also increasingly important. Good quality sleep has been shown to improve mood, regulate appetite and increase energy levels. Brain fog is something many women find interferes with work, making it difficult to concentrate and remember things, and amongst other factors, lack of sleep can make this feel worse. When you’re woken in the night, covered in sweat and feeling on fire, it can be annoying to be told again how important sleep is.

You can do several things to help, including working on blood sugar balance, digestive health and exercise. Keeping the room ventilated, sleeping with light covers and even using a fan to keep you cool throughout the night might help. Meditation and relaxation, keeping the room dark and listening to relaxing sounds reduce stress and could reduce the frequency of hot flashes.


As we age, our bodies change, and certain areas struggle to function as well as before. Ensuring that we provide our body with what it needs for this stage in life is essential for a smoother transition through menopause. The numerous biochemical reactions within the body require specific nutrients to function optimally. Some nutrients, such as magnesium and calcium, are critical for multiple body systems, so ensuring good dietary intake, optimal absorption, and topping up with an appropriate supplement might make you feel great again.

Remember - you are unique

We are all different, and your hormonal story won’t be the same as another woman. It might be that what works well for one woman might not be so great for another. Find what works for you, or seek professional advice if you can’t work out what helps on your own.

We’ve gone from having very little information about menopause to having enormous amounts, which can also be overwhelming. The multiple menopause supplements are also confusing, and it’s hard to know which one might be right for you or if you need any of them at all. If you are interested in helping yourself to feel more in control of your health and would like your menopause journey to be a transitional phase to embrace, then connect with me or many of the other nutritional therapists who can provide you with tailored, personalised recommendations.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Halesworth IP19 & Beccles NR34
Written by Rebecca Leonard, BSc Hons, BA Hons, NTPDip, mBANT, mCNHC
Halesworth IP19 & Beccles NR34

I offer one-to-one nutritional therapy consultations helping people to improve their health and find ways in which they can manage specific health conditions. Some of the health conditions that can be supported with nutrition and lifestyle changes include gut health issues, immune issues, thyroid conditions and hormonal imbalances. 

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