Back to Back Issues Page

Health News U Can Use
Tips for menopause and low blood sugar
Issue #001 – March 20, 2003

In This Issue...

  1. Easy Menopause Tips: Start now, regardless of your age!
  2. Hypoglycemia, Low Blood Sugar
  3. Medicinary News: Estrofactors and Black Cohosh instead of Hormone Replacement Therapy?
  4. Recipe: Tofu Even a Truck Driver Would Eat

Menopause Tips

Many women are menopausal or peri-menopausal. A list of common symptoms can be found on the Key to Health Clinic web page. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and menstrual changes.

Tips on Entering Smoothly into Menopause

  1. Exercise regularly. It keeps the metabolism going and is often helpful with depression, anxiety, stress and weight gain. Weight bearing exercise will help to maintain a healthy bone calcium content and help to prevent osteoporosis.
  2. Eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and essential fatty acids. Cold water fish are great sources of essential fatty acids: salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and herring. Essential fatty acids help to support the nervous system which may be important for memory and brain function. They are also anti-inflammatory and are very important for skin health. Include soy in your diet. It often helps with hot flashes and estrogen regulation in your body.
  3. Nuts and seeds can also be added to the diet for a source of fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids. For example, flax seeds are an important source of healthy anti-inflammatory fats and can help regulate estrogen levels.
  4. Avoid unnecessary sources of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Avoid smoking as it has been linked to more severe hot flashes and night sweats.
  5. Remember that balance in the body is what helps to create health. Make sure to nurture your mind to keep it quick, your body to maintain physical health, and your spirit and emotional life to keep you positive and happy.

Do You have periods of low blood sugar?

People who suffer from periods of low blood sugar, also known as “functional hypoglycemia” or “reactive hypoglycemia”, may experience tiredness, fatigue, or depression for no apparent reason. They may become weak, shaky, or even tremble, especially if they go too long without eating. Other symptoms include light-headedness, headache, mental dullness, dizziness, blurred vision, and emotional or psychological instability. Such individuals often have a “sweet tooth”, regular use of sugar in the diet, and periods of appetite or “binge” eating. The average consumption of sugar in the U.S. is now over 115 pounds per person per year.

Fortunately, this problem can be cured or controlled in most cases through the use of proper dietary planning and appropriate nutritional supplementation. In many cases, dramatic improvement can be achieved in just a few weeks or months.

How to Eat for Balanced Blood Sugar and Energy?

1) Avoidance of simple carbohydrates.

  • sucrose
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • corn sweetener
  • fruit sugar
  • corn syrup
  • table sugar
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • beet sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • cane sugar
  • maltose lactose

All of these simple carbohydrates cause a rapid elevation of blood sugar, causing elevated amounts of insulin secretion from the pancreas. Certain foods are rich in sugars. Be sure to read labels. Avoid foods such as:

  • cookies
  • cake
  • pastry
  • candy
  • ice cream
  • sugary desserts
  • soda pop
  • sugared beverages (coffee drinks)

Even naturally sweet foods and beverages may need to be avoided, such as:

  • grapes
  • dates
  • bananas
  • jams
  • jelly
  • preserves
  • raisins
  • dried fruits
  • fruit juices

2) Eat a diet high in complex carbohydrates and quality proteins.

Complex carbohydrates or unrefined starches release their glucose slowly providing “time-released” energy. Examples include many vegetables, grain, and cereal products such as:

  • breads
  • pasta
  • crackers
  • cereals
  • rice
  • oats
  • corn
  • wheat
  • rye
  • most vegetables

Protein rich foods also provide “time-released” energy and glucose. Examples include:

  • fish
  • seafood
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • beef
  • pork
  • eggs
  • low-fat diary products
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • meals that combine grains and beans (e.g. rice with beans or tofu)

3) When to eat

When and what to eat are more important to control blood sugar than how much you eat. Eat at least 3 times per day. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. It may be necessary to eat small snacks between meals, or small meals every few hours to maintain your mood and energy level. Frequent small meals can provide a regular and steady supply of food that is easily and slowly converted to glucose. Frequent meals assure a balanced supply of glucose and needed nutrients.

Individuals who experience difficulties with maintenance of constant blood sugar levels may need to take remedial steps in addition to diet correction. These may include food toxicity or intolerance testing, key vitamin or mineral supplementation, or metabolic co-factors needed to support specific organs involved in the body's efforts to control blood sugar. See one of our doctors if you are unable to control your blood sugar on your own.

Below is a list of references that may be helpful:

The Low Blood Sugar Handbook by Edward and Patricia Krimmel. This is the best book on hypoglycemia available today. It can be ordered for $12.95 plus $3.00 postage from: Franklin Publishers, P.O. Box 1338, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, M.D. ISBN 0-87131-763-X.

Hypoglycemia: The Disease Your Doctor Won't Treat by Jeraldine Saunders.

Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia) The 20th Century Epidemic? by Martin L. Budd.

Hypoglycemia and Diabetes by Michael Murray

The New Low Blood Sugar and You by Carlton Fredericks, ISBN 0-399-51087-7.

Hypoglycemia Association, Inc., Box 165, Ashton, MD20861- 0165. There is a recorded message at (202)544-4044 If you want a basic information packet, it costs $11.00 plus $1.00 (shipping and handling). If you want an Introductory Packet send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a 55 cent stamp. You can join the Association for $15.00 per year, which includes four bulletins.

Medicinary News

Black Cohosh and Estrofactors instead of HRT?

Black Cohosh

Concern for the long term health effects of hormone replacement therapy is provoking women to search for a safer, less controversial treatment for the unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.

Black Cohosh, also referred to as Remifemin years ago may be one alternative worth trying. Black Cohosh has been used in the United States for the treatment of gynecological complaints for more than 100 years.

Clinical Data Suggests…

Published clinical data suggests that Black Cohosh may be useful in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. One clinical trial recommended a dose of 40-80 mg per day of standardized extract.

Another study compared conjugated estrogens and black cohosh. Daily hot flashes decreased more in the black cohosh group than either the estrogen group or the placebo group, although estrogen still decreased hot flashes more than the placebo group.

According to a study performed in Germany by W. Stoll, Black Cohosh has also been found to help increase the growth of the cells lining the vagina even more than estrogen. This is huge news concerning the comfort of many women. Why not feel better and try black cohosh for your menopausal symptoms?

Trials have suggested some women need 4-12 weeks before the herb begins to have an affect on certain symptoms, so don't become discouraged too soon!

For more information about Black Cohosh references, and other clinical trials click here.

Can anyone take Black Cohosh?

Black cohosh is not right for everyone. For example, pregnant women should not take it and there is conflicting research on women with breast cancer taking Tamoxifin and whether they should take it. Side-effects that have been noted have been headache or gastric upset.

For a consultation with an expert, call Key to Health Clinic or make an appointment.


Estrofactors is a product that we carry in our medicinary that includes many fat soluble vitamins, soy isoflavones, and herbs such as turmeric and rosemary leaf. A clinical trial by the Functional Medical Research Center in Gig Harbor, Washington tested the effects of Estrofactors in postmenopausal women over a 12 week period. The outcome of the studied showed a marked decrease in the intensity and frequency of hot flashes and night sweats. It also showed decreases in depression, anxiety, homocysteine, and cholesterol to HDL ratio.

If you are interested in reading the study, email us at

Tofu Even a Truck Driver Would Eat

What you will need...

Tofu, firm or extra firm, cut into chunks
Tamari or Braggs
Nutritional yeast
Olive oil in a skillet

Heat tofu in olive oil until brown. Sprinkle with Tamari and nutritional yeast and heat a little longer in the pan. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Back to Back Issues Page