NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Dr. Kavita Kewalramani of K Primary Care and Medical Weight Loss Center recently held a small group discussion open to the public about managing the symptoms of all stages of Menopause.

Dr. K discussed the symptoms and stages of menopause, which is a process that generally occurs over a four-year period and this is called peri-menopause. The depletion of estrogen and elevation of follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) levels can be measured but are not required to confirm menopause. You are post-menopausal when your menstrual period is absent for 12 consecutive months. Most women go through menopause at the age of 51 to 52 years of age. 

Symptoms she described include:

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  • Hot flashes, perspiration
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Joint pains
  • Forgetfulness

Dr. K suggests diet, exercise, and stress management to ward off menopause symptoms. Although, there is no magic pill for reducing symptoms, using her diet Myplate concept to make sure you eat a balanced diet helps. That concept includes making sure you eat a half plate of colorful fruit and vegetables, a quarter plate of protein made up of foods such as lean meat, fish, soy, eggs, nuts and beans - remember two servings of 3.5 oz. of salmon weekly gives you enough omega-3 to keep your heart healthy -  and a quarter plate of whole grains such as such as whole wheat, quinoa and brown rice.

In addition, you need two to three daily servings of calcium rich foods including milk, yogurt and cheese and don’t forget to drink water —about eight glasses of water, for a total of 64 ounces a day.

Dr. K also recommends eating foods containing some vitamins to help reduce menopause symptoms including:

  • Vitamin E rich foods - almonds and wheat germ (for memory and anxiety)
  • Omega 3- 2 servings of salmon weekly
  • A daily multi vitamin
  • Vitamin D- if levels are low

Regular exercise is also an excellent way to stave off joint pain, weight gain and loss of muscle mass and Dr. K recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise five to six days a week. 

In addition, she recommends stress management through mindfulness meditation. "Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation helps relieve stress, manage pain and anxiety, reduce inflammation and risk for certain diseases," said Dr. K. 

While Dr. K provides advice on managing symptoms such as: keeping your room cool, wearing light layered clothing, avoiding spicy food, limiting caffeine -- there are also medical treatments, such as antidepressants for reducing depression and hot flashes, and hormone replacement therapy for hot flashes. Dr. K recommends discussing symptoms with your gynecologist before seeking treatment for hormone replacement therapy. 

To learn more about medical nutrition and the programs offered at K Primary Care and Medical Weight Loss Center visit the website kpcmnc.com or call 908-206-4676. Their office is located at 571 Central Ave. in New Providence.