Clearly, we know women are different from men; however, when it comes to your health, just how different? From menstruation to menopause and beyond, we women are presented with a unique health experience. Whether its pregnancy, PMS, fatigue, or osteoporosis, often hormones are involved in a big way. We now know that heart disease is a bigger concern for women than we thought, especially in the postmenopausal years, due to the decrease in estrogen levels. Osteoporosis as well as elevated cholesterol also becomes an issue for many women during these years.

Usually a discussion of women’s hormones is often only about estrogen and progesterone. What about the other hormones? Today women’s fast-paced lives have led to an overabundance of adrenal burnout, which is often the reason so many women are exhausted. Insulin resistance is also on the rise with high starch and sugar foods being over consumed or worse yet—meals being missed—causing often dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Insulin resistance and adrenal stress levels can be determined through blood and salivary testing (for adrenals). I also often recommend women have their thyroid levels checked as well, as they can also contribute to fatigue and weight gain if they are out of balance. For adrenal support B-complex vitamins and adrenal support herbs like ginseng, or the ayurvedic herb ashwanganda are often recommended. For insulin resistance supplements like alpha lipoic acid, chromium, as well as fish oil are often part of the protocol I recommend.

Women experience monthly and daily hormonal cycles often affecting moods, weight, and even brain chemistry. For example, serotonin—the “calming” brain chemical responsible for sleep, mood, and pain sensitivity—is often lower in women than men. Without sufficient amounts of serotonin, women often crave carbohydrates, causing weight gain and a rise blood sugar. A healthier solution is adding quality proteins and good fats to the diet to help raise serotonin.

Having worked mostly with women throughout my career, I have noticed the two areas of greatest concern are: weight and fatigue. However, with more and more of the population entering peri-menopause and menopause, other additional issues seem to crop up, such as sleep disorders, hot flashes, and bone loss. Symptoms can be greatly helped with the supplement and dietary recommendations I’ve already mentioned.

Often misunderstood and yet touted on a daily basis is the notion that all foods should be evaluated on how many calories they contain versus the quality of the food itself. Our state of health, and subsequently our weight, is greatly dependent on the vitality of the food. The more vital and fresh a food is, the more vital a person will be. So calories are not as important as quality. Which means the more fresh, pure, natural, and unadulterated the food is, the better it is for you.

A woman’s health is also dependent on having a healthy digestive tract. Constipation, bloat, heartburn and gas, and even yeast infections indicate an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract. An unhealthy digestive tract will not perform correctly and weight imbalances, fatigue, and other symptoms are often the result. Food allergies also constitute a burden on our digestive and immune systems, often causing weight gain as well.

One health regimen that I have become a big proponent of is a yearly detoxification program. Spring is the perfect time of year to do this. To clarify, a proper detoxification program includes more than just colon cleansing, it also focuses on the liver’s detoxifying function. This process rids the body of an accumulation of toxins, which helps restore our vitality.

Starting with a good diet is crucial when dealing with women’s health symptoms, not just “a vegetable” per meal, but also many vegetables throughout the day at every meal if possible. Vegetables are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals, which are important for optimal health. Laboratory and clinical dietary assessment also shows that women are often deficient in protein. Therefore, consume quality protein and vegetables at every meal.

Eating is an important shared human experience and many women are not eating well. Often racing out while eating their breakfast or missing it altogether or munching their lunches while frantically multitasking. These habits stress out a women’s already burned-out system and can strongly affect how the food is processed and utilized. It’s possible food allergens are being created if the food is not properly digested. As a woman matures, she can no longer get away with many of these “non nurturing habits.” As part of my ongoing wellness coaching I often recommend the “Do-Less-Program” where women make shorter “To Do” lists and learn how to take care of themselves first.

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N.

Author's Bio: 

Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the "Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach." Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit