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Can I do Keto in Menopause? (Your doctor might Disagree)



Can I eat a ketogenic diet during menopause? This is a valid and important question. You are right to ask it, and right to keep digging until you find the correct answer.

Menopause brings so many changes to a woman’s life that it is beneficial to eat the best diet possible. Eating the wrong diet can and does make the symptoms of menopause much worse.

Know which hormones are important for you to feel your best during your menopausal years. And, know which diet is best for optimizing your health when all of these changes are going on in your body.

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Ken D Berry, MD, FAAFP, is a Board Certified Family Physician and Fellow in The American Academy of Family Physicians. He has been practicing Family Medicine in rural Tennessee for over a decade, having seen over 20,000 patients in his career so far.

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44 Comments

  • KG 1981

    I’m a 57 year old post menopausal woman. I started doing Keto a year ago to lose weight. Low and behold, five months in I was able to wean myself off antidepressants which I had been on for 16 years. I am at my ideal weight and not taking any medications. The only thing I’m still struggling with is insomnia. This video was very interesting because even though I’ve been post menopausal for four years, I still get hot flashes. So I’m wondering if my hormones are off. I’m going to look into the testing you recommend.

  • The Peddler

    Isn't the correct way to check hormones is get a test everyday? because it changes everyday too. Read that somewhere in a book and I think it's for the estrogen. Could be wrong here. But I know I read "every day".
    I'm 54 with the only symptom of having a super heavy flow and for a long length of time. For example, duration of 17 days and for 13 of those days you go in the BR every 20 minutes because you're about (or already did) overflow everything you're wearing. I'm still ovulating. No hot flashes or night sweats. I sleep an average of 9 hours of good sleep.
    Started Keto a few weeks back (maybe a month) and my periods, which I hadn't seen in several months, came back full force. Still no other symptoms. It's so depressing. I'm on day 16. Nicole

  • Catherine

    Dr Berry— can you please address the post menopausal woman ( no menstruation for 10 years ) on the keto diet with the return of spotting/ bleeding of menstrual cycle? Is this temporary? Two vaginal US show everything normal. Help!!!!

  • Carrie Wright

    Man you described my symptoms and the attitudes of various doctors I've seen. I FINALLY saw a ND and she's trying to get me on the right path thank goodness. Great info as always Dr. Berry!

  • Nikki E.

    Dr. Berry, I have a question. The smallest dose that Prometrium comes in is 100 mg. I’m taking 100 mg of that but only one and a half mg of estrogen via topical gel (Divigel). I find it very hard to imagine that that’s really the right balance between those two. Isn’t that progesterone level excessive? Where do you think it should be? Thank you.

  • Lisa Yerace

    Hit menopause… weight kept creeping up…. no matter what I tried, it continued to creep up. The ONLY thing that brought me back to normal was the ketogenic diet. And, too, I feel SO much better…. and yes, I am taking estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. But those hormones alone did not help with the weight loss like the keto diet did! Supplements are helping too….. Thank you, Dr. Berry… for your knowledge and for sharing it!

  • E. Murphy

    Please remove the item behind you left shoulder because all that stands out is the word LIES. It is very distracting and my brain keeps trying to associate the word lies to what you are saying but I know you are speaking the truth.

  • Carla Hauschildt

    I would like to see information about LIPEDEMA (LIPOEDEMA) I have been on the ketogenic diet over two years and now an carnivore (2019 Carnivore Challenge) but the fat on my thighs and upper arms is NOT moving. It's even more apparent, because everything else is thinner. I'm still very overweight and super insulin resistant. Please talk about this under diagnosed condition that affects around 11% of women. Thank you for your informative videos.

  • Tracy Jane

    Dr Berry. Thank you for this information. I had been to see my GP earlier in the year because I did not have a period for nearly 3 months and the same thing happened last year. I also had not been feeling myself with lack of sleep, low mood and hot flushes. My doctor said because I was 46 it was likely to be peri-menopausal symptoms. He said he could send me for blood tests but unless I would consider HRT, then it would be pointless knowing. I saw another GP in the same practice a few months later and I asked for the tests. I was told they came back ‘normal’ whatever that meant but that he could see my Vitamin D was just a little low. The Vitamin D tablets did not help my symptoms. I am currently approaching another 4 months of missed periods. I was hoping the keto diet would help a bit. I will persevere.

  • PeaceSeeker

    I am post menopausal. Last year I did keto from May to September. I lost over 40 pounds. It also stressed my body so much that it caused adrenal fatigue. I also have an autoimmune disease. That alone was stressing my body, and then the diet on top of it just did me in. It isn't a good idea for everyone.

  • Patti Rett

    Hi Dr Berry, my Dr checked my hormones and said I am in menopause..I am very depressed….anxious…night sweats…brain fog..etc..what are your thoughts about taking estrogen and progesterone? Been reading on this and everything I am reading says the side effects are horrible..blood clots..strokes..ect Am so confused as to what to do…so scared to take the hormone replacements….

  • Troy Murray

    ya know, men go through the same change and just because they don't have ovaries that run out of eggs doesn't mean that they aren't in Menopause (Andropause, but same dang thing).Before this 'Pause' even happens there are years and years of slow decline in hormones that men and women don't notice until it's obvious. Men wake up in their mid 40's and wonder where their body hair went…women notice a few stubbles on their chin…The list is long…I just wish doctors would start mentioning MEN and their andropausal symptoms more often because both sexes of the human race are affected, not just the females.This 'Pause' is nothing more than AGING and it didn't happen over night.

  • Amanda Arnold

    @kendberrymd
    I have a question about non menopausal women. I am a younger woman with a generally healthy menstrual cycle. I started my Leto lifestyle and now, only a couple weeks in, my period is early and not normal. Many women online have said his is a common thing because estrogen is in fat. I was hoping to understand from a trusted Keto professional if women should be worried about that.

  • Homeschool Mama of 11

    Is there anything you can take for premature menopause or just eating keto fix it? I'm only 37 and I'm starting having menopausal symptoms. Headaches, night sweats, hot flashes, very irritable, I've only had 2 periods since January, joint pain, stiffness, and problems sleeping.

  • jenelle wrede

    I had ovarian cancer at 35. I had to have my ovaries removed and I went into surgical menopause. It’s been a long road trying to get my hormone levels correct. (It’s been 5 years!) I currently am taking 100mg progesterone and 1mg of estrace daily. I have been doing keto for 3 weeks and I’m feeling so much better. Should I look into compound hormones? I take no Testosterone.

  • Lori Prouse

    I am 48 years old and have been Keto for 4 weeks. I've lost 12 pounds (I was a "good" body weight to start, so 12 pounds is a lot for me!), I have way more energy, I have no more brain fog and even my skin is super soft (seriously, REALLY soft!). One thing that has happened though, is I got my period again for the first time in over a year. I have been menopausal for over a year now so this was quite a shock. I feel my hormones may be balancing out so maybe this is why I have my period again. Please share if you have any more information on this. Thanks for your videos!

  • 21kidsanddogs

    entered menopause in the my 30's i think primarily due to hashimotos – i have yet to take any type of hormone replacement – basically because i would like tobioidentical and my insurance does not pay for that – is not taking a replacement going to effect my ability to lose weight? is this also why i dont sleep?

  • Tammy Floyd

    I’ve had breast cancer invasive lobular .. 4 years later. I’m taking estrogen blockers. Obviously I was estrogen positive … is it still possible to lose weight?? And would you recommend hormone replacement??

  • Theresa McDowell

    55 yrs old here, and started keto on Feb 15th . I have been pre menopausal for about 5 or 6 years .No major symptoms except really heavy periods for the past year, and bad mood swings I have lost close to 80 lbs in 4 months eating keto and I am down 3 whole sizes . I still have mood swings once in a while but havent had a period in 3 months( whoo hoo lol) . All I know is I feel 100% better since I started eating keto and losing weight . I still have at least 100 lbs to lose , but I know I can do it now with ease. Even if the weight loss slows down, I am very happy with this way of eating

  • Dyan Bailey

    I'm a 65 yr old post menopausal woman. I haven't had any night sweats or hor flashes for years(probably 7yrs) but all of a sudden these past few nights and days, they're back. I've only been following Keto for a few wks but wonder if this WOE is the reason? Any thoughts on that? I hope it's just temporary.

  • Sharon Luckerson

    Dr berry I'm 60 an went thru menopause 10 years ago. I started a keto diet 3 years ago lost weight but started have vaginal spotting after 4 months. My doctor checked out everything an said I needed d/ c an stop my diet. So I did until 2 months ago an started my keto diet again. Well I've stared with spotting again. Do u have an knowledge of other women doing this

  • Martha C

    I struggle with the dairy consumption with the Keto diet. I get joint inflammation and mucous from dairy so it's a no go for me. What's the risks with cancer links /casein and dairy consumption too? I always thought that dairy is an inflammatory food? Certainly is for me. Confused!

  • Colette L'Heureux-Stevens

    I am almost 53, starting having hot flashes in my late 30's, I am not a candidate for HRT so this is very useful info for me. I will be converting to a Keto diet in the coming weeks (I believe in doing lots of research). The rest of my house does not wish to go Keto with me so that is part of what I am researching

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