Why Do Thai Women Experience an Easy Menopause?

An old Thai woman in Chiang Mai – copyright m’sier Rico, Creative Commons

Thai women, just like many other women in Asia, seem to have a far easier time through menopause than do most Western women.  In fact, many studies show Asian women have a lower prevalence of menopausal symptoms than Western women, and much of that is put down to the better diets and healthier lifestyles of Asian women, and that includes the Thais.

Rather than eating a diet high in saturated fats, meat, and junk food, Asian women overall tend to eat less processed food, a low-fat diet, and far less meat than the average westerner. That meat in the U.S. is also pumped with hormones doesn’t help American women when it comes to menopausal symptoms.

In Thailand, except for specific American-owned companies, that’s rarely the case.

In Thailand too, the main diet is still rice, vegetables, fruit and fish based with meat still being eaten but not usually in the large portions a Westerner would eat. A far healthier diet than most Western women eat.

Japanese women eat a high level of soy products, and over the last few years Thai women have begun to do the same, with products like soy milk and soy ice cream increasing in popularity.

Now some studies show soy products may contribute to lower incidences of menopause symptoms, if consumed in large quantities,  as it’s believed soy may act as a natural hormone replacing hormones women lose as they age.

In fact, only 10 percent of Japanese women report severe menopause symptoms, and Thais report only slightly more, compared to the 50 percent or more American, British and German women for instance.

For more information about Asian women (including the Thais) and menopause, this article by a doctor in Singapore is fascinating.