Menopause & You, Surviving & Thriving
Menopause the word comes from the Greek words ‘menos’ meaning month and ‘pause’ meaning cease. So for a woman this means the cessation of the monthly period.
Some of us can’t wait for this to happen and some of us feel sad about what feels like the loss of our youth. Whatever camp you fall into you do have to live with it and the change in your hormone levels is inevitable. The trick here is to understand what is happening, understand and listen to your body and actively look after yourself so that you can enjoy the best time of your life.
All of us are different and we all experience menopause in slightly different ways.
Symptoms you might experience include:
- Hot flushes, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, fainting
- Skin changes, possible aches and pains
- Altered mood, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances and loss of drive
- Decreased BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) leading to a tendency to put weight on more easily, altered fat distribution around the abdomen
- Decreased muscle mass, joint changes and decreased bone density
- Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes,
- Vaginal dryness and soreness, painful sex
- increased urinary frequency and urgency, incontinence
- Changes in your hair thickness and length
Some women hardly notice menopause where others will continue to have symptoms for many years. It is important that if any of the symptoms are interfering with your life and making it less than spectacular then you should get help. Particularly if the symptoms are affecting your sex life, and or your relationship.
20% of women will continue to have symptoms well into their 80’s and if you are one of the unlucky ones you do not have to suffer.
- Stop Smoking if by some chance you still are. Smoking affects oestrogen levels and the chemicals from the side stream smoke also damage your skin and hair.
- After that the single most effective thing you can do is to be fit and healthy. Set time aside to look after yourself inside and out. Eat clean and make sure you lift some weights, either real weights or do some body weight exercises twice a week.
- Exercise brings extra oxygen to your skin and scalp and helps with cell turnover and getting rid of toxins indoor blood stream.
- Eat a healthy diet rich with vitamins and minerals. The recommended healthy eating guidelines high in antioxidants and good fats will make a big difference.
- To improve your skin, as well as lots of good fats in your diet, try and increase the rate of cellular turnover. You may want to start to use products that improve this. You may have to review all of your skin care. Look for products that help your skin be more natural and ones that aren’t too harsh. Look for products containing AHA
- Look after your lips. Keep them moisturised with high quality lip balm and remember to use a lip scrub. This will help stop your lipstick bleeding.
Much has been made of HRT and the whole risk issue around treating symptoms medically.
Get good advice and understand the risks yourself.
Read about it, learn about it and make your own informed decision taking into account your life and your needs.
There is no doubt that as you enter menopause you will change either physically or emotionally. My own experience and the experience of the thousands of women I speak with tell me that this can be a magical time.
Take care of yourself and you will be able to enjoy everything that is on offer to you.
For the latest in up to date Menopause information you might like to listen in to my Podcast conversations with the experts below.