Oct 18th is World Menopause Day, a day founded to create awareness and to help throw some light on how best to support yourself while going through this time.
Menopause is part of the natural evolution of the female body. It marks the end of female reproduction when a woman stops menstruating.
You could split the experience of menopause into three different cycles.
1. Pre-menopause and Perimenopause which happens as a transitional phase before menopause.
2. Menopause itself which is often called ‘the change of life’ is usually diagnosed when you haven’t had a period in a year.
3. Post menopause is the period after menopause
Each one of these cycles has its own different challenges to be dealt with.
Pre and Peri Menopause
Pre-menopause is when you have no perimenopause or menopause symptoms. You are still in your reproductive years and menstruating, though sometimes it can be irregular. Hormonally, changes can be occurring, but you are not noticing any notable changes in your body.
Perimenopause comes after pre-menopause. This usually lasts a long time often up to ten years before menopause. This is when oestrogen levels can sporadically go up and down and you can start to experience some of the symptoms of menopause. These symptoms may include:
· Disturbed sleep patterns
· Mood swings
· Hot flashes
· Changes in your menstrual cycle
· Heavy PMS before periods
· Weight gain
· Breast tenderness
· Loss of sex drive
This usually happens before you hit menopause.
Women can still get pregnant during perimenopause.
Menopause is officially diagnosed one year after your last period.
At this time women can no longer become pregnant naturally.
The average woman reaches menopause at age 51.
Normally it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
This is when oestrogen and progesterone levels drop and the symptoms of menopause kick in.
These symptoms include:
· Hot flashes
· Night sweats
· Vaginal dryness
· Mood swings
· Hair thinning or loss
It’s at this time that many women turn to HRT to supplement their declining oestrogen levels.
Many women find HRT a great support during this time, while others are not as convinced and keener to explore more natural alternatives.
Postmenopause is the period from the onset of menopause that lasts the rest of your life.
During post menopause, many of the symptoms a woman had before menopause decrease.
Unfortunately with the lower level of oestrogen and other factors, women can be more at risk of health conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis.
One positive aspect of post menopause is that you can regain lost energy.
12 Tips to Help You through These Times
One big thing to help you through these times is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This can really make a difference to have you at your best.
Here are a few tips to help you:
· Be active every day: walk, jog, play golf, tennis etc.
· Do some weight-bearing exercises. Train in the gym 3 to 4 times a week. (This helps to keep your bones strong and your muscles firm).
· Eat more natural foods: Lean meats, fish, dairy products, free-range poultry and eggs, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, quinoa, whole grains, etc.
· Avoid junk food: cakes, biscuits, sweets, ice cream, chocolate, sugar and sugary drinks.
· Cut down on processed foods: white bread, white rice, pasta, pizzas, breakfast cereals, fast food etc.
· Get 8 hours sleep a night.
· Practice some form of conscious relaxation: yoga, meditation etc.
· Be with supportive people who believe in you.
· Drink alcohol in moderation.
· Do progressive activities you like to do: dancing, golf, painting, travelling, acting etc.
· Keep getting your regular health checks.
· Give support to other women similar to yourself going through menopause.
These tips will help you to have your best possible “change of life”
They can really make a difference.
There is however something else that can really make a telling difference to women during this time.
This help comes in the form of certain nutrients that can play a big role in supporting the feminine balance in the body.
Nutrients That Can Really Make a Difference
The declining levels of oestrogen are a huge trigger in the onset of the unwanted symptoms of the menopause.
This has prompted many health-conscious women to explore the benefits of plant oestrogens (phytoestrogens) to help make up this shortfall.
Asian menopausal women generally report lower rates of physical and psychological symptoms than Western women do. (1)
Their diets are traditionally richer in phytoestrogens.
The most prominent source of phytoestrogens are the isoflavone–rich soya and red clover.
The Power of Phytoestrogens
For many years soya was the standard-barer as the best source of phytoestrogens, yet in more recent times many women are turning to red clover.
While soya has 2 main isoflavones to help the menopausal balance, red clover has 4.
Include more soya based foods in your normal diet and at the same time consider supplementing yourself with the addition of a good red clover supplement.
One such supplement that really fits the bill here is Promensil.
It is a power packed red clover formula specifically designed for ladies going through the menopause.
For many years in Tony Quinn Educohealth it has been the go to product for women going through menopause.
It has become a firm favourite with these health conscious women who love the support it can help give them at this time.
For women interested in their sexual health, here are a few amazing botanicals that can really make a difference.
The herb Muira Puama can be a real support with its ability to support good sexual relations in women. The herb Maca also helps in maintaining natural sexual activity and energy, while Korean Ginseng helps to maintain good sexual health.
Each of these herbs and more are included in a special nutrient formula called Nova from Tony Quinn Educohealth. It can lend a woman some very valuable support at this time.
Bone and Muscle Health
Two of the big factors to hit us as we age are muscle loss and bone density diminishing.
We could be the same weight we were 15 years ago, yet now instead of having firm toned muscle, everything appears to be sagging and hanging in the wrong places. This is a classic case of muscle loss.
Our bones often become thinner which can result in osteoporosis.
These are both conditions that are often associated with ageing and the menopause.
A Woman’s Health Drink
This is where Profemme a special high-protein, high-calcium, low fat, drink from Tony Quinn Educohealth can be a great addition to your diet.
This delicious drink is specifically designed for women.
Among other things it helps contribute to the maintenance of:
· Normal bones
· Muscle mass
· Muscle function
· Normal blood clotting
It is also an ideal support to those on reducing diets and contains added soya isoflavones. This all adds up to a power packed woman’s supplement.
The Best You Can Be
The challenges a woman faces at the menopause can be disruptive and at times confusing.
To help navigate your way around this try adopting some of the health tips we mentioned earlier in the blog. They really can make a difference.
Also to help support yourself better at this time check out what the Promensil, Nova and Profemme can do for you.
If you do we think you will pleasantly surprise yourself.
Written by Hugh Chambers – Holistic Nutritionist