1. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
These are the most common and uncomfortable symptoms. Many women find some foods can trigger a hot flushes. Things like spicy foods, caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Try keeping a hot flush diary to find your hot flash triggers.
Phytoestrogens are found in most veg, wholegrain and fruit and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms so include them in your diet
A good source is from legumes, such as soy (fermented), lentils, peas and chickpeas. Be aware that for some these can be hard to digest and cause wind and bloating!
You could try using herbs to help your symptoms. Please always get professional advice before taking herbs as they can be powerful.
Black cohosh is a well researched herb for menopausal symptoms.
Dong quai can help hot flushes, and may help relieve mental and emotional upset.
Agnus castus is helpful for general hormone balance through the perimenopause and menopause but especially for the mood swings.
Sage can also reduce sweating associated with menopausal hot flushes.
2. Widening Waistline
Is the middle age spread fact or fallacy? Is it something we should just accept or spend the second half of our life fighting?
I think there is an element of acceptance of our bodies as they change as we get older. It isn’t necessatily menopuase just ageing!
The way a women’s body reacts to her environment, stress levels, blood sugar levels, diet and exercise change as she hit’s her forties.
I’ve spoken many times about the importance of stress reduction to help belly fat loss . See this post https://www.mrsmenopause.co.uk/reducing-stress-key-peri-menopause-symptoms/
The other BIG factor is the amount and type of carbohydrates we eat. Your body cannot buffer excessive sugars like in did in your younger days (sorry!).
If you want to lose the muffin top then be prepared to put some time and effort in.
Balance your blood sugar levels by eating regularly (three decent meals a day and a protein based snack if needed)
Quit fizzy drinks, even the diet ones (they are bad for your menopausal ones)
Eat less starchy carbs (potato, bread, pasta and cereals). A few mouthfuls with each meal is a good starting point and see how you feel (do you have enough energy? Do you have cravings? Are you getting hungry way before your next meal?)
Exercise is key not only to weight management but also to improving mood. Long hours of cardio will not be the best approach to menopause weight loss as it’s another stress on the body. Resistance training and interval training are better ways to shift the belly but not everyone likes to do that sort of exercise! The key with exercise is to do what you love, do it consistently and move every day.
Lack of sleep sucks! I’ve had many a broken nights sleep and I discovered it was because I was waking up hungry! My blood sugar levels were totally out of whack due to too much caffeiene, skipping meals and/or not getting the balance of my meals right.
So first step is to fix your blood sugar levels. If you are really unsure what’s going on with your body then you could invest in a blood glucose monitor.
Once you have fixed this you could try oral progesterone (utrogestan), reducing stress, meditation, cool shower before bed (yes really), relaxing herbal teas, no screens for at least an hour before bed and defo not in the bedroom.
This is a good easy read…..Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson
4. Vaginal Dryness/Atrophy
Diminishing levels of estrogen cause the mucous membranes in the body to dry out a little (vagina, digestive system, nasal, etc.).
Try adding flaxseeds to your diet, they contain phytoestrogens that act like your bodies natural estrogen. They also contain Omega 3 oil which as well as keeping everything ‘lubricated’ they are linked to helping depression and arthritis. Add ground flax to muesli, porridge, smoothies, dressings and salads.
A friend of mine has has great results taking Sea Buckthorn
For instant relief try a lubricant designed for vaginal dryness and stop using soaps/sprays and douches! I personally love Yes lubricant as it’s pure and doesn’t have any nasties. https://www.yesyesyes.org/
Some ladies like to use pure coconut oil. I love to cook with it but i don’t get on with it on my vag!
Vaginal Atrophy is where the vagina thins and loses it’s elasticity. Lubricants may give some relief but will not fix the underlying cause (hormonal change). Eating phytoestrogens as previously discussed may help but you may get more help by using a estrogen suppository like Vagifem. A small amount of estrogen is delivered directly where it is needed in the vagina.
5. Brain changes (depression, anxiety, memory)
Another common symptom is the change in brain function; grumpy, tearful, lack of memory etc!
All of the above changes will help; blood sugar management, better sleep, stress management, phytoestrogens, omega 3’s and exercise.
This website explains it really well http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/mood-swings.htm
I hope that this has given you some ideas to help your symptoms.
We deal with all these in the 21 Day Hormone reboot https://www.mrsmenopause.co.uk/the-21-day-hormone-reboot/
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1. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats