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MUMS THE WORD ON MENOPAUSE...

Quite literally … where is  all the information on this massive change that 50% of the world has been going through for Century’s ? And don’t bother asking your mum either because she is likely to say she did not have any side effects … or did she ? But they just did not know or did not discuss it …mums the word :-)


There is information coming to light now but the gap on information with regards to this massive change that WILL happen to EVERY woman , regardless of ethnicity, shape size or colour  - is mind blowing .


I am completely flummoxed as to how something as huge as this metamorphosis that happens has in large been left understudied and under explained.


Simplistically this change signifies the finishing of the menstrual cycle and the ovaries shutting down the production of vital hormones which control so much of what goes on in our bodies and brains - minds. It is the effect of this that is referred to as Women losing it … well if you can’t sleep , you are having severe hot flushes ,memory problems and so forth -  thats enough to send anyone round the bend !


Its not all bad though - and not all women experience these symptoms but perhaps a large part of this mystical puzzle is that maybe women feel like they are losing their minds and no one seems to have satisfactory answers , women are feeling scared and not in control of their minds or bodies and that perhaps that they are largely being ignored .


Recognising, helping, treating, understanding  and taking action before we hit our 40´s is essential to help to counteract adverse side effects - going into this change - which as I mentioned is not all bad - and caring for this transition or for people you know who are experiencing adverse symptoms


Men please pay attention to this - if you have a partner, wife, sister, mother ,daughter,  friend or colleague who is female - this IS going to happen to them at some point - and you could help them through it .


The global average for menopause is around 47 years but it can happen a lot earlier or a lot later - menopause being the 1 year anniversary following your last menstruation or period - which means if you have a period at the end of this year then you reset the clock .


Menopause symptoms like hot flushes can happen years before menopause as can other symptoms . The critical thing to remember is that despite the 30 plus symptoms you might experience during this change ( including changing of the brain ) - is that you will come through it and in most cases all the changes correct themselves .


This is also why maintaining a healthy weight , making exercise ( both cardiovascular and resistance training ) a part of your daily regime like brushing your teeth - essential to help counterbalance the hormonal turmoil you may experience .


Nutrition and lifestyle factors that you can control are also going to benefit you massively during this time - but why wait for menopause ? If you are female then exercising regularly , minding what you eat and controlling negative lifestyle factors can benefit your health massively anyway.


If half the world including myself are going to experience this I am going to make sure I find out as much as I can to help, relieve and understand it


So common symptoms can be everything from joint and muscle pain , anxiety, lack of motivation and interest in sex, frozen shoulder, skin tingling, hot flushes which can last up to an hour, brain fog, memory problems , rise in cholesterol, rise in blood pressure, weight gain, bone fragility , osteoporosis, poor sleep, racing heart and many more- the truth is we just do not know enough about it .


What I would say is that my advice for menopause is the same advice I give to clients reaching out for my services : this benefits everyone .


1. Lift weights or do weight bearing exercise . Resistance training strengthens bones and helps to improve bone density and body composition . It helps to prevent fat gain and improve muscle mass and metabolism. Helps to regulate blood glucose and hormones and increases serotonin , confidence and can help to increase sex drive and motivation and decrease depression and anxiety.


2. Incorporate cardiovascular training both steady state and interval- this helps with fat loss, improves body composition, reduces high blood pressure, reduces resting heart rate , increases blood flow to the brain, increases serotonin and helps mitigate depression and anxiety , also helps to regulate blood glucose and hormones, helps with sleep ( but don’t do it right before bed ) and has so many benefits on the body. Cardiovascular Exercise increases your sex drive and energy helping to prevent lethargy. It also improves cognition and motivation through its positive neural impacts on the brain.


3. Take your blood pressure regularly at home ( see my blood pressure video  to help prevent heart attacks )- you can keep an eye on your resting heart rate and blood pressure .


4. Engage in a group fitness activity or something which connects you to people - a sense of community makes you happier and also helps to mitigate feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression.


5. Eat very healthily 80% of the time - focus on natural unprocessed foods . Processed foods are full off bad fats, additives and preservatives which cause us to over eat, put on weight and screw up our fat profiles ( lipids ) .

Eat lean protein to hep hold onto muscle mass and keep you full on lower calories , eat tons of veggies and fruits - these are full of antioxidants which help to limit damage to the brain , the green colour is full of magnesium which helps with energy and sleep. Cruciferous veggies help to detox the body and they contain plenty of fiber which nourish the good gut bacteria and transit food through the body


6.Drink lots of water - calorie free and gives you energy - the body is made mostly from water and needs it to run efficiently


7. Limit stimulants especially in the afternoon and before bed this includes caffeine , alcohol, dark chocolate and tea . Many people say caffeine does not affect them - but then they get up in the night to pee - caffeine has a half life . You might also think alcohol helps you to get to sleep but it will wake you up in the night and it also causes the liver to go crazy filtering overnight and you basically don’t get a good nights sleep.

If you are having trouble sleeping then try taking these things out or switching too non alcoholic or caffeine free products and taking a magnesium supplement before bed


8. Meditation . Joining up to a meditation or yoga class or having a meditation app or just taking 5 minutes daily to clear your mind of chatter can really help. Personally I like to work my way from my feet to the top of my head focusing on getting each body part to relax . You can also envisage a picture of yourself in your most relaxed state what would it look, feel , sound like ? Make it real … or focus on your deep breathing , box breathing - filling up your lungs and belly then letting all the air go.

Not thinking about anything is impossible but controlling your thoughts or at least being aware of them and in control of them ( in part ) is a good thing to practice . Even just 5 minutes can have benefits .

This can help with anxiety and getting to sleep - or getting back to sleep if you wake up


9. Limiting technology at leats 2 hours before bed helps you to sleep better. Phones, emails, computers TVs . Try picking up a good old fashioned book !


10. Regular check ups with your doctor, monitoring your heart beat and getting your heart tested can pick up any heart related conditions . Having blood tests and cholesterol checks at least once per year can pick up an unfavourable lipid panel . There is some science behind the fact that people who experience early onset of hot flushes prior to menopause may be more likely to develop heart disease - so making sure your doctor is on the ball with this is critical.


11. Find out what natural supplements you can take to supplement your health - an omega 3 ( good quality ) can help mitigate muscle  loss, nourishes and protects the brain neurons and heart and has a positive impact on lipids and more.


12. Be aware of the mind and brain connection - keep positive , do everything you can to keep yourself up beat, healthy , full of energy and so forth - if you feel like you do have symptoms then get help.


Really you need to be on top of all this well before menopause . Everyone should be thinking about making exercise a daily routine, not only for the health effects but for the mental and cognitive benefits , keeping yourself motivated with a spring in your step - having something positive to focus on that lifts you for the day - doing something for your self.


With what you eat being something you do at least two times a day every day of your life you really should take more care to know what you are using to supply your body with as raw materials - “ you are what you eat - and what you eat eats “ Using food to nourish the body and avoiding 80% of the time things that are doing you harm- I mean this just makes sense right ?


Looking after your brain and your body whether woman or man should be your priority . Aging is inevitable but exercise and eating are a choice you make daily.



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