Let’s face it, ladies. Menopause sucks. For those going through it, it’s exhausting, unwanted and often embarrassing. For those yet to experience it, the prospect fills us with dread. But it’s not all doom, gloom and hot flushes. In this article, I explore some of the ways women can help themselves through this challenging life-stage.
The ups and downs of menopause
If you’re aged between 40 and 58, you’re statistically ripe to experience menopause. The average is around 51. And how it presents – or it’s endocrinological and clinical features – are numerous. Weight gain. Hot flushes. Mood swings. Insomnia. Fatigue. Memory lapses. Even reading the list is exhausting.
Although it’s important to remember not every woman will experience all these symptoms all at the same time, the bad news is you are likely to experience most of them at some point. But before things get too bleak, let’s look at ways to minimise some of the worse aspect of menopause.
The power of exercise
Exercise is great at any stage of life. But it’s particularly helpful for peri-menopausal or menopausal women wanting to manage symptoms. There are many benefits for women to exercise into menopause, so supporting yourself nutritionally to help you stay as active as possible is vital.
Some of the benefits are of exercising include:
Eat to treat
Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms that often increase before menopause, peaking two to three years after onset before tapering off again.
Some of the triggers include obvious factors, like stress, smoking, a high BMI and SSRI’s. But even coffee, spicy foods, alcohol, sugar and citrus fruits can all contribute. So it’s important to keep an eye on what you consume.
Studies have shown that consuming 50-100 mg/day of isoflavones from food seems to be a safe amount to help relieve hot flushes. And not hard to find isoflavones in several delicious forms and relatively small quantities:
A small note: it’s best to get isoflavones from food rather than supplements. Isoflavone supplements might interfere with thyroid function and inhibit mineral absorption, so stick with whole food sources wherever possible.
Build them bones
Osteoporosis is another concern for menopausal women. Understandably so. But there are plenty of ways you can preserve bone mass before and during menopause:
Swing your mood to the positive
Mood swings can be a common symptom of menopause. But smart nutritional choices can play a foundational role in stabilising the most extreme mood swings.
Above all, don’t take The Change lying down. There’s plenty you can do – and plenty to look forward to.
If you’d like to learn more about how nutrition can be used as a potent tool to help alleviate menopausal symptoms, then contact me to book a consultation.