Menopause doesn’t have to mean mood swings, hot flushes, weight gain, low libido and feeling drained. It also doesn’t have to lead to hormone replacement therapy.
In fact, most menopause symptoms can be managed naturally.
At Mullen Health Centre, we have a complete program to help you transition through this stage of life smoothly, but today I thought I’d share a few tips to help you treat menopause on your own.
Regular exercise – exercise normalizes cortisol, insulin, blood glucose, growth hormone and thyroid levels, as well as giving your brain more oxygen. This helps reduce the effect of menopause symptoms and boosts your mood while you’re at it. BUT no matter what you do, it should be enjoyable. We recommend:
- Yoga or tai-chi – one of the best things for menopause, it massages your internal organs and helps relaxation.
- Walk for a minimum of 30-45 minutes, 5 days a week. If you are walking of a morning, it is important to walk without your sunglasses to allow your brain to produce positive endorphins, your feel-good brain chemicals.
- Regular weight-bearing and aerobic exercise supports fat burning, muscle strength and bone mineral density.
Getting outside – healthy Vitamin D levels are essential for healthy bone density, improving mood and having a healthy immune system. Get out in the sun before 10am or after 3pm for 20 minutes to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
Meditation / mindfulness – feeling worried and anxious all the time can actually exacerbate or trigger menopause symptoms like hot flushes. Learning to be relaxed and calm in your everyday life – especially stressful situations – will help make this transitional period much smoother. This is often easier said than done though, so it is important to keep trying until you find a style that resonates with you and to practice until it becomes part of your everyday life. We’ve found a couple of great resources to get you started if you’re new to the idea of mediation or mindfulness.
Good quality sleep – it is essential to get 8 hours of good quality sleep each night (in bed by 9pm) to allow your adrenal glands to recover and rejuvenate. Why? Adrenal glands take over the production of hormones once your ovaries start to decline in function, so it is important to make sure they work well for a smooth transition through menopause.
Get in control of your diet – many women fear putting on weight during menopause, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Taking control of your diet by eating clean, natural, fresh food and cutting out processed and packaged foods can ensure that this doesn’t happen. Some foods are known to trigger or aggravate menopause symptoms, so it can be best to avoid:
- gluten as it often causes leaky gut and symptoms such as bloating and irritable bowel
- sugar as it encourages fat gain (check the label)
- caffeine (coffee & chocolate)
Embrace your sex life – if you’re feeling scared, sad and maybe a little lost at the idea of no longer being able to bear children, that’s completely normal. However, the idea that your sex life has to die because you’re reproductive system has finished its job is simply not true. In fact, many women report positive changes in their sex lives after menopause. Some of the things to look forward to?
- Not having to worry about getting pregnant
- Not having to use birth control
- Not having cramps or other physical issues associated with periods
- Not having to buy menstrual pads or tampons
Talking about it
It sounds simple, but sharing the changes you’re experiencing with your friends and family is an important part of coming to terms with this transition. Friends who are going through (or have gone through) the same process are especially great to talk to at this time, as they will help you to focus on the positive aspects.
Yours in health,
Are you ready to take charge of your vitality and wellbeing through menopause?
Click here to download our free guide containing tips on managing your menopause symptoms naturally.