So, you’ve suffered your monthly PMS symptoms and been through the stress and trauma of pregnancy and childbirth. And, then when life starts to seemingly calm down again, your body throws another curveball your way – the menopause! Somewhere between the ages of 45-55 your periods will stop permanently, meaning that you can no longer get pregnant.
After menopause, your body makes much less of the oestrogen and progesterone hormones. Therefore, during the transitional period towards menopause (perimenopause), your changing hormone levels may cause various health symptoms. These symptoms and their severity will vary from female to female.
There are a range of treatments available from the NHS to help with your symptoms, depending on how bad they are. However, if you are interested in discovering natural treatments, then there are various ways in which you can help your symptoms without the use of traditional medicine.
Here, we have listed some of the most common menopausal symptoms along with some suggestions of how to ease them:
Hot flushes and night sweats
Your fluctuating hormone levels may cause you to experience hot flushes that appear to come out of nowhere. These flushes might last only a few minutes or could last for hours. For many women, these hot flushes are common during the night, leading to sweating, unrest and sleep disruption.
Some simple measures may sometimes help, such as wearing light cotton clothing to bed as well as using 100% cotton sheets instead of a heavy duvet. Try to keep your bedroom cool with a window open as well as taking a cool shower before you get into bed.
When it comes to your diet, avoiding potential triggers such as spicy food, salt, caffeine and alcohol could also help to minimise symptoms.
Some women experience mood swings, anxiety and depression around the time of the menopause, which, again can be due to the dips in hormone levels.
Keeping your stress levels low will help during this time, so make sure you try to exercise regularly each day as well as practicing yoga or Tai Chi and listening to a guided meditation before bed.
It’s often really helpful to talk about your symptoms and feelings to another person, therefore talking therapy can improve low mood and feelings of anxiety when they strike. Even if you have plenty of friends and family for support, sometimes talking openly in a private and confidential setting can help you to offload more than you might usually be comfortable doing.
Acupuncture can also help combat the mental health symptoms caused by menopause and perimenopause. By inducing relaxation and reducing tension, Acupuncture can alter your brain’s mood chemistry, increasing endorphins and neuropeptide Y levels, which can help to combat negative affective states.
Once you have been through the menopause, there is an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones) as a result of the lower level of oestrogen in the body.
Regular exercise and strength/resistance training can help to reduce the chances of osteoporosis, as well as eating a healthy diet with plenty of calcium, vitamin D, fruit and vegetables. Your GP might also recommend a calcium or vitamin D supplement to top up your levels if they are low.
Stopping smoking and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol is also very much recommended through this period.
Going through the menopausal and perimenopausal stages of life can be very unsettling, therefore, if you would like to give me a call for a free consultation to discuss your symptoms and concerns, I would be really happy to hear from you. From talking therapy to Acupuncture, we will be able to discuss a treatment plan to suit your lifestyle and needs.