Symptoms associated with the Menopause
Did you know that there is a whole wide variety of symptoms associated with the peri-menopause and menopause not only the well known ones such as hot flushes.
Here are some of the others that you may not have heard so much about;
- Memory issues/difficulty thinking clearly
- Poor sleep/insomnia
- Skin itching/rashes/spots/acne
- Low mood/Mood swings
- Anxiety/ loss of confidence
- Heart palpitations
- Low energy
- Lack of libido
- Dry vulva/vagina/painful sex
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Loss of bladder control
- Sore joints and muscles
- Changes in appetite
- Weight gain
So What is The Peri-menopause and Menopause?
Although Menopause is seen by the medical profession as a clear cut time when the periods stop, for many women it is not this clear cut. Throughout your 40’s (in fact from your mid 30’s!!) your hormones are declining and changing until somewhere around 50-52 the oestrogen and progesterone levels are so low and the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is so high that you are officially in menopause. Then the periods peter out and eventually stop.
Some women go through this process with very few symptoms however, many of us do experience uncomfortable and difficult to handle symptoms.
Many women in their 40’s start to notice one or more little niggles such as – mood swings, or a drop in motivation, poor quality sleep, or itchy skin. Rather than recognising these as the signs posts they are of hormonal change they may well shrug them off as inconsequential. But actually they can often be the first signs of hormonal changes referred to as the peri-menopause (technically meaning ‘around’ the menopause). The Peri-menopause is an ill defined period of time where the hormones are changing, and lets face it, declining. For some women this can be in their early forties and for others their early fifties, there are no hard and fast rules.
What do the Adrenal glands have to do with Menopause?
The adrenal glands are two small little glands each sitting on top of a kidney (hence their name add- renal). They are responsible for producing our stress hormones – adrenalin for short term stress and cortisol for chronic stress. The levels of these stress hormones affects the female hormones. There may be many links but one is believed to be that as the ovaries produce less oestrogen and progesterone the adrenal glands start to produce a small amount of these hormones to help smooth the decline and prevent a sharp drop off. When we are stressed or have been under stress in the previous year or two, then the adrenals can not perform this function well. The end result is far worse menopausal symptoms.
Part of a natural approach to helping the menopause is to make sure the adrenal glands are supported and happy. Decreasing life’s stresses can be challenging as many woman of this age not only have teenage or young adult children who are demanding (in many ways!) but also elderly parents, often whilst holding down a challenging job! Hat’s off to you all!
So adrenal support is a key part of natural menopause help. I can also help you assess your nutritional status, and use other natural approaches such as herbs, homeopathy and Bioresonance to bring balance back to the hormonal orchestra.
What is the Hormonal Orchestra?
The hormones are the fundamental messengers in the body. They go from one area – a gland where they have been made, out into the blood stream and find their way to target tissues such as the muscles or skin or liver where they bind onto receptors and by doing so tell the cell what to do, for example, to make more collagen. Certain tissues in the body have more oestrogen receptors than others, for example the uterus and breasts have high levels of these receptors, but other tissues also have receptors such as the bones, liver, kidneys, lungs and fat cells. However, it is not all about oestrogen. There are many hormones in the body, thyroid hormones, pancreatic hormones, hormones that tell other hormones what to do, adrenal hormones, digestive hormones and so on. They do not work in isolation from each other, but more like an orchestra, so changes in one area will have an effect on the whole orchestra. As a Naturopath I am not simply interested in what the oestrogen and progesterone levels are doing but in the ‘sound’ of the whole orchestra – is this orchestra in tune?
The Wisdom of Menopause
So enough about the negative aspects of Menopause what about the positive benefits? Many women find that the transition through menopause is a major transition in life too. May be we start to listen to that small voice inside that has always wanted to do something else for a living or to the creative urge which might not currently be being met. Many women change jobs, partners and living arrangements during the menopause. Although these big changes may seem scary somehow they become less scary at menopause, whether it is anything to do with the hormones or whether it is the fact we are over 50 and realising, in all probability, we are well over half way through life and so had better make the most of it! Menopause generally is a time to embrace change, if this is challenging for you, you may want to get yourself some support. As a well being coach (as well as Naturopath and Bioresonacne practitioner) I can help guide you through this process, and help you learn to listen to your own innate inner wisdom.
5 Simple Steps To Start to Balance Your Hormones
1) Avoid excess caffeine, sugar and alcohol. All of which put a stress on the adrenal glands and have knock on adverse consequences on sleep, weight and hot flushes in particular.
2) Exercise as often as possible but not to excess. Gentle exercise is the order of the day so as not to contribute more stress to the body. Walking, jogging and yoga are all good forms of exercise at this time.
3) Make sure you maximise your chances of getting a good night’s sleep by avoiding caffeine after mid-day, and alcohol at all in the evening. Eat a kiwi before bed (contains melatonin) and try a magnesium supplement before bed along with a calming herbal tea.
4) Reduce your commitments! OK this one may be challenging for some of you, but might be the most important one of all. Learning to say no to things does not come easily to most women, but now is a good time to practice! Look at your diary and if you already have lots scheduled in, don’t squeeze in that extra meet up, work commitment or work out!
5) Turn your WiFi off over night and leave your mobile downstairs – turned off. Radio signals that carry WiFi and Bluetooth can seriously affect us and at night if our cells are bathed in these unhealthy signals they can’t relax and rejuvenate properly leaving you unrefreshed in the morning. So make sure your bedroom is a no electromagnetic stress zone and turn as much off in the house as possible at night.
What I can offer you
If you want some professional support then don’t suffer any longer and get in touch.
The benefits of working with me for Menopause support
- I will be able to assess your needs as an individual and tailor a health program specifically for you.
- I can give advice about all aspects of menopause and hormone related issues.
- I can make sure that you understand what is going on in your body.
- I can suggest natural remedies for you to take for your OWN UNIQUE situation – not a one size fits all approach that you would get from reading a magazine or getting advice in a health food store.
- I can give you on-going support and encouragement so you know you are not going through this alone.