Transitioning the menopause- By Julie Deeks.
Normalising the menopause is key when 50% of the population will experience it. This blog will focus on how Nutritional Therapy can help you to manage your symptoms and how nutrition and lifestyle play an important role in this transition.
Perimenopause is the start of the decline of female sex hormones. You may experience symptoms but still have your period, although these may start to become more irregular. It is thought that this process can start as early as 35 years of age. You reach menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.
The average age for reaching menopause is 51, I reached menopause at the age of 50. The age your mother reached menopause is usually a good gauge of when you will. However, external factors such as smoking can cause an early decline in hormones.
During the menopause transition, your sex hormones are gradually declining, surging and dropping until they find their menopausal balance, this is much lower than when you are menstruating. This is the stage where you will experience most of your symptoms, these can include mood swings, anxiety, sleep disturbances, low libido, vaginal dryness and issues with penetration, hot flushes, poor memory, weight gain, depression, rage, dry skin, dry eyes, joint pains, allergies, and gut issues. Not all women experience these symptoms, however being fit and healthy can make a big difference to how the body regulates itself.
My focus is to provide you with support and guidance, minimise the impact of these hormone changes, and help you to feel more like your old self again.
Your blood sugar and hormones
As you experience a decline in oestrogen and progesterone your insulin sensitivity reduces. This can make it more difficult to keep your blood sugar balanced. Poorly managed blood sugar causes cravings for carbohydrates, sugar (chocolate) and alcohol, which can then lead to an increase in symptoms and weight gain. I work with women experiencing this issue to stop the cascade of cravings and insulin spikes.
Balanced blood sugar levels can help improve symptoms such as rage, depression, and hot flushes to name a few.
I offer my expert advice on how to manage your symptoms, and ensure you are getting the balance of nutrients required at this time. My aim is to help you understand the benefits of making diet and lifestyle changes, whilst you continue to manage your busy life and family commitments. Hormone tests are available and recommended if you haven’t yet started hormone therapy.
Some women taking HRT continue to experience symptoms. Further help may be needed to address underlying issues which are not improved with HRT such as gut issues, subclinical thyroid issues, stress and anxiety and nutrient deficiencies.
Post menopause support
With the natural decline in sex hormones, there is an increase in risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. During your Nutritional Therapy consultation, I will offer you diet and lifestyle advice to help you to keep your heart and vascular system healthy and your bones supported.