While you may be a few years away from ‘the change’ yet, it’s never too early to clue yourself up and prepare yourself for the most radical shift in hormones that your body has felt since puberty. The menopause has plenty of negative side effects that dominate media and popular culture coverage. Celebrities give graphic interviews detailing the mood swings they had to ensure, the hot flushes that struck at the most embarrassing moments and the radical weight gain caused by chemical changes within the body. While the menopause can cause a whole host of unwanted symptoms, there are ways to combat these. At the same time, there are plenty of facets to the menopause that are rarely explored in great depth.
It can be all too easy to feel alone and isolated when going through such a personal change. However, you must realize that hundreds of thousands of women go through the same body and mind altering change every single year. It’s time to open up and talk about our body and health issues, and menopause should take pride of place. Read onto discover the ultimate guide to navigating your menopause.
Your Heart Health
What many people won’t tell you about the menopause is the effect that this time in your life can have on your heart health. Estrogen isn’t simply a hormone involved in regulating your menstrual cycle. Unbalanced, it doesn’t just give you particularly heavy periods or hellish mood swings. Estrogen has a fundamental impact on the health of your heart. As the levels of this hormone fluctuate during menopause, you may find your chest feeling a little fluttery. These are heart palpitations. While they can feel slightly scary and a tad daunting at first, they should settle down as your body becomes used to its new hormone levels. If in doubt, you should always see a medical professional.
Your cholesterol levels may also see an increase. LDL, the cholesterol type we don’t want to see high levels of clogging up our arteries, is regulated effectively by estrogen. As these levels fluctuate so could your LDL. This is why it is even more important to eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise. Cut out the fatty foods, refined carbohydrates and sugary treats and embrace the world of nut and fruit based snacks, whole grains, superfood green smoothies, wheatgrass and lean meats and fish. By doing everything in your power to limit the effect of the fluctuation in estrogen, you will be doing your utmost to keep your heart healthy.
Your Mental Health
Even though you know that plenty of other women are going through this change at exactly the same moment as you, you can still feel isolated and alone. When friends invite you out to soirees and events you might not feel like going and fancy a night in front of the gogglebox instead with nothing but a bucket of ice cream for company.
Menopause is a time in your life when you become more attuned to your wants and needs in later life. You may need some time to reflect and think about the future. This is more than fine, but don’t make a habit of negating your social butterfly status. Your friends and family will get you through this change in your life. They are your support network and you should utilize their ears should you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to vent at. When you head out to your local drinking establishment for a tipple, talk about your health, open up about your problems and find solace in your nearest and dearest. You never know, they may be going through exactly the same thing and you will no longer have to feel alone.
The Hot Flush
Everyone knows what it is like to feel a sudden pang of pinkness in the cheeks and come over all hot and bothered. This is categorically not what a menopausal hot flush is. The feeling of heat encompasses your whole body and can result in you sweating for hours. A hot flush isn’t a speedy affliction that rectifies itself as quickly as it started. When caught out, these hot flushes can be hugely embarrassing and make you feel incredibly self conscious. They can also strike in the middle of the night leading you to wake up in soaking wet sheets and feeling uncomfortable and emotional.
If this symptom become debilitating and prevents you from functioning you could always look into medical professionals such as BodyLogicMD who can construct a hormone therapy treatment to try and limit the more adverse aspects of the menopause. With your own hormone therapy plan, you may find the night sweats lessening, the mood swings leveling out and your mindset becoming less foggy.
One of the toughest aspects of the menopause is the unspoken effects that a shift in hormone balance may have on your body. Differing levels of hormones can result in dry and brittle hair developing. Your once luscious locks may appear thinner and less vibrant. Your hair may begin to break more easily and be less capable of taking on a color treatment. If this is the case, talk to your hairdresser and use specially formulated milder shampoos and conditioners. The brittle nature of your hair shouldn’t last forever and should rectify itself once your hormone levels have become more stable once again.
While going through the menopause sounds like a mammoth undertaking, and for some women it really is, there are ways in which you can make your navigation through the menopausal maze just that little bit easier. Follow this guide to ensure that any negative impact the menopause is having on your life can be negated by a natural treatment, a therapy or a lifestyle change. While you may suddenly feel your age and realize that you are no longer a beacon of youth, your existence has not ended; you have merely begun a new, more vibrant and exciting chapter of your life.