It’s ironic, that 2 years after I discover how I’ve been doing periods wrong all this time (see here), I’m beginning to see signs of menopause. A slowing down of the amount of blood every month and nodding off at all times of the day. Nothing too drastic, just anti social. Getting to the point where I just have to stop what I’m doing and I need to sleep.
With the early warning signs there, I have decided to look at the whole experience differently and headed to my trusty internet for guidance.
So what’s good about it then?
Society loves to tell you how menopause should be ‘fixed’, or it’s a ‘condition’ but in reality it’s as natural as puberty. Think of it as a shedding of the old skin, a transformation. A woman starts to know what she wants in life and doesn’t want to compromise. She becomes more powerful, less self conscious and hopefully wiser.
A woman tends to look inwards during menopause and has the opportunity to concentrate on herself. She has the courage to change things, especially if there are things going wrong in life. It’s a chance to get rid of the old and bring in the new. The most obvious perks are less worries about monthly periods, pms symptoms and getting pregnant of course.
Some research. Women who have the worst hot flashes have an 11% lower risk of having heart related problems. An 8% lower risk of dying from any cause. (Study Northwestern University)
Study with a group of women on a placebo for menopause symptoms showed that most of the symptoms, over the space of a year, disappeared by themselves without needing hormone supplements.
Dr Mangione, who conducted the study, concluded that menopause is a natural process and should be treated as such and that the symptoms themselves can be self limiting. (Dr. Carol Mangione of UCLA’s School of Medicine)
Study found that women who suffered hot flashes had a 50% lower chance of developing most types of breast cancer. (National Cancer Institute).
What to avoid?
HRT and hormone replacement drugs.
Granted the symptoms can be bad but the dangerous side effects alone of taking these drugs, does it really balance out? There is a marked increase of breast cancers, heart attack, stroke, dementia and lung cancer.
The drugs themselves are made from nasties such as horses urine, and even petrochemicals. All they do is hide the symptoms and create dependence on them. Why would we take such a risk with our bodies?
Processed food and sugars in the diet are things to avoid also. They can increase symptoms of menopause.
Avoid BPAs or Bisphenol A. Used to make such things as plastic food containers and coat the lining of food tins, even found in till and credit card receipts. It is a severe hormone disruptor, found in everyday life. You can buy BPA free products, just read labels carefully. Hard to avoid completely but it is better to be aware.
What can we do? Plenty
Diet. Plenty of vegetables and fruit. Extra vitamin supplements such as vitamins E, C and B complex. During and after menopause, the body needs more calcium. Foods high in calcium such as kale, spinach and dark green leaves. Contrary to what we have been taught all of our lives, milk and dairy rob the bones of calcium!
Drink your 8 glasses of water a day, especially if you suffer from excessive sweating during this time.
Exercise and keeping active, Keeps circulatory systems, good bone density and muscles in condition as there is a marked decrease in all of these after menopause.
Yoga. Deep breathing especially helps to calm the mind and cool the body during a hot flash. In yoga as well as other disciplines, there is an energy called Kundalini. It is a coil of energy at the base of the spine that rises up and stimulates all of your chakras, or energy centres in your body. Some practitioners say that it is the same energy as what we experience during menopause and that, properly channelled, can transform a woman.
We are told that for a lot of women, the sexual appetite lessens. That, however can be balanced by knowing that the whole experience of sex can be more intense. Just use lube if you need to!
Taking naps when you need them. I know that a lot of the time its difficult. Take the opportunities when you can. A 10, 20 minute nap does the job. Sit outdoors and breathe. Just to centre yourself and reset. It helps me a lot during the day.
Supplements. Do your research, Ask friends what works for them. See a good naturopath, herbalist or any good holistic doctor who can give advice on diet, herbs and supplements.
My favourites aids for menopause at the moment are:
Stinging nettle. I make a wonderful infusion (stronger than a tea) which gives me a boost of energy and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. There are good recipes out there on Youtube, especially Susun Weed, the herbalist and wise woman.
Maca. South American root, in dried form, which I put in smoothies. Has a lovely caramel taste. Great for balancing hormones. Increasing sex drive.
Vetiver. An essential oil which instantly calms me and clears my mind.
Lavender. Also helps in the same way as vetiver.
There is so much that you can do to help yourself through this and we are all different. But you will find something that works for you. The key seems to be, listen to your body and be more accepting when symptoms occur. Don’t fight it. Be gentle with yourself.
Well, I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Spiritual awakening here I come.
Susun Weed nettle infusion Here
Lavender Dr Axe Here
It’s your turn Button babies. Give us your experiences. Is menopause hitting you harder than you deserve and you want to share?
Do you have some sage advice for us newbies on what works for you?