Welcome, fabulous women, to a journey of transformation like no other – menopause! Today, we're diving into the ultimate menopause support guide to empower you through perimenopause, gathered from workshops and retreats. Let's make understanding menopause a breeze, decoding the hormonal changes, and arming you with the knowledge to sail through this period with confidence and joy. We can keep you updated with our newsletter.
Alright, ladies, let's start with the basics. Menopause isn't a one-time event; it's a process, and perimenopause is the superhero leading the way to the grand finale of periods. Lasting a few years, this phase brings hormone buddies like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone into the spotlight. Buckle up, because this hormonal rollercoaster is the beginning of your unique menopausal adventure!
Body Changes During Perimenopause
Imagine your ovaries as backstage crew, gradually wrapping up the egg production show. This change triggers a hormonal party affecting everything from your heart's rhythm to your brain's backstage operations. We're talking about mood swings, hot flashes, and more! Knowing these changes is like having a map for the journey – it helps you navigate the twists and turns. Want to join a conversation? Join our private facebook page with like-minded and supportive women.
Symptoms of Menopause
Now, let's talk symptoms! Think of perimenopause as a DIY project where every woman gets a unique kit. Brain fog, mood swings, and the famous hot flashes are just a few items in this kit. Our Menopause Survival Guide comes with a handy symptoms list – your go-to tool for identifying what's happening in your fabulous body.
The Menopause Symphony of Symptoms
Picture this: Your brain decides to take a stroll through a mysterious foggy forest. Welcome to brain fog – where thoughts meander, and the GPS is on vacation. Don't worry; it's a common companion during menopause. Defeat the fog with lists; on paper, on your phone, in your bag, post it notes on your computer. Do whatever works best for you. Oh, and if you are in a job where you have to present information, check out apps like Teleprompter, game changer, never forget your words again!
Ever feel like your emotions are having a dance party without an invitation? Menopause is notorious for mood changes, turning your emotions into the ultimate dance floor divas. Get ready to cha-cha with happiness, tango with tears, and waltz with whimsy! It’s not easy, it’s like being a teenager all over again, and can get super emotional if you also have teenagers still at home. Tens and a menopausal parent can be a potent cocktail and need a good hangover cure. May I suggest a heartfelt chat on the sofa with a cuppa to work out a home made recipe for kindness.
Keys? Check. Phone? Check. Memory? Umm... where did I put that? Menopause might throw a curveball at your memory, making you play hide-and-seek with everyday items. Embrace it – consider it a daily treasure hunt that you need to win! Notes, reminders and alarms will become your new best friends. Your female human best friends will understand, they’re forgetting the same stuff!
Motivation, where art thou? Menopause might bring a temporary motivation vacation, leaving you wondering why vacuuming suddenly feels like climbing Mount Everest. Spoiler alert: You're still a rock star; motivation is just taking a nap. Need to wake up the motivation? Get active, jump around, sing, clap, laugh, cheer, it will really shake your mood. I like to sing along to my old favourite songs to lift my energy.
The art of focusing becomes a whimsical challenge during menopause. Your attention might decide to wander off like a curious cat. It's not you; it's the hormones staging a concentration rebellion. Just pretend you're multitasking like a pro! So long as stuff gets done, don’t stress too much. Break large task into shorter time frames so you can concentrate better. Oh, if you are struggling in a boring meeting, we all do, that’s normal!
Migraines & Headaches:
Menopause might throw a headache party – and migraines are VIP guests. It's like having an uninvited rock concert in your head. Cue the cool shades, dim the lights, and treat yourself to some soothing vibes. But if they keep coming, go see your Dr, there are medical interventions that can help. And think about some tlc, having some quiet time, massage, spa days, yoga, swimming. Find what helps your body.
Ah, the infamous hot flushes – the sudden sensation of being a human toaster. Your body decides it's time to crank up the heat. Take it as a reminder to sizzle in your own fabulousness whilst you find a way to cool down! There are neck fans, electric fans, bamboo bed sheets, cotton clothing, loose clothing, ditching the viscose and polyester clothing, cold water as a few suggestions to try. If you are really struggling speak to your Dr, although we can’t all take HRT there are some new medical alternatives that are not hormonal.
Menopause might turn your cozy bed into a tropical paradise, complete with humidity. Night sweats, the exotic dancers of menopause symptoms, are here to make sure your sleepwear gets a workout, how many sets of night wear are you getting through each night? Try bamboo and 100% cotton bedding, a thinner duvet, open a window, wear cotton or bamboo sleepwear, try looser sleep wear, avoid caffeine or at least cut right down. I cut right down to just one cup of tea in the morning and it has definitely helped me. It was really hard to do, but it has helped so much I now turn down a real cuppa in favour for a decaff because I don’t want that awful feeling in bed the following night. Alcohol can be the same, just a glass of wine can trigger a whole night full of sweats and poor sleep. And if that wasn’t annoying enough, the poor sleep from the night sweats makes us foggy and forgetful the next day!
Your bosom buddies might decide to throw a few punchy moves, and sometimes it involves some unwelcome boxing guests fighting to get out of your bra – breast pain. It's like they're practicing their moves, but a comfy bra can be your defence and soften the blows. If it goes on for a pro longed period, or your sixth sense tells you it’s not right, go see your Dr and get your boobs checked out. We all need to keep an eye on our breast tissue during menopause because the hormonal changes cause our boobs to change. Your boobs will start to feel different and these changes need checking so we can understand our new normal plus be reminded of what to check for and how to check our breasts.
Menopause can sometimes give your digestive system a rollercoaster ride. It's like your stomach has a new pattern! Hunger changes can really throw us all out of routine. We need to eat less as we age because our metabolism slows , particularly if we lose muscle mass. It’s time to get disciplined over snacks because those few extra calories of deliciousness with zero nutritional value slowly increase our weight. And with the slower metabolism we get a slower through put of poop! Oh, you can get really constipated too. You really will have days where you feel like poop! Exercise can really help your intestines get working, just a few sit ups or yoga moves each morning can help get things moving along. And then there is our friend called Fibre, no one eats enough fibre each day – the recommended amount is 30g- so eating more veg & fruit that you chew – soup, juice, smoothies are all too finely blitzed to do the work your gut needs- Figs and prunes do a great job, give them a try.
The menopausal metabolism slowdown might introduce you to an unexpected friend – weight gain. But hey, your body is a canvas, and those curves are a masterpiece. Embrace your fabulous menopausal self! A few pounds gain is fine, but once they hit double figures it’s time to double down and take action. Your shape is part of your beautiful self, the actual weight in relation to your heighthowever is really important for long term health. If you can keep your BMI to 24 or less you are doing a great job. Keep the fibre going in and keep the snacks and treats out with a bit of extra movement in your daily life and you are on track for a healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to be a party pooper, but if you can be a party sharer, by sharing your pizza, your cake, your chocolate you are half way to winning the control my weight party game. Is it important, well yes, you will still look fabulous in your party dress but you want to be able to banish the gate crashers called type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Loss of Libido:
Libido taking a vacation? Menopause might send your mojo on a short trip, but don't worry, there are lots of interventions out there to help you get it back. You can speak to your Dr, other girlfriends and your partner. Make time for sex, it might take a bit more time to get in the mood and you may need to get a bit more creative to get things going.
Welcome to the desert – aka vaginal dryness during menopause. It's like your nether regions decided to explore a new climate. Thankfully, there's a whole oasis of solutions to keep things comfortable. Again you can speak to your Dr for medication that can help, but lube is going to be your new friend. It’s not just sex where dryness can be an issue, it can affect how you feel when wearing trousers and move around.
Menopause might bring some stiff guests that like to hang around for too long– joint pain. It's like your joints decided to be as awkward and as uncomfortable as possible. Treat them with some gentle moves, warmth and omega 3 rich foods or supplements. Yoga and Pilates can also help by strengthening the muscles that support your joints.
Your bones might get a little extra attention during menopause, with osteoporosis potentially making an appearance. But fear not, Vitamin K, calcium-rich foods and a bit of sunshine are your knights in shining armour! It can be hereditary, so speak to your Dr if it is in your family. Did you know bones really benefit from jerky movements? Skipping, jumping, hopping are all good for bones along with carrying weight. So jump up and down, skip with the kids, carry your shopping and effortlessly add bone health exercises to your day.
Menopause could introduce you to the robot dance of muscle stiffness. It's like your muscles decided to practice their street dance moves. Stretch it out with yoga and Pilates, show them who's leading the dance of life!
Your hair might decide to play a disappearing act during menopause. It's not a magic trick; it's just the hormonal symphony deciding fill your plug hole with clumps of hair. Your hair dresser will be your best friend through this journey. Changing hairstyles can give the illusion of more hair, hair products and styling can also be kinder to hair, find what works for you.
Menopause might turn your skin reptile like. Cue the moisturizer superhero to the rescue! Your skin deserves all the hydration and love it can get. Drink water and moisturise with a cream that is free from paraffin/petrolatum because these products don’t penetrate the skin and help the new skin get nourished.
Itchy skin during menopause is like a mischievous little sprite playing tricks. But worry not; your superhero squad of soothing creams is ready for action. And try clothes from natural fibres, like cotton, bamboo, merino wool.
Surprise! Acne might make a comeback during menopause. It's like your skin is having a rebellious teenage moment! Time to go back to the teen skin care counter and see what works on our skin. If it’s really bad then see a dermatologist.
Wrinkles are like life's love letters etched on your skin. Menopause might add a few more lines to your story, but each one tells a tale of wisdom and fabulous adventures. Treat yourself to good quality skin care and stick to a routine. It will help prevent the skin dryness and itchiness too.
Change to the Sense of Smell:
Menopause might hand your sense of smell a quirky makeover. Suddenly, your favorite perfume smells like a garden of surprises. Enjoy the aromatic adventure!
Dry eyes during menopause? It's like your eyes decided to take a break from producing tears. Keep those eye drops handy and blink your way through the dry spell.
Surprise guests might appear on your face – facial hair during menopause. It's like your skin decided to sprout a cluster of little strands. Tweezers to the rescue! If you are struggling to tweezer with reading glasses on, find a good beautician or friend who will tackle them for you. They do tend to pop up over night!
Your bladder might start singing a more frequent tune during menopause. It's like it joined a choir and decided to hit the high notes. Stay hydrated and embrace those bathroom breaks! You can really help lower the frequency with some simple tips. Have less caffeine. Caffeine can make needing a wee much more urgent as well as frequent. Drink a full glass of water rather than sip, usually you need a wee an hour after you have a full drink. If you are getting up in the night with night sweats think about how much you are weeing in the night too, frequent urination especially at night can be an early sign of type 2 diabetes.
Sometimes menopause might bring a bit of discomfort to the bathroom. It's like your urinary system is sending a tiny note saying, "Handle with care." A chat with your doctor might be just what's needed.
Menopause might introduce you to a new dance – the incontinence shuffle. It's like your bladder has a mind of its own. Kegel exercises and a sense of humor are your dance partners. They really do help get things tighter. Invest in urinary pads and keep one with a spare pair of knockers in your bag/car just in case you get caught short. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
Menopause could turn your nails into delicate works of art – delicate being the operative word. It's like they decided to channel their inner ballerinas. Nail care routines are your backstage pass to strong and fabulous nails.
Taking Charge of Your Health
Ready to take the reins? Listening to your body during perimenopause is like having a heart-to-heart with your bestie. Some symptoms might be signaling other things, so grab your superhero cape and consult your doctor. We've got practical advice, like jotting down your concerns before appointments, ensuring you make the most of your superhero consultation time! If you would like more structure to get your health on track through menopause join the wait list for our next Online Menopause Retreat or dive straight into the full Shape Up Your Menopause online course
Menopause isn't just about symptoms; it's a game-changer for your health risks. Picture it as a health superhero makeover – your risks for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis might get a tweak. Keep an eye out for changes in breast health, bowel patterns, and the sneaky risk of type 2 diabetes during this superhero phase.
Empowering Women with How2EatWell
Now, let's talk about fuelling your superhero journey with How2EatWell! We're all about empowering you to take charge of your health during perimenopause. Think of us as your sidekick, offering insights into nutrition, lifestyle tweaks, and overall well-being. It's not just about surviving; it's about thriving! Our tips and guides are regularly published on the How2EatWell Facebook page and also on the How2EatWell Instagram account.
Ladies, the menopausal journey is a ride worth taking with confidence. This guide is your trusty companion, making sure you not only endure but embrace this phase with sass and smiles. You're not alone – let's dance through this transformative journey together!