There are around 13 million women in the UK who are currently going through the menopause, and with it comes an array of symptoms that can be hard to control if you’re exactly sure what’s best to help.
With the help of three doctors we get tips on the best ways to ease menopause symptoms naturally.
What causes menopause symptoms?
Typical symptoms that are caused by menopause are down to oestrogen levels dipping, this will usually lead to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, having trouble sleeping, as well a reduced libido and a low mood. Not only this, but it can also have an impact on memory and concentration too.
These symptoms can last for up to 15 years too.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a prescribed treatment that is often given to women when they’re suffering from the symptoms associated with menopause. However, some women prefer not to take the medicine and choose to do things a little different.
There are lifestyle changes that can be made, as well as supplements that can be taken, to help manage menopause symptoms.
Dr David Edwards wants to urge women not to suffer in silence and encourage you to see your GP if you’re all at concerned.
Managing menopause naturally
Move more – There are a number of reasons why you might to consider exercising throughout the menopause. Bone density can be lowered through menopause and exercises like skipping can put stress on the bones which slows down this loss.
Aerobic exercise is linked to the release of endorphins which are known as the happy hormones, which can help reduce the low mood that often occurs through menopause.
Also, introducing pilates and yoga into your routine can help to increase your flexibility, as well as helping you to target your pelvic floor muscles which can become weaker after childbirth, this helps to protect against urinary incontinence.
Staying cool – Hot flushes can plague you doing the menopause, so keeping your house and particularly your bedroom cool is one the best ways to ease the chances of a flush. It can also be helpful to cut back on the number of caffeinated drinks you consume, as well as drinking more water.
Menoherb Black Cohosh Menopause Relief is a herbal medicine that helps with the relief of symptoms like night sweats, hot flushes and mood changes. The traditional remedy is available in Boots and Holland and Barrett.
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Psychosexual Therapist and committee member for the British Society of Sexual Medicine, Trudy Hannington wants to bring more awareness to Female Sexual Dysfunction which can affect one in two women who have been through menopause.
For women who suffer from a low sex drive or struggle to get aroused, or don’t feel desire, they might want to take on board Trudy’s following tips:
Make a date night – Make a date and set it in stone where you take an evening or afternoon to get to know each other again, discussing the things that make you feel good. She explains that switching off your phones and other devices can be helpful on this date night to ensure there are no distractions.
Encourage touching – Improve the communication in your relationship by trying sensual massage, which can improve foreplay too. Rather than rushing through the moves take time to kiss, touch and explore your bodies to give your libido a boost.
Managing hormones with nutrition
Suzie Sawyer is a clinical nutritionist and wants us to know that the foods we eat can have a direct effect on oestrogen and progesterone levels, such as eating foods that are highly refined and blood sugar imbalances too. These can, in turn, worsen the symptoms associated with menopause, but thankfully there are things that you can do.
Balanced diet – Eat a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, focusing especially on consuming broccoli, carrots and sprouts, eating these types of foods will encourage a healthy hormone balance.
Phytoestrogens - Foods that contain phytoestrogens, which work to balance hormones and provide oestrogenic ‘activity’ where it’s needed, are also important, things you want to include are chickpeas, oats, wholegrain rice, soya lentils and flaxseeds.
Boost your calcium – You’ll want to ensure that you get enough calcium to keep your bones strong and reduce the risk of fractures too. Focus on foods that are rich in calcium like sardines, spinach, kale and broccoli. Some dairy foods can also help, however, too much cheese can be acidic which causes the bones to lose calcium.
Vitamin D and Magnesium – Getting enough of these two nutrients are also beneficial to bone health. You can get vitamin D in foods like eggs and oily fish, and magnesium can be found in foods like pulses and nuts, if you’re not getting enough through the foods you eat however you might want to consider a supplement like Try Alive! Ultra Women’s 50+ Wholefood Plus tablets.
Omega 3 – Ensure your heart is healthy and your joints of flexible by getting enough omega 3 in your body, it’s recommended that we eat oily fish at least twice a week, you can also eat flaxseeds which are a good source of the fatty acids.