Menopause has long been swept under the rug. In fact, for a long time, it was considered a taboo topic. Considering this is a defining time in a woman’s life (just like getting your first period!), it’s about time we talked about it.
When it comes down to it, menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual years. The transitional time beforemenopause occurs is referred to as perimenopause. Perimenopause, on average, begins around the age of 51. However, it can occur anytime between 45 and 55 years of age.
So, let’s dig into this topic further. Even if you’re not particularly close to the average menopausal age, it’s still a good idea to learn about this transitional time as every woman goes through it (and there are various ways you can prepare for it early on, making this phase of life and after that much easier!). So, what should you know about menopause? How does it impact women’s health?
What is Menopause?
As previously mentioned, menopause is the cessation of a woman’s reproductive and menstruating years. Officially, menopause is a natural biological process that happens when a woman has gone 12 months without a period.
Menopause is a big topic today due to the various symptoms and discomforts a woman may experience during this time. Menopause symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping/insomnia
- Vagina dryness
- Irregular periods
- Mood fluctuations
- Hair thinning
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Brittle bones (osteoporosis)
- Low libido
- Heavy bleeding
- Joint pain
For many women, perimenopause begins with shorter and irregular periods. However, it’s important to note that menopausal symptoms differ for every woman. For some, this transitional time may last only a few months. For others, it can last up to seven years or more.
During this time, the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which usually regulate the menstrual cycle, begin to fluctuate. This is because the ovaries are, technically, winding down, and this means the body often produces less estrogen.
Yet, estrogen isn’t only beneficial for regulating the menstrual cycle. It also plays a role in bone and muscle health, cardiovascular health, and other neuroendocrine functions, which is why many symptoms during menopause are thought to occur.
5 Tips for Combatting Menopausal Symptoms
So, how can you ease your symptoms? Or how can you prepare for this time in your life and potentially go through this transition with as minimal symptoms as possible? Frequently, this comes down to lifestyle changes. So, let’s take a look at a few!
1. Strength Train Regularly
Lifting weights regularly before, during, and after menopause is shown to enhance bone, muscle, and metabolic health. Strength training may also combat any joint pain that you might experience during menopause. It can further help maintain a healthy weight and prevent the accumulation of belly fat.
2. Eat a Primarily Whole Foods Diet
Fruits and veggies are your best friends here! They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help support your body during (and before) menopause. At the same time, don’t forget about getting enough protein! Most women should aim for at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day.
3. Avoid Skipping Meals
Eat regular and balanced meals throughout your day to balance blood sugar levels. Again, make sure your meals or snacks contain some protein and fiber, both of which are essential for blood sugar regulation.
4. Prioritise Your Sleep
Aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night is key for optimal hormonal balance. If you have difficulty sleeping, make sure you follow proper sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time. If this fails, discuss your options with your doctor to get this under control!
5. Consider Supplementation Where Necessary
Once you’ve mastered all of the above, supplements can help further support your body during this transitional time. Life Nutrition’s Algae Calcium, Deep Sea Fish Oil, NMN+, Sleep Tonight ,Advanced Probiotics, and Women Everyday Complete from our Women’s collection can offer your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best, even through these turbulent changes.
At the end of the day, menopause doesn’t have to feel “life ending.” In fact, many women view this new phase of life as a fresh start filled with newfound freedom!