Making friends with menopause
So what is actually happening within a woman’s body during menopause? Firstly, the ovaries stop producing hormones, particularly oestrogen, which results in the cessation of the menstrual period. You still need some oestrogen for important non-reproductive functions such as supporting bone health, therefore many other tissues including the brain, adrenal glands, and adipose (fat) tissue actually continue the role of oestrogen production for the remainder of a woman’s life, which begins to reveal why some women experience menopause differently to others. What this means is – what impacts these tissues, impacts your symptoms.
As further proof of this, women experiencing menopausal flushes are not actually hotter in temperature than people not experiencing flushing – how fascinating!
Whilst declining oestrogen is one of the reasons for the narrowing of this zone, it is not the only cause. In fact, it is stress levels that play a larger role than oestrogen levels in triggering hot flushes. To highlight this, recent research has found that menopausal women have increased activity of the stress centre of the brain right before the onset of a hot flush.
Therefore, it is vitally important to support a healthy stress response,
not just hormones, to reduce menopausal symptoms.
The good news is that specific herbs and nutrients can support and nourish your stress response, and hence support your menopausal symptoms.
Research shows that mind-body therapies, such as yoga, tai chi, mindfulness, meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy and aerobic exercise improve overall menopausal symptoms, such as flushing, night sweats, insomnia and mood changes.
Did you know that 65% of postmenopausal woman are classified as obese? Therefore, moving your body will help to not only lose weight but also improve your symptoms, with evidence showing weight loss alone to be enough for some women to reduce their hot flushes.
In this transitional time for women, it’s important to examine your stress levels, review your current lifestyle choices, and establish healthy habits. Remember, hormones are one part of the picture in menopause, but they aren’t the only contributor. Your whole body is made of many complexities, and addressing all aspects that influence your menopausal symptoms is vital when embarking on this next stage of life.
For tailored support with your journey towards a balanced and vibrant body, click here to make an appointment with me.