How to support yourself before and during the menopause
Your body goes through a number of changes during the menopause, and many of these can mediated by preparing for them or helping to manage them at the time.
Strength training to protect your bones
Women lose bone density rapidly during the menopause due to dropping oestrogen levels. These new hormone imbalances can also cause muscles to weaken. Weight bearing, resistance (such as yoga and pilates) and high impact exercises can help increase bone density. Ensuring a good level of protein in your diet will also help with muscle mass which will further support your bones.
Maintaining a healthy diet and weight
Reduced oestrogen can increase the risk of developing metabolic dysfunction, leading to weight gain. This, in turn, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and staying well hydrated can help reduce this. Additionally, you may also find you need to consume fewer calories as you get older as your metabolic rate decreases.
Addressing mood changes
Hormonal changes during this time may lead to mood changes including low mood and anxiety. Regular exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation exercises such as mindfulness, and reducing alcohol intake will help manage these. A healthy diet will also help to regulate blood sugar fluctuations, which can contribute to mood changes.
Get your vitamins
Vitamin D and calcium are great for bone health and you may find Omega 3s helpful to help regulate your mood.
Pelvic floor exercises
As changes in your hormone levels affect the regulation of muscle energy metabolism and cell viability, overall muscle-mass in the body may be reduced. Many women experience this weakening in their pelvic floor muscles, so it is important to strengthen these to prevent further complications.
Be kind to yourself
Moods swings, body changes, insomnia and other discomforts can take their toll. Try to be forgiving of yourself when you are struggling or feeling out of character, and rest and relax whenever you can. Go for walks, take naps, and do what you need to recuperate or clear your head – meditation, painting, baking – whatever works for you.
Speak to your GP about available treatments
If you feel in need of professional support with your symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your GP for advice about possible treatments. This will likely include Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), amongst others.
This too shall pass…
Once it's over, many women report feeling great. Without periods, mood-altering hormones and contraception to worry about, many women report feeling liberated and empowered after their menopause.
This page contains information sourced from www.themenopausecharity.org