There’s one thing in life that no one teaches you about: Menopause.
We learn about puberty, the changes and hormones involved. We learn about how we can get pregnant and if we get pregnant, what we can expect. But no one talks about “the change”.
All I ever heard about was “vaginal dryness” and “loss of libido” but not the lowered iron levels, the craziness, loss of hair, papery skin, mood swings or the every where dryness!!!
I’ve learned a few interesting things about what happens to women when we age, here’s what you need to know!
The stage of peri-menopause starts in your mid-40’s and will last until your early 50’s. The average age of menopause, (no menses for 1 year) is 51. Your estrogen and testosterone levels will dramatically start to decline which then results in a couple of major physical symptoms, like:
Dryness (everywhere!) eyes, va-j.j., joints, hair, skin and even in your mouth;
Lowered sex drive due to the decrease in testosterone; hot flashes, which peak within two years of your last period; brain fog, sleep issues, depression and anxiousness.
Raise your hand if you experience any of these symptoms now! 🙋🏻♀️
Do they mean to tell you that things are going to get worse?
They may, but they don’t have to!
Estrogen, is responsible for more things than just our period.
Estrogen determines our skin’s collagen stores! 🤯
So while our estrogen levels plummet, so do our collagen stores. Which are responsible for our supple skin, voluminous hair and non-creaky joints. (That’s right!!!)
Estrogen is also responsible for our production of hyaluronic acid!
And hyaluronic acid isn’t just for the moisture on your face…it also helps with the moisture downstairs! This is why vaginal dryness occurs after menopause.
Sounds great, right? Wait. It gets better.
Many women go through emotional disturbances, whether that be mood swings, anxiety or depression. These can be related to a few factors. Loss of parents or children leaving home, the loss of their “womanhood” plus the rollercoaster ride of hormones that is present during menopause can make anyone crazy.
Look at the image, notice the hormone levels and how they change during the phases of menopause. During peri-menopause, your hormones are are definitely taking you on a ride. It's no surprise why some women seem to feel like they are going crazy.
So what can you do?
Phytoestrogens are plant-sourced substances which mimic estrogen at your cells receptor cites. When you are running out of estrogen, these plants fill the spots where your cells are waiting for estrogen. Soy, of course may be the first come to mind. But other high sources of phytoestrogens are flaxseed, lentils, chickpeas, fenugreek and beans.
Just a quick note about soy; it’s not the demon that you may hear about. Ensure the soy you are getting is certified non-GMO and organic. There is no evidence what soy increases the risk of breast or endometrial cancer.
If you are going to be adding soy to your diet, use SOY. No “incredible” meat products. No veggie ground. Just Tofu. You can use Textured soy Protein, which is dehydrated soy. The real deal.
There are two main categories of supplements that will help you go through menopause; each woman is different, so what may work for one may not work for you. The main categories are hot flashes and mood.
Hot Flashes - The exact reason for why they occur is unknown, it is somehow tied to our hypothalamus in our brain, which regulates our body temperature, (the hypothalamus is also connected to our adrenal and thyroid glands, as mentioned previously). As estrogen decreases, slight temperature changes make the hypothalamus overreact to a rise in temperatures, opening up blood vessels to allow the body to cool, inducing sweating and overheating. Triggers can be spicy foods, coffee, smoking, warm environments and stress.
A member of the buttercup family, has been shown to bine to regulate core temperatures by binding to cell receptors. Can have an adverse effect on liver function and maybe breast cancer.
Contains isoflavones that can have an effect on hot flashes. The studies are studies have come out neutral to whether or not red clover is effective. It may help some women, but not all.
Is known to help with hot flashes as it cools within the system, lowering core temperatures.
Used throughout Asia, this is predominantly used to treat menopausal hot flashes, menstrual cramps, lack of menstruation or lack of menstruation. Can also bring on a heavy flow, so those in peri-menopause should beware.
Mood - During menopause your hormones are completely out of whack and it’s no surprise your outlook on life may change. There can be a great amount of fear and doubt that arises when we look back on the life we thought we would have compared to the reality of things. The ending of life becomes apparent with parents and relatives starting to pass. Children, if you have them, are at the age when they start to leave home. You become a single, middle-aged adult perhaps with not as much zing as you once did.
Mindfulness - Appreciation and acknowledgement for all the things you have done and are going to do must be front and centre. Don’t compare your life with anything but appreciate it for what it has provided YOU. Don’t sweat the small stuff and if you haven’t already, it’s time to enjoy your life!
Can help with the brain fog you may start to experience; forgetting where you put things and names and places may start to get muddled in your head. This will help.
Will help with reducing mental and physical fatigue
Is a known natural anti-depressant.
You may not be at this point in your life yet. But it’s right around the corner and it’s better to have the knowledge and be prepared. And let’s be honest, adding in collagen is not going to hurt anyone!
Thanks for reading!
Share this with someone you know, (mom, aunt, co-worker) that may be starting “THE CHANGE”
If you have anything you want to know more about, send me a message.
Until the next time,
Eat well. Work hard. Seize Wellness.