Generally speaking, menopause creeps up on us around 50 years of age. However, for some it can begin in their 40ʼs. With that, the changes begin. Menopause is a natural occurring biological process that wreaks havoc on our physical and mental health.
What to expect:
Physical signs can include: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weight gain, slowed metabolism, irregular periods, chills, loss of fullness in your breasts, night sweats, decreased libido, thinning and dry hair and sleep disturbances.
Emotional signs can include : mood changes such as anxiety and depression, mood lability, sadness, aggression, increased stress, irritability, lack of motivation, forgetfulness and diﬀiculty concentrating.
Knowing your body and its changes will help you get through this cycle as long as you take a few steps to prepare.
Gut Bacteria- Your gut-brain balance is both delicate and crucial to hormonal and mental health. By maintaining this balance, you help your body regulate sleep, mood and energy. Adding pre and probiotics to your daily routine assist in creating good bacteria needed to maintain optimal brain and gut health. Listed below are some tips on how to start.
Fatigue Fighters – Magnesium Glycinate, Zinc, B-Complex, Omega 3ʼs, Capsaicin, Turmeric. Thiamine
Foods – Folate rich foods, plant-based, roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, avocados, lamb, grass fed beef , baked salmon, overnight-oats and chickpeas.
Hydrate – 80 ounces of water or more daily, add cucumber and/or lemon. Drink your first glass upon waking. Cherry Juice ( watch the sugar content )and Green Tea.
Love Your Libido – Avoid junk food, limit refined sugar, decrease the alcohol, (although one glass of red wine is ok and sometimes helpful) , omit the licorice but eat the dark chocolate, coﬀee, avocados, pistachios, apples and almonds. When using a female lubricant, try and choose a water based brand.
Always Add Self-Care – Exercise , Yoga, Mindfulness, Spa Days, Mani/Pedi, Facials,Girls Day Out, Rest
When To See A Professional : If you need further assistance with hormone balancing, such as hormone replacement therapy, if you experinece new or worsening, insomnia, depression or suicidal thoughts. Increased or unmanageable anger, stress and/or any other mental health symptom.
Nancy McCormack MSN,RN NC-BC