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How To Own Your Menopause Like A Boss!

In the UK, a staggering 90% of women report not receiving education about menopause, highlighting a significant gap in our healthcare conversation.

Today we want to bridge that gap, empowering you with guidance on owning your menopause so you’re informed, prepared, and proactive about your health.

Let’s start this journey together, armed with the tools for success and a mindset geared towards wellness.

What is menopause?

In the words of Davina McCall on Menopause, “For far too long, there’s been a shroud of embarrassment, shame, and fear around this topic, and this is where it stops.” Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, yet it is often met with silence rather than support.

Menopause typically begins between the ages of 45 and 55 but can start earlier or later due to factors such as genetics, lifestyle, or medical conditions. It’s marked by the end of menstrual cycles, with a diagnosis usually confirmed after 12 consecutive months without a period.

Leading up to menopause, many women experience perimenopause, which can bring its own set of symptoms due to fluctuating hormone levels, notably oestrogen and progesterone. This transitional period can last several years and significantly impact daily life and well-being.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and changes in libido are common, affecting a significant number of women. However, the experience varies widely, with some facing minimal discomfort and others facing more challenging symptoms. Beyond the more talked-about symptoms, menopause can also lead to less visible, yet equally important changes, including:

  • Alterations in mental health and cognitive function
  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Chills
  • Sleep problems, sleep-disordered breathing or sleep apnoea
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain

*This is not an exhaustive list

A medical journal by Micheline McCarthy & Ami P. Raval shows emerging evidence that:

“the menopausal transition as [is] an inflammatory event, with associated systemic and central nervous system inflammation”

Inflammation that increases when oestrogen declines can damage arteries, organs and joints which then can lead to a whole array of health problems such as arthritis, dementia, heart disease and increased risk of strokes post menopause;

  • Higher levels of visceral fat can cause Cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity among women in developed countries
  • Stroke
  • Increased blood pressure and hardening of the arteries
  • Reduced metabolism
  • Shift towards androgen dominance in the hormones over oestrogen
  • Osteoporosis which can put women at risk of fractures in the hips, spine and wrists
  • Urinary incontinence which can cause problems with UTIs
  • Reduced sexual desire and discomfort and potentially bleeding during sexual intercourse
  • Metabolic disorders and diabetes
  • Increased risk of depression
  • Bone density loss
  • Cardiovascular risk increases

*This is not an exhaustive list

The key lies in understanding these changes, seeking support, and exploring treatment options to manage symptoms effectively. It’s time to shift the conversation from one of apprehension to one of empowerment and education, ensuring every woman has the tools and knowledge to meet this phase head on.

Menopause is a profound aspect of womanhood that deserves attention and respect.

Owning your menopause symptoms – continue feeling like yourself!

Health and wellness

Joint pain in menopause is a challenge many women face as decreasing oestrogen levels can lead to increased inflammation and discomfort in joints. This can deter you from maintaining a regular exercise routine, but incorporating exercise into your daily life offers a constructive strategy to mitigate some of these symptoms. If you suffer issues with your joints you need to carry out specific exercises which can help joint health by increasing strength, flexibility and those in turn can reduce pain.

Low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or yoga can be particularly beneficial. These exercises promote joint mobility without the strain that high-impact routines might impose. Additionally, strength training, done a couple of times a week, supports muscle health and joint stability, further alleviating pressure on the joints.

The connection between exercise and joint pain relief is clear, offering an empowering approach to managing menopause symptoms. Establishing a consistent exercise routine tailored to your needs and abilities can significantly improve quality of life during menopause. It’s about listening to your body and finding balance, ensuring activities promote health without exacerbating joint pain. Remember, the goal is to stay active and flexible, supporting your body’s natural resilience through the menopausal transition.

Improving your symptoms with supplementation

Improving your nutrition with supplementation can play a crucial role in managing symptoms effectively. Identifying the best menopause supplements is key to this approach. Essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin D and calcium, are paramount for bone health, especially as the risk of osteoporosis increases post-menopause. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, are praised for their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate joint pain and improve heart health.

Moreover, phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds found in soya and flaxseeds, mimic oestrogen in the body and can offer some relief from hot flushes and night sweats. Magnesium is another valuable supplement, supporting mood regulation, sleep quality, and muscle health. It’s important to pair these supplements with a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to maximise their benefits.

Before introducing any new supplement into your routine, consulting with a healthcare professional, like a nutritionist, is advised to ensure compatibility with your health profile and needs. Tailoring your supplement intake to address specific symptoms can make a significant difference in your menopause experience, paving the way for a smoother transition through this natural stage of life.

Medication

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) offers a solution for managing menopause symptoms, utilising oestrogen and progesterone to counterbalance the hormonal shifts that occur during this time. Among the diverse forms of HRT, menopause cream, particularly progesterone cream, is known for its ease of application and ability to directly target symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Progesterone creams are absorbed through the skin, offering an alternative for those who may prefer not to take oral medications. As mentioned, HRT does come through many different forms, such as patches or tablets too, so speaking to your GP about your HRT solution is important.

It’s crucial, however, to approach these treatments with informed caution. While effective, they come with considerations regarding dosage, duration, and potential side effects. The NHS suggests that the benefits of HRT generally outweigh the risks for most women, but it’s essential to have a personalised consultation with a healthcare provider. This ensures the treatment plan is finely tuned to your specific needs, offering relief and support through the menopause transition with health and safety at the forefront.

Modifying your skincare and beauty routines

While the changes menopause brings to skin and hair can feel daunting, the right skin care products and targeted hair care strategies can make all the difference.

As oestrogen levels decline, many women notice their skin becomes drier, less elastic, and more prone to wrinkles. Investing in skin care products for menopause can help counter these effects, maintaining skin’s moisture and firmness. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, and peptides which are key for menopause-affected skin.

Most importantly, try different products until you find ones that work for you. You may find your normal routine doesn’t cut it anymore, so you should seek out new, effective products.

When it comes to hair, thinning and dryness are common concerns. The right shampoo and conditioner, specifically formulated for menopause hair care, can help address these issues. Products rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and moisturising agents support scalp health and promote hair density. Additionally, incorporating a nourishing hair mask or serum into your routine can provide extra hydration and strength to hair, combating the brittleness that often accompanies menopause.

By adapting your beauty routine to include these specialised products, you can embrace this new phase of life with confidence. Remember, taking care of your skin and hair during menopause isn’t only for aesthetics—it’s about nurturing your body through its natural transitions.

Did you know?

  • The gut microbiome changes throughout life and during menopause
  • Your gut microbiome is unique to you, and becomes increasingly different as you age

Not much is yet known about changes to the gut microbiome in menopause, but it is thought that sex hormones influence the gut microbiota it may be possible for human gut microbiota to reactivate estrogens. 

The skin microbiome is also thought to be affected by menopause due to the gut-skin axis, via the immune system with increased skin conditions and poor healing as well as increased wrinkling and sagging.

Before you take out a loan for collagen therapies, recommendations for gut, skin and low oestrogen conditions, and potentially cancer prevention, include a plant-based diet (such as the Mediterranean diet) that includes an abundance of a wide range of plants, grains and nuts and probiotic supplementation with various strains of Lactobacillus probiotic.

Empowerment through knowledge

Empowerment through knowledge is vital when going through menopause. Reading books on menopause equips you with a wealth of information, providing insights into what to expect, how to manage symptoms, and the science behind this natural life stage. Among the wealth of resources available, Davina McCall’s Menopausing shines for its candid exploration of menopause, sharing personal experiences and expert advice that resonates with many.

Reading up on menopause allows you to learn from the experiences of others, offering comfort in knowing you’re not alone. It also arms you with strategies to advocate for your health, making informed decisions about treatment options and lifestyle adjustments. Understanding menopause at a deeper level promotes a sense of control and confidence, transforming a potentially challenging time into a period of growth and self-discovery. Let knowledge be your guide through this transition, embracing the changes with an informed and empowered stance.

Finding power and solace in community and support

The value of community and support as we approach menopause cannot be overstated. Cameron Diaz highlights this, emphasising the need to:

“make connections, make friends, join communities, and really honour yourself.”

This advice touches on the importance of understanding and caring for our well-being at every level—emotionally, physically, and mentally—during this transition. Being part of a community that understands what you’re going through can offer unmatched comfort and advice. It’s about building a network of support that uplifts and empowers each member.

In these spaces, we find not only camaraderie but also a wealth of collective knowledge that can guide us through menopause with grace and confidence.

Key takeaways on dealing with menopause

Menopause gives you a new set of challenges and there’s a lot to learn and to change up to be able to cope with it. In our society, women’s health care has been much overlooked.

Word of mouth has been the historic way that women found support and information (if you were lucky!), but times are changing and at Kari Health we are here to help you to find the help and information that you need.

We get you, and we’ve got you.

This article has been reviewed by our Kari Health Experts and Editorial Board to ensure accuracy and reliability of the information presented. However, please note that the content provided is for informational purposes only and should not replace advice from your medical professional.

Did you find this article helpful this article? 

If so, you can read related Kari Health articles here:

A Guide: How Much Sleep Do You Need as You Age?

How Do I Know if I’m in Perimenopause? 

How to Cope with Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis

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