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Let's talk about menopause

October is Menopause awareness month. A subject that has been at the forefront of the news recently and thankfully now a topic that is discussed far more openly. Years ago, the subject would have never been talked about. A woman would suffer in silence wondering what on earth was happening to her mind and her body.

I write this article from my own experience. I do not declare to be a professional menopausal specialist, although from a holistic approach I have completed further training in the complementary field.

 

Perimenopause happens before menopause for around 4-5 years, (although it can be shorter or much longer for others) You are officially at menopause when you have not had a period for 12 months.Hormone production starts to decline and at menopause we are no longer fertile.  The average age for menopause is during your early fifties. 

Many women do not understand what is happening to them.

Weight gain for no reason, brain fog, fatigue, aching joints, lack of libido,  insomnia, anxiety, depression, hot flushes, thinning skin and hair, acne.

I have arrived at the supermarket without my list asking myself what I needed. I couldn't remember a single item. Getting out of bed in the morning and my joints are aching so much that I’ve hobbled like an old lady. Very little sleep and then trying to function the following day was a challenge. I had panic attacks for no reason and the night sweats which were really unpleasant.

After a while I decided to look at HRT (Hormone replacement therapy). I would normally follow a holistic approach and while my oils certainly helped, for some symptoms I needed professional help. I had spoken to lots of woman who told me that they will never come off HRT as it’s been transformational so I saw a specialist and I tried HRT for around a year.  It did help with the night sweats but some of the other issues got worse. It was found that I had a sensitivity to progesterone and I had stop taking it. Within a week symptoms had returned. I wanted to crawl into a corner and just cry. 

Determined to get through this I delved deeper into my lifestyle. Overall, it was very healthy. I made sure that everyday I went for a walk which helps both physically and mentally. I enjoy a glass of wine but learnt that I have to decrease my intake otherwise I’d experience heart palpitations.

I decided to tackle the worst issues first; night sweats and lack of sleep so I formulated a spray mist for the night. A blend of: geranium hydrolat (floral water) lemon essential oil, clary sage essential oil, cypress essential oil. When I woke, I’d spray the blend over my chest and keep a damp flannel by the side of the bed. I inhaled essential oils to calm me and balance my mood. Geranium is a hormonal regulator and basil can improve mood. Clary sage is a powerful oil to soothe both the mind and body. I blended a roller ball with those three oils and during the day I’d apply to pulse points and inhale.

Being hydrated is paramount to balancing the hot moments. Evening primrose oil taken orally is a huge help too in alleviating hot flashes. Eating a few Brazil nuts for me personally never fails and the reason I know is that I didn’t take them for a while and the hot moments returned.

Bone health is of vital importance. Calcium rich foods, vitamin D and a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can all help to keep bones healthy.

I knew what I was experiencing was a natural process and that it was time to embrace a different chapter in my life. It hasn’t been an easy journey but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you are menopausal and are feeling low, please do talk to loved ones - you don’t have to feel alone.