Going Through The Motions
When a woman reaches a certain age, they don’t look forward to the menopause, but what can be done to ease the symptoms, writes Tracy Hargreaves
Throughout our life, our body changes dramatically, but the worst time for women is when they reach the menopause.
Unfortunately, there is no set date for when this happens and many women can suffer with symptoms for years. It also doesn’t help that there isn’t a cure and no two women will suffer the same, with some even considering suicide due to depression, whilst others have the odd hot flush or two.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman is 51. However, around 1 in 100 women experience the menopause before 40 years of age. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. If you are unsure, your GP can carry out a blood test to confirm.
Common symptoms can include any or all of the following: hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, low mood or anxiety, mood swings, weight gain and problems with memory and concentration, but other women have suffered from itchy skin, hair loss and lack of taste, even going off food or alcohol.
So, is there anything that can help? Hormone Replacement Therapy – tablets, skin patches, gels and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen is one option. Others include eating a healthy, balanced diet along with regular exercise, yoga and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – a type of talking therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety.
The main thing is to try a few things and see which works for you. Going for a brisk daily walk and eating foods rich in Vitamin D, such as sardines, tuna and eggs will certainly benefit, as will wearing light clothes and sipping cold water to help with the hot flushes. St John’s Wort and Ginseng have also been known to work. But many women swear by the LadyCare Menopause Magnet. LadyCare claims to reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, water retention, bloating, mood swings and fatigue in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. It’s also been reported to boost skin tone, sleep and libido. The magnet is said to work by balancing the activity of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). More precisely, it’s said to reduce excessive sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity and increase parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity.
If possible, join a menopause group. Sometimes just being able to talk to others about how you are feeling will make you realise that you are not on your own and you can swap suggestions of what works and what doesn’t.
Whilst some women might find it embarrassing to talk about, make sure your family and even your work colleagues are aware, so they can be around to support you if need be.