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How to ease menopause symptoms, naturally
The menopause is still considered a taboo topic, something people talk about in a hushed voice (or don’t talk about at all). However, it’s a natural part of ageing that affects half of the population - so why wouldn’t we discuss it?
It usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, and includes two phases – perimenopause (before your periods have stopped) and menopause (when you haven’t had a period for 12 months). The transition normally lasts for around 7 years, though it can last longer.
During this time, the hormonal changes in your body can cause symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, low mood and sleeplessness – but thankfully there are some lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help.
Increase your calcium intake
Menopause can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition where your bones become thinner and more fragile – so eating foods rich in calcium will help to keep them strong. This includes dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, and green, leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach.
Boost your vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is important at every life stage, but is particularly vital during the menopause. It supports your bone health and may stabilise your moods and emotions. The best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight, but you can also eat foods rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish or eggs, or take a daily supplement.
Learn your trigger foods
Some foods may trigger hot flushes, night sweats and mood changes. This can include caffeine, alcohol and sugary or spicy foods. If you suspect that certain foods might be making your menopause symptoms worse, keep a food diary to help you identify any possible triggers.
Develop healthy bedtime habits
Hot flushes, night sweats and low mood can create a perfect storm for a sleepless night, so it’s important to give yourself the best possible chance to get a good rest. Healthy sleep habits include going to bed at a regular time each day, avoiding naps in the afternoon or evening, not eating a large meal just before bed, and following a consistent bedtime routine (such as taking a shower or reading a book).
Talk it out
The menopause can lead to anxiety and depression. However, because the menopause - and mental health, for that matter – both have stigma attached to them, many people end up suffering in silence. Try talking to others who are going through the same thing, such as family members, friends or colleagues, who can remind you that you aren’t alone or share their coping strategies with you. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing it with them, you can also try cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a type of talking therapy.
Exercise does wonders for our mental and physical health, making it particularly key during the menopause and perimenopause. Regular physical activity will improve your energy levels and metabolism, reduce stress and improve your joint and bone health – so try to incorporate it into your weekly routine. Why not try walking, running, dancing, swimming, yoga or Pilates?
Drink plenty of water
Drinking more water is one of the easiest, simplest changes you can make to your lifestyle, yet it can have a profoundly positive effect on your body. The menopause can lead to dryness, bloating, extra sweating, nausea, cramps and headaches, all of which can be eased by increasing your water intake. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day, or more if you’re sweating a lot due to exercise, hot weather or illness.
Heal your mind and body with a Spring Tides Spa Treatment
The menopause and perimenopause can be a really tough time, so it’s important to be kind to yourself. Why not treat yourself to a spa treatment on your next Aqua Sana Spa Day or Break?