Can Menopause Really Muck Up Your Life?
Ever felt you have foggy brain, sore breasts, extra handle bars around your middle and you don’t know where THAT came from as you most certainly have been “good” with what you are eating….You may also have fatigue for no reason and trouble sleeping…even when you are so tired you can hardly keep your eyes open and it feels like your brain and your mouth are on a disconnect!?!
These can be symptoms of how an unbalanced hormonal system can be impacting how you function at work, at home and you may even start to think there is something seriously wrong with you? Eek!!
So, what causes this and what can you do about it?
When a woman’s menstrual cycle is normal, estrogen is the dominant hormone for the first two weeks leading up to ovulation. Estrogen is balanced by progesterone during the last two weeks. As a woman enters peri-menopause and begins to experience anovulatory cycles (that is, cycles where no ovulation occurs), estrogen can often go unopposed, causing early menopause symptoms.
Skipping ovulation is, however, only one potential factor in estrogen dominance. In industrialised countries such as the United States & Australia, there can be many other causes, including:
- Excess body fat (greater than 28%) – Australia is one of the highest developed countries with obesity
- Too much stress, resulting in excess amounts of cortisol, insulin, and norepinephrine, which can lead to adrenal exhaustion (hear – fatigue like you can’t get out of your chair) and can also adversely affect overall hormonal balance
- A low-fibre diet with excess refined carbohydrates (packet food) and deficient in nutrients and high quality fats
- Impaired immune function
- Environmental agents (Pollution)
Here’s what you can do to decrease estrogen dominance:
- Increase nutrients* in the diet – Whole food with lots of greens as well as a high potency, pharmaceutical multivitamin/mineral combination that is non-toxic and easily absorbed.
*Nutrients are different from calories – so eating 100% organic (which sometimes isn’t an option because of budget and availability) will still not give you the 59 vitamins, minerals & co-factors that every cell in your body needs to do all the jobs it needs to do…when it is healthy! Let alone when you’re stressed, busy, not sleeping and generally running around trying to get everything done in your life!
- Get your Protein & Fats in – for women, alongside lots of greens and fresh fruits and vegetables, you must get adequate quality protein to help rebuild muscle (as oestrogen will eat away at your muscle levels as you get older), and moderate amounts of healthy fats (this is what helps make healthy hormone interactions & your body will be able to manage the balance ITSELF).
Remember to also get enough fiber. Most women need between 20-25gms p/day. Do a google search of how many serves of broccoli that is….you might be horrified that you are not getting enough.
This will not only help with keeping you regular, it will aid in detoxification, lessening inflammation, indirectly lessening pain with periods, reducing how you “hold” onto excess weight. BONUS!
Estrogen is excreted by the bowel; if it’s not flushed out… estrogen is reabsorbed which is where the liver works harder and YOU FEEL CRAPPY, over-tired and also symptoms like hot flushes are more prominent.
- Regular exercise—especially strength training and this rebuilds your muscle tissue making you stronger (not bulky), more likely to burn excess fat, great for mental & heart health.
- Detoxify your liver – The liver acts as a filter, helping you screen out the harmful effects of toxins from what you put IN your body and also what’s IN the environment that you absorb.
When the liver has to work hard to eliminate toxins such as alcohol, drugs (recreational AND things like Panadol, anti-inflammatories and other pain relief medications), caffeine, or environmental agents, it’s capacity to cleanse it’s “natural” chemicals – like estrogen is compromised. This means you will feel tired, sluggish, hold on to weight (especially fat) around your upper back and under your arms and is a big precursor to side-effects of hormonal imbalances like hot flushes being “out of control”.
- Decrease stress – Cortisol is a topic all on it’s own and how your body deals with “perceived” stress and “real” stress. Just because you don’t FEEL stressed – it doesn’t mean your body isn’t having a stress reaction.
Learn how to say no to excessive demands on your time. BREATHE from the diaphragm for 3-10 breaths EVERY DAY….this is the KEY to getting your body to recognise that you aren’t under attack and it can go into rest, relax, digest…and as far as beauty sleep goes…REPAIR…this means less lines, less elasticity heading south around your jowls and neck and better colour (which makes you look younger). Ultimately, as women we want to feel confident about how we look and this is your first step to taking back the reins on YOUR life…you only get one shot!
- Create some space for YOU – One way I love to create a “ritual” around my night time routine – is…after brushing my teeth, fill the basin with warm water & add 1 drop of an essential oil, swish it around and use this water to wash off your cleanser…smell in…the smell – to get your brain chemicals ready for relaxation and a good nights sleep….magic.
If you want to super-boost your existence, re-energise your lifestyle and enhance your performance at work do all of the above.
BIG NEWS! If you would like to ‘short-circuit’ the early menopause symptoms you are experiencing, feel better, lose weight, and join a group of like minded women, I encourage you to Enrol in my new ‘Thrive Through Menopause‘ Program. This is a 5 week program where you will be coached personally by myself, be supplied with a specially selected group of health and skin products, and receive specially produced videos to help you get through the menopause minefield. Find out more about my Menopause Program.