Are you close to menopause feeling like your greatest years are behind you? It doesn't have to be that way.
Whether you are in your late 40’s or mid 50’s, you are most likely dealing with the menopause madness that could be making you flabby, fatigued and forgetful… even though you try your best to be sharp and fit!
Let’s be honest, most women struggle with menopause – they just don’t talk about it! 70-80% of all women in the United Kingdom experience some form of menopause-related devastation, whether it's hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, night sweats, weight gain, brain fog or mood swings.
While most healthcare providers will tell you that these symptoms are "normal" and simply part of ageing, that doesn't make them any less frustrating or something we just have to live with… as was pointed out in a recent New York Times article on “Women Have Been Misled About Menopause”.
So what can we do to reclaim our sanity during this time?
Let's start by understanding what symptoms hormonal shifts can cause and then what we can do about this time of hormonal upheaval.
Do you feel crazy angry and anxious some days?
Do you just wish you could get one good night’s sleep without waking up 3-4 times, waking up in a pool of sweat with your heart pounding?
Do you find yourself crying easily at movies or commercials, and then 10 minutes later snapping at a family member or coworker?
You're not alone! During menopause and even the years leading up to menopause, oestrogen levels can drop significantly.
While many of us don’t make the connection, low oestrogen can also impact our brains and have a negative impact on cognitive health.
Studies have shown oestrogen deprivation impairs memory and the under-estimation of oestrogen doesn't only affect our brain – reports suggest it's linked with dementia.
For example, as this 2020 study shows, women who took oestrogen as hormone replacement for menopause symptoms during and five years before menopause had better cognitive performance.
Another annoying effect of menopause is weight gain, as oestrogen is key for metabolism. Yet there are plenty of ways for you to tackle the added pounds and your changing metabolism.
For one, low oestrogen can also impact your insulin, making it hard for you to handle high-carb foods that everyone loves. While menopausal women do need some carbohydrates to keep stress hormones like cortisol in check, eating the right kind and amount matters.
Eating high-octane carbs like bowls of cereal, pizza, and pasta can trash your blood sugar and put on the pounds. So rework your plate to prioritise protein (try to eat a gram of protein per kg of your body weight), then plenty of veggies and smaller amounts of high-quality carbs (such as ½ sweet potato or ½ cup quinoa).
Additionally, consider bioidentical oestrogen and herbal supplements to help with more effortless weight loss and to smooth out symptoms like brain fog and stress, which often occur during this transition and may lead to over-eating.
Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and GABA can also help balance your hormones and reduce cravings without any extra calories. So hang in there… fighting weight gain during menopause doesn't have to be mysterious or hard!
Menopause brain fog is an all too common symptom that can be a real pain in the…brain!
To prevent menopause brain fog from becoming a major issue, consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) along with certain herbal supplements as additional options. These treatments help balance oestrogen levels and ensure that you stay sharp under pressure – no more forgetting what you were just about to say!
Importantly, most hormone experts say not to wait until you are already in menopause – instead, run appropriate hormone tests earlier in the perimenopausal or menopausal transition, because the sooner you address low oestrogen levels, the better for your brain.
Going through menopause can sometimes feel like your worst enemy – the hot flashes, lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, forgetfulness and dreaded weight gain.
But that's not all… you have to deal with brain fog and a low tolerance for stress too!
There is a reason for this and it has to do with the “switch” that takes place between your ovaries and adrenals. So when your eggs stop producing oestrogen, your adrenal glands take over making a hormone that can be converted into oestradiol.
At the same time your adrenals are responsible for releasing stress hormones and if they are stressed because of your lifestyle, hot flashes and many other symptoms like exhaustion can ensue. So it’s crucial to maintain good adrenal health when you approach menopause and during menopause.
As a licenced health practitioner with deep expertise in hormone imbalances and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), our team will provide the appropriate guidance for your unique situation so you can determine whether you are a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
We examine lifestyle factors that could be unnecessarily draining your natural hormone levels and also provide guidance on natural ways to boost your resilience and longevity.
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can potentially reduce the risk of adverse side effects, and alleviate symptoms leading to a healthier and happier life. If you think that this type of treatment might be right for you, check out our wellness programme at the bottom of the about/our approach page of the website and if this resonates consider signing up for a free call so we can answer any questions you may have.
London Bioidentical Hormones is a Virtual Practice in the United Kingdom and serves patients throughout the United Kingdom.