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How to prepare for menopause? From nutrition to sleep tips

Updated: Feb 21


Self-care during the menopause


Going into menopause is a new life stage that women experience, it's a new stage to embrace but also one to prepare for both in terms of your health and support needs. Menopause can affect both their physical and mental health in a variety of ways.


In this article, you will find all the important information you may need to know when your menopausal cycle begins. Hopefully, this will give you plenty of tips to take care of yourself during menopause.


What is menopause?


Menopause is essentially when a woman will no longer have her period or menstrual cycle, and as such her eggs will stop ovulating. This is a perfectly natural process to occur and traditionally occurs between the age between 45 and 55 but can occur earlier in some women. Furthermore, the menopause has two stages:


Perimenopause - Often called the menopause transition and this is the stage before menopause and is your body's way of getting ready for menopause to occur. (This stage can vary from person to person, and its effects may involve experiencing this cycle over a small or long period of time)


Postmenopause - This is the stage after menopause has started (when no periods have occurred after a year and the body fails to produce estrogen, therefore preventing any pregnancy).


Symptoms of menopause


Some of the main symptoms to look out for include the following. For further guidance the NHS has additional information on menopausal symptoms.

  • Hot flushes

  • Night sweats

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Struggling to sleep

  • Changes in mood

  • Weight gain/loss

How to take care of yourself during menopause


Although becoming menopausal can be a stage of life you may not be looking forward to, please don’t panic! Once you have passed the stages of perimenopause, here are a few tips on how best to look after yourself throughout this stage, no matter your symptoms.


1. Focus on the benefit of exercise


Exercise is very important for your body, and can help improve your physical or mental health, as well as maintain your bone structure. Plus, cardio sessions are proving effective to help reduce menopausal anxiety, and activities such as team sports, walking, or even running will help. Of course, you should not over-extenuate your physical capabilities when exercising and should not be too strenuous on when and how long you should exercise per day. Additionally, as cardio will most likely cause you to sweat, it is vital for you to regularly drink water to combat dehydration. Here are some example exercises you could try whilst you go through menopause:

  • Jogging

  • Yoga

  • Dancing

  • Walking

  • Swimming

  • Balance and flexibility

  • Muscle strengthening (resistance bands)

  • Bodyweight exercises

  • Press ups

  • Sit ups


2. Quit smoking


Smoking causes many health risks for your body and a study looking at hot flashes and smoking in midlife women has shown that women who smoke can experience a greater intensity of menopausal symptoms such as having more hot flashes. Smoking will also negatively affect any of the heart-healthy benefits of your new exercise regime as smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Although it can be difficult to stop smoking on your own, getting the right support can help. Also, remember that even cutting down your cigarette intake per day can help in your smoking cessation journey and can help you with your health post menopause For further assistance on quitting smoking during menopause, contact your GP.


3. Drink alcohol in moderation


Alcohol can be very dehydrative for your body, and although it will not have long-lasting effects during menopause, reducing your alcohol intake can improve your health. Drinking more water can also have additional health benefits so why not swap your usual tipple or alternate alcoholic beverages with a glass of water? Alcohol will be better to take in moderation and it's health-wise to not exceed the government recommendation of 14 units per week.


4. Nutrition

Prawn stir fry with broccoli

A good diet is something to aim for during perimenopause. Choosing the right balance of foods will give your body the best nutrition to help you through the changes in your hormone balance that occur during this time.










5. Focus on a regular sleeping pattern


Sleep is particularly important for your health, and during menopause, you may become restless during your sleeping process. Failing to have your full eight hours a night will affect your productivity and mental state. Often women may look for medication to combat these struggles but this is only a short-term solution. The sleep foundation promotes a more natural way to improve sleep, including a regular sleep schedule (sleeping and waking at the same time per day). It is also advised to not eat large meals before going to sleep, and avoid caffeine after midday.


6. Keep in contact with others


You do not need to feel alone during this period. If you are feeling overwhelmed by this new life stage please reach out to friends or family members. Your GP can also advise on hormone replacement therapy as a treatment option if your menopause symptoms are affecting your quality of life. Additionally, it is important to remind your partner of any changes you may be experiencing as they are there to help you too.


Summary


Menopause is a natural process and it's not uncommon for this process to affect your mental and physical health. We hope these tips help you manage some of the symptoms you may be experiencing. All bodies are different, these methods are scientifically proven and simple things you can try to make the experience a little bit less difficult. Again, menopause can take place over a long or short period. However, either way, you should not become too concerned about how long the process might last. Keeping in touch with your GP about any other changes and experiences can help combat these changes, should they worsen.


If you would like to optimise your diet during this stage of your life a nutritionist can help you with nutrition advice to increase your energy, and improve your skin health, digestion, and bone health amongst other benefits. Complete our nutrition assessment form to speak to our nutritionists.


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1件のコメント


lekor adams
lekor adams
1月04日

Preparing for menopause involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing aspects from nutrition to sleep hygiene. As women navigate this natural life stage, incorporating a well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential for bone health. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and stress management also contribute to a smoother transition. Beyond physical aspects, addressing emotional well-being is crucial. While MyLifeChoice specializes in medical assistance for individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less, it's crucial to recognize that menopause is a different life stage. However, considering holistic care approaches and seeking hospice grief support can be beneficial for emotional health during various life transitions.

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