The ABC of Staying Healthy Post Menopause
There are a number of steps at postmenopause you can take to stay healthy and feel better.
Well actually, it’s more ABC and a few others that you need to think about in relation to your health post menopause.
Your ‘alphabet’ guide to better health
It’s not quite the whole alphabet, but these are the building blocks to ensure your post menopause is as good as you can make it.
Avoid or limit smoking, caffeine, alcohol, excess salt, and sugar.
Balanced diet is really important and nutritionists recommend whole grains, cold pressed oils, leafy vegetables, and nuts to help keep your body healthy and potentially help relieve hot flushes.
Calcium and magnesium, boron and manganese for women with osteopenia or osteoporosis to help keep bones strong, as well as vitamins C and K.
D also helps keep bones strong, as well as strengthening the immune system, and lowering both the risk of type 2 diabetes and blood pressure.
Exercise is particularly important for helping control weight gain, improve mood and if it’s weight bearing helps with bone strength.
Fat in a small amount is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. It is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself and helps the body absorb vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.
There are two types of fat that should be eaten sparingly: saturated and trans fatty acids. Both can raise cholesterol levels, clog arteries, and increase the risk for heart disease.
Best to limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid “bad” trans fat. “Good” unsaturated fats — Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.
Post menopause hormonal symptoms
I am hearing from an increasing number of women who are still experiencing hormonal symptoms well past Menopause.
They can be several reasons for this and the ones I hear about from many women are these ‘alphabet’ items.
Anxiety and stress seem to occur more as we get older and unfortunately they impact us in so many aspects of our health: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Stress is not something we can avoid but have to find our own strategies to make it easier to live with.
It definitely is linked to brain fog, and hot flushes so look for ways to reduce it whether that is through diet and exercise, or meditation and connection to friends and family.
Libido also seems to decline at this time, and again stress and anxiety play a part here, particularly if there are unresolved or difficult issues in your relationship.
Progesterone is the hormone behind sex drive in women so check if you have sufficient levels and, for emotional help, counselling may be helpful too.
Weight gain is something women are very conscious of in terms of their appearance and of course it also carries a number of health risks.
However, what many women do not realise is that when weight is carried around the belly they are also going to be producing oestrogen from the fat cells.
This means that in Postmenopause you can still be experiencing symptoms of oestrogen dominance, such as hot flushes as well as being at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Vaginal problems such as dryness or atrophy can mean painful sex which can also impact your relationship.
The two conditions are quite different and for dryness simply a vaginal lubricant or some additional oestrogen will help. This may be either a separate source from your doctor or a combined cream such as 20 to one which has a small amount of oestrogen added to it.
If you have vaginal atrophy that is more serious and definitely always needs a higher dose of oestrogen from your doctor and a combination cream such as 20 to one can be used alongside this to give you the balancing progesterone.
What many women experience post menopause is that they have a definite decline in energy and symptoms that are still related to oestrogen dominance.
One of the things that may be helpful is to look at how making a few small changes in your diet could improve things for you and the article below gives you a good place to start.