The menopause is a natural stage in your life and there a number of top tips to help you prepare and pass through this transition easily and comfortably

Symptoms that your body is preparing for the menopause can start in the mid-40s (or earlier) and can include changes in the frequency or heaviness of your periods, premenstrual tension, mood swings and irritability. As your body produces less and less oestrogen, other symptoms may appear, including aching joints, depression, lack of energy, joint pains, declining libido, weight gain, headaches and, most commonly, hot flushes and night sweats

We go through the menopause because as women we literally run out of eggs.

Not all women have a miserable time, symptoms can vary and some women sail through while others can get symptoms. Hot flushes and night sweats are among the most common and uncomfortable symptoms and their frequency and severity can vary from woman to woman.  Certain foods and situations can trigger some hot flushes and these can include spicy foods, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and stressful situations.

Phytoestrogens can help alleviate menopausal symptoms so make sure you include plenty in your diet. Phytoestrogens are found in almost all fruit, vegetables and wholegrains but they are most beneficial when they are found in legumes, such as soya, lentil, peas and chickpeas. A good phytoestrogen supplement is NHP’s MenoHerbal Support from good health food shops.

The menopause is a time of change and your female hormones are going to be fluctuating up and down as you go through this stage until you come out the other side and into the postmenopause, when your hormones will stabilise.  The more gradually you go through the menopause, the less hormone fluctuations you experience and the easier the transition.  What you eat now to prepare yourself for this stage can make the difference between having a difficult or easy menopause. 

You would follow the same dietary recommendations even if you are on HRT because you want to keep yourself as healthy as possible and also there will come a time when you need to come off HRT.

I also always recommend that women take a good-quality multivitamin and mineral to prepare for and during the menopause.  This supplement should contain vital nutrients for bone health, good levels of antioxidants to help slow down the ageing process, and other important vitamins and minerals, such as the B vitamins and chromium, to help keep blood-sugar levels balanced.  It should also contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, boron and vitamin D3 (see NHP’s MenoSupport multivitamin and mineral).   Also take a good Omega 3 fish oil supplement as deficiencies of this nutrient can look like symptoms that may occur leading up to the menopause and beyond such as dry skin, lifeless hair, cracked nails, fatigue, depression, dry eyes, lack of motivation, aching joint, difficulty in losing weight and forgetfulness.

The risk of osteoporosis increases with age especially after the menopause when oestrogen levels decline. The more you can do to work on prevention the better.

Finally, as well as eating a healthy, bone building diet a regular exercise programme is crucial for warding off osteoporosis. This is because the more physically active we are, the more bone we will build. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes exercise five times a week.

Women can now live 30 to 50 years past the menopause and you want to live those years in good health and free from symptoms.  Preparing for the menopause by eating well, taking appropriate supplements and exercising, your health will improve, which enhances the quality of your life.  Good nutrition together with the right supplements, enables your  body to adjust to the changes at the menopause automatically and keeps your skin and hair soft, minimises aching joints and stiffness, slows the ageing process, controls weight naturally without dieting, maintains libido and helps to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to come and see Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD, the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health. You will find out how to use food, vitamins and minerals to increase your energy, eliminate mood swings, improve your memory, reduce stress and lose weight without dieting.

Dr Marilyn Glenville will be visiting Ireland from October 24th to 26th in Dublin, Galway & Cork.

For more information please visit: https://balanceyourhormonesnaturally.eventbrite.ie   

Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health.  She is the Former President of the Food and Health Forum at the Royal Society of Medicine and the author of a number of internationally bestselling books including Natural Solutions to the Menopause.  Dr Glenville runs clinics in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Kilkenny, for more information see www.glenvillenutrition.ie