Most women dread the word menopause. In reality it affects women in completely different ways, but the most common symptoms include hot flushes, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, impairment of memory and fatigue. Long term consequences can include a decline in libido, osteoporosis, heart disease, even dementia – all linked to reduced oestrogen levels.
Typically, a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs in her early 50s, and the menstrual cycle stops. Some women can sail through with only the odd hot flush, but others can struggle with symptoms such as weight gain and fluctuating emotions. The physiological reason why the body starts changing is largely down to the drop in oestrogen production and the effect this has on other hormones.
As the ovaries stop manufacturing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, symptoms may begin. For example, oestrogen helps lift our mood so, when levels drop, we may feel depressed. Some women opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT); others try natural remedies. Whether or not you decide to take HRT, following the guidelines below won’t hurt and will assist in the pursuit of an all-round healthy lifestyle.
Did you know that complementary therapies such as Aromatherapy, Reiki and Reflexology help with many of the symptoms caused by the Menopause, leaving you feeling relaxed and mentally prepared to deal with these symptoms and easing them? Aromatherapy oils used in carrier oils works wonders on dry skin, and simply applied at night can aid such benefits to your skin.
Talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a huge success for women peri- menopausal and those in the thick of it, especially workshop based, as a problem shared is a problem halved due to the experiences of the other women sat in the room.
Diet can also help with symptoms, by looking after our gut we can feed the nutrients our body is crying out for and replace those that we are rapidly loosing.
Phyto /plant oestrogens found in certain foods are oestrogenic compounds that bind with oestrogen receptor sites in the body cells, increasing the total oestrogenic effect. By acting in a similar way to oestrogen, they may help in keeping hormones a little more in balance. A high intake of phytoestrogens is thought to explain why hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms rarely occur in populations consuming a predominantly plant-based diet. Increase your intake of phyto-oestrogens by eating more: soya milk and soya flour, linseeds, tofu, tempeh and miso, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb and green beans.
Because I’m so good to you all, I’ve found a menopause cake recipe, rich is in the above.
4oz/100g soya flour
4oz/100g wholemeal flour (replace with more oats for wheat free loaf)
4oz/100g rolled oats
4oz/100g linseeds (flaxseed)
2oz/50g pumpkin seeds
2oz/50g flaked almonds or walnuts or any other nuts
2oz/50g sesame seeds
2oz/50g sunflower seeds
2 pieces of finely chopped stemmed ginger (optional)
8oz/225g raisins or dates or cranberries
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
15 fl oz/425ml soya milk
1 tablespoon malt extract
- Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5
- Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add Soya milk and malt extract, mix well and leave to soak for about 30 minutes to one hour
- Line a small loaf tin with baking parchment
- If the mixture ends up too stiff (it should have a soft dropping consistency), stir in some more Soya milk
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about one to one and a half hours
- Test with a skewer to check its cooked properly
- Turn out and cool
- Eat one thick slice of Menopause Cake a day. You can slice and freeze as required.
I’d like to host regular workshops for women going through or on the verge of starting the menopause, a chance to share experiences, treatments, what worked, what didn’t and to mentally remain strong during this transition in our lives.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me, so we can discuss further.
Love and Warmth, as always.
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