Common Menopause FAQs Answered
Menopause is a natural part of ageing for women, yet it brings along various symptoms and changes that can raise numerous questions. We aim to answer some common questions about menopause to help you better understand this phase of life.
Can Menopause Cause Anxiety and Depression?
Menopause can contribute to emotional changes including anxiety and depression. The decline in oestrogen levels can affect neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation.
St. John's Wort has been studied for its potential mood enhancing effects for those experiencing anxiety and low moods throughout their menopause.
How Does Menopause Affect Weight?
One of the most noticeable changes during menopause is weight gain, often attributed to a decline in metabolic rate and hormonal fluctuations. As women age, the metabolic rate naturally slows down, and the menopausal transition amplifies this effect. The drop in oestrogen levels can particularly lead to an increase in abdominal fat, which carries its own set of health risks like heart disease and diabetes.
To counter this, regular exercise that includes both aerobic and strength training activities can be beneficial. Complement this with a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables while minimising sugar and processed foods.
Can Menopause Cause Tiredness?
Fatigue and tiredness are common complaints that many women experience during menopause. The hormonal fluctuations, especially the decrease in oestrogen and progesterone, can have a significant impact on sleep quality, often leading to insomnia or disrupted sleep. Poor sleep, in turn, contributes to daytime fatigue.
Additionally, the emotional stress and other physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, can exacerbate feelings of tiredness. To manage this symptom, focusing on sleep hygiene is critical; this includes maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment. Physical exercise has also been shown to improve sleep quality and can help you feel more energised during the day. Another approach to consider is stress-management techniques such as meditation and deep-breathing exercises.
Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogenic herb known for its potential energy-boosting and stress-reducing properties. Some studies have suggested that it might improve sleep quality and increase energy levels.
Can Menopause Cause Bloating?
Bloating is another frequent symptom reported by women going through menopause. This uncomfortable sensation is often a result of hormonal fluctuations, particularly the decline in oestrogen and progesterone levels, which can affect the body's digestive processes. Reduced hormone levels can slow down the gastrointestinal tract, leading to constipation, gas, and the bloated feeling that many women describe.
Other factors like stress and diet can exacerbate these symptoms. To combat bloating, it's crucial to focus on a balanced diet rich in fibre, which can improve gut health. Drinking plenty of water can also help to flush the system and reduce bloating. Exercise, particularly aerobic activities, can stimulate the digestive system and help alleviate bloating.
Peppermint tea is a popular choice for its natural antispasmodic properties, which can help relax the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, aiding in digestion and reducing bloating.
Can Menopause Cause Thrush?
Thrush, a type of yeast infection, is more likely to occur during menopause due to the hormonal shifts that affect the vaginal environment. Reduced levels of oestrogen can alter the vaginal pH, making it easier for yeast, such as Candida, to proliferate, leading to symptoms like itching, burning, and vaginal discharge. This change in pH levels can also make women more susceptible to other types of vaginal infections during menopause.
To manage or prevent thrush, maintaining good vaginal hygiene is crucial. Opt for cotton underwear and avoid overly tight clothing to reduce moisture and create a less hospitable environment for yeast. Probiotics, either as supplements or through food like yogurt, can also support a healthy vaginal flora.
We also recommend Napiers Seven Herb Cream. This blend of anti-fungal herbs such as myrrh and barberry have been complemented with calendula to create a delicate enough cream for the groin area.
Which Menopause Treatment is Best?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer as the best treatment for menopause varies from individual to individual. If you are experiencing menopause symptoms, why not book a free 15 minute consultation with one of our herbal practitioners, who can advise you on a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs?
What Age Will Menopause Stop?
The transitional phase of menopause generally concludes when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, usually happening between the ages of 45 and 55. At this point, she enters what is known as the post-menopausal stage of her life. Although menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and mood swings may lessen or disappear entirely, it's worth noting that the hormonal changes occurring during menopause can have long-lasting effects on the body.
How Does Menopause Affect Hair, Skin, and Nails?
Menopause brings a plethora of changes to a woman's body, including noticeable alterations to the hair, skin, and nails. Hormonal fluctuations, especially the decrease in oestrogen, can significantly impact the texture and health of these tissues. You may find that your hair becomes drier or thinner, even experiencing hair loss in certain cases.
Skin too may lose its elasticity and hydration, becoming more susceptible to fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness.
Nails might become brittle and more prone to breakage. It's not uncommon for women to experience acne or rosacea during this transitional period as well.
To support this, it's essential to maintain a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, especially biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. Regular exercise can also improve blood circulation, thereby benefiting your skin and scalp. Skincare routines might need to be adjusted to accommodate these changes; opt for products that offer hydration and anti-aging benefits.
We also recommend Evening Primrose Oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids like gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which may improve skin hydration, making it a popular choice for combatting dry skin during menopause.
How Does Menopause Affect Sleep?
Menopause can significantly disrupt sleep patterns, and many women find themselves dealing with insomnia or poor sleep quality during this transitional phase of life.
Factors contributing to sleep disturbances often include hot flushes, night sweats, and hormonal imbalances, particularly a decline in levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which are hormones that can help promote sleep. Additionally, menopause can exacerbate stress and anxiety, making it even more challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Lifestyle changes like incorporating a relaxing bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, and keeping the sleeping environment cool can help improve sleep quality. Regular exercise, preferably aerobic, has also been shown to improve sleep patterns, but it is advisable to avoid vigorous exercise right before bedtime. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) has also been effective in treating menopause-related sleep issues.
We recommend Napiers Valerian Root, which is a herb that has been studied for its potential sleep-enhancing properties. It is believed to interact with the neurotransmitters in the brain that calm the central nervous system, thereby potentially improving sleep quality.
Does Menopause Cause High Blood Pressure?
Menopause itself is not directly responsible for causing high blood pressure; however, the risk of developing high blood pressure does tend to increase with age, coinciding with the period when many women experience menopause.
Factors contributing to this heightened risk include hormonal fluctuations, weight gain, and metabolic changes that often accompany menopause. Additionally, the loss of oestrogen's protective effects on arterial walls may also contribute to increased blood pressure.
Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a balanced diet low in sodium and high in potassium, and stress management techniques like meditation can be useful in managing blood pressure levels during this period.
Menopause is a complex process that can bring about a range of symptoms and questions. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment tailored to your specific needs.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment tailored to your specific needs.