World menopause day
World Menopause Day is held every year on the 18th October, led by the International Menopause Society. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness on the menopause and support options for improving health and wellbeing. It is designed as opportunity to help women and professionals engage in positive conversations, raise awareness through events, workshops, communication materials and sharing on social media.
Each year there is a different them and this year it is Cognition and Mood.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is natural part of the ageing process when a woman stops having a period due to the changes in hormones levels. There are 3 stages to Menopause:
The time leading up to Menopause which can start anywhere from the age of 35, you may begin to experience any of the ‘symptoms’ and this transition stage can last between 2-6 years.
This when your periods have stopped for a whole year, symptoms can continue, average age is 51 in UK.
The rest of your life after Menopause and no periods, symptoms can become milder or stop.
Every woman will experience Menopause however each woman’s experience will be unique. Once a woman is a diagnosed by their GP through blood tests and their symptoms there are a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that are available to help manage the journey.
Why Is It Important To Talk About Menopause?
Everyone male or female needs to be aware of and understand the impact that menopause can have at home and in the workplace. Through open discussions and the sharing of knowledge we can all become informed which will enable us to support those going through menopause. Menopause was previously seen as a taboo subject, however over the last few years we have witnessed a positive shift towards more people talking about in a positive light.
How Does Menopause Impact The Workplace?
Women make up nearly half of the UK workforce, however around 900,000 have quit their jobs because of the menopause. 6 in 10 women say it has a negative impact on their work. With these figures in mind, it’s no wonder we see women struggling with symptoms of menopause in the workplace. Therefore, it is imperative that employers take action now and provide resources, support and signposting for those that need it. World Menopause day is perfect opportunity to begin to provide support or expand on what is already on offer ensuring positive action is taken to ensure everyone going through the menopause is supported.
Top Tips For Managing Menopause
Prioritising daily movement in the form of daily steps and structured strength training will help alleviate many symptoms. In particular, strength training (weights) around 3 times a week will reduce our risk of osteoporosis and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Unfortunately, during menopause, the metabolism is lowering, so the more we move, the better. Yoga and Pilates are also highly recommended.
It is highly recommended to follow a Mediterranean diet focusing on lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain and legumes. Base each main meal around a good source of protein for muscle strength and feeling fuller for longer, and ensure you are consuming enough fibre. Limiting/ reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption is known to impact symptoms such as hot flushes, weight gain and sleep. Hydration is a key aim for 2-3 litres of water daily but not too close to bedtime!
Allowing time for yourself and focusing on yourself along with things that allow you to feel relaxed is essential, along with that, you want to ensure you are doing something weekly that is fun and sociable. It is time to be a bit selfish and doesn’t feel guilty.
Implementing a bedtime routine that will enable you to achieve a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night, as rest and recovery is crucial in Menopause. Poor sleep leads to fatigue during the day and poor nutrition decisions.
At this point in our lives, it is essential to manage our daily stress as high stress leads to the constant production of cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn take over our production of already declining Oestrogen, this has an impact on many of the symptoms you be experiencing.
One that you can add to your diet is magnesium to help keep bones strong and also helps with sleep and pins and needles. Vitamin D as tends to decline so
supplementing it will help alleviate many symptoms, such as night sweats and poor concentration. Calcium if you feel you are not getting enough from your diet helps maintain bone mass and prevent Osteoporosis.