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Health and Beauty

Menopause: Women get ready, steady, go!

What is the menopause?

The definition is: the period in a woman's life (typically between the ages of 45 and 50) when menstruation ceases.

The menopause, also known as the 'change of life' is a phase that will happen to all women. How it affects individuals differs from woman to woman. But if you reflect back for an instance, women go through so many changes: adolescence, pregnancy and so the menopause is just another part of the cycle and can be a very influential phase in a woman's life. Some find this is the perfect time to re-invent and embrace a new direction in life and very successfully too. Some women feel as though they no longer have as much value and this needs to be addressed.

"There's no way out. Every woman goes through the menopause, so you might as well enjoy the ride. Arm yourself with information."

Menopause can last anything from 2 years to ten years, so it is a situation to empower and not let it control or diminish your self confidence. Everyone is different so it is important to be open about it and share experiences with other women who may in fact be grateful to talk about it or indeed had not realised what they were going through was indeed the menopause. Try and embrace with humour and don't allow it to rule your life.

The most common symptoms of the menopause are: Hot flushes, palpitations, headaches, loss of libido or dryness and pain. But also depression can rear its ugly head and this needs to be dealt with.

It is advisable to look at lifestyle in general during this important phase and researches have said that smokers do tend to suffer more from hot flushes. Your diet can play a huge part in minimising the risk of ailments as a consequence of the menopause. Opt for energy boosting foods and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grain which will not only be beneficial to your weight but can help reduce those hot flushes. As oestrogen levels decrease it is important to look after our bones and the increase of calcium foods are recommended, such as, milk, cheese, broccoli, nuts and seeds.

Bring all things natural into your life during the menopause. Increasing your heart rate by doing more exercise will also help the prevention of those unwanted extra pounds or kilos. Take up Yoga. Our very own Yoga expert Anette Shine has introduced a programme called Hormone Yoga that will reactivate your hormone level. Other forms of recommended exercise are Zumba and/or aerobics. This is the perfect time to get to know and bond with your new body.

But the menopause is still a taboo subject and not explained or talked about or indeed dealt with perhaps as much as it should be. In the workplace the menopause is a little more complex. It is the root of many conflicts with colleagues who may be unsympathetic or tactless and most definitely misinformed of the facts and how to deal with it. It has been stated that women going through the menopause have been forced out of their jobs, accused of under-performing in their roles and as a result then choose to leave or go part-time. In some countries menstrual leave is already legal, with Japan, Taiwan and Indonesia leading the way, and Canada is discussing the idea. In the UK a report is about to be published on ways to manage this inevitable process.

So to recap... the menopause is going to happen... be positive and talk with people who have or are going through it and laugh... but remember should you feel constantly unwell or suffer extreme depression, don't suffer alone and consult your doctor.

Friday, 20 March 2015    Section: Health and Beauty
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