How To Embrace Life And Enjoy Good Health During The Menopause

Pharmacist/health coach Bukky Ayoade shares some insights on how to overcome menopausal symptoms and live life to the full

Who can relate?

  • You only manage a few hours’ sleep at night and wake up exhausted most days
  • You head into an air-conditioned meeting room with sweat running down your forehead, and everyone wondering if you’re OK
  • You are presenting at an important meeting and suddenly your mind goes blank

Perhaps some of you can relate to what I experienced during my transition into the menopause some years ago. At midlife, we lose hormones which can have a dramatic impact on our lives during what’s called the Menopause.  

Menopause – What is it? 

Menopause is when a woman’s periods stop due to lower hormone (oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) levels and usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.   A woman reaches menopause when she has not had a period for 12 consecutive months.  It’s important to mention the peri-menopause: symptoms women experience before periods actually stop.  

Common Symptoms of the Perimenopause/Menopause

Apart from hot flushes, other common symptoms include poor sleep, night sweats, aches/joint pain, itchy/dry skin, low sex drive, changed body shape and weight gain (especially around the tummy), vaginal dryness, itching, pain, and discomfort during sex. 

Psychological symptoms include mood swings, irritability, low mood, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor focus concentration, and memory (brain fog). 

There are approximately 35 symptoms of menopause which can have a big impact on daily life, relationships, and social lives. Every woman’s menopause experience is unique and different. Some women have many symptoms, while others have few. Symptoms may last a few months for some, and years for others.  

The Vibrant Midlife Menopause 

Despite the horror stories you may have heard, or maybe you’ve had troublesome symptoms yourself,  I can tell you midlife is amazing. This is my experience. 

Being post-menopausal I have a renewed sense of freedom and purpose. I’m free of dreaded monthly periods; I’ve taken time to focus on my selfcare, health, and well-being, so as a result I am healthier and fitter than I was 10 years ago.  I know this can be the same for you. Here are practical ways I’ve managed some of my symptoms.    

Mindset: This verse — ‘Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering.’ (3 John1:2 TPT) —is my default position. I believe it is God’s intention that I am healthy and well in body, mind, and spirit. This gives me the basis to maintain a positive mindset/outlook; seek out solutions to help me live healthily, and to help cope with my symptoms. I have a faith, evidence, and practical-based approach to menopause care. 

Poor sleep: God’s Word promises, ‘I will lie down, and my sleep will be sweet’ in Proverbs 3:24 NIV (paraphrased), so I declare this. I use essential oils/lavender pouches and maintain a good sleep routine. I use a summer duvet all year round to avoid disrupted sleep from excess heat and night sweats.

Gut issues: I’ve used gut reset and diet changes to resolve bloating and heartburn. Whilst not strictly vegan/vegetarian, my diet has a plant-based slant, which has helped resolve gut issues.

Anxiety/stress: Though not typically anxious, I can experience pressure at times, so I use the verse in Philippians 4:6 NKJV whenever I feel ‘anxious’. I literally say, “Bukky, don’t worry about anything.”  I also use a breathing technique, where I breathe in God’s peace and exhale anxiety. This is helpful and effective for me.

What you can do to help with your menopause transition

  • Get informed. Menopause awareness is key for any woman over 40 
  • Adopt a positive attitude and mindset, it helps!  
  • Know your body and your symptoms 
  • Seek help. Visit your doctor. If you don’t get the help you need, ask to be referred to a specialist menopause practitioner. Ask for a double appointment if you feel you may need more time, or consider seeking out a private practitioner, via the British Menopause Society website 
  • When dealing with symptoms, patience is key   
  • Work on your nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress, support, and reduce/stop alcohol or tobacco use 

Here’s to your Vibrant Midlife

While I have shared my experiences, I am aware every woman’s transition to menopause is unique. Do understand that help is available. Don’t just soldier on and endure unbearable symptoms, consult your own doctor or find a practitioner with a holistic and evidence-based approach to menopause care. This phase of life can be amazing!  It is my desire and prayer that we all have good health and well-being and live a Vibrant MidlifeÔ.

Bukky Ayoade is a pharmacist, health coach, author, and speaker with a special interest in Women’s Health, in particular the menopause transition. Visit www.vibrantmidlife.com for more information.

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