Welcome to Hot Flash.
Carol Smillie has been in the news this week talking about her menopause, in particular about gaining weight around the middle and discovering more wrinkles. I know that this is something that so many of you are struggling to overcome. Not looking how we used to can be very stressful. So, I have made a short Facebook video and written a blog this week giving you some advice on how you can make changes and reverse these symptoms and feel better than ever.
I was so excited to see so many of you join my Masterclasses this week and for me to be able to pass on some of my knowledge and expertise about overcoming your symptoms naturally. In particular, I loved answering the participant’s questions – it gives me ideas on what to post here and on the website. I will be organising more Masterclasses in the next few weeks, so watch out for more information and I hope more of you will join next time.
I’m just about to go away for a few days and while I was packing, I was thinking about holidays and how it can be difficult to cope sometimes when you are in a different routine. So to help you I have written you a short article below with my advice on how to cope and keep on track. Let me know if you have any tips for coping while you are away that we can share here or in the Facebook group.
Speak to you very soon.
How to Cope on Holiday
Travelling is usually stressful and hot flushes get worse when we are rushing and stressing. It’s hard enough for most women coping with menopause symptoms during the winter, but warm weather and summer holidays can turn what would normally be an enjoyable holiday into a nightmare. For the sake of your sanity it’s worth taking time to reflect on how you might look after yourself and adhere to your new regime whilst you are away.
Getting established on your new regime whilst in your usual routine is one thing, but when the holidays arrive that’s altogether another challenge. In times gone by I would hear patients say that they couldn’t stick to their programme as they were going on holiday. I saw them take huge steps backwards which was a great pity after putting in so much effort; especially as it always seems harder for them to reclaim the ground.
These days for those who are still working to overcome their symptoms on my programme I tend to recommend a holiday routine be established and well thought through before the trip so that continued progress is possible. Whilst you might have to make some sacrifices on this particular holiday the payback is definitely worth having. It means the holiday time can be put to good use to encourage further recovery rather than being setback city.
Here are my 9 top holiday tips that you might like to put into practice.If you are on a special diet and staying in a hotel let them know in advance so that they can cater for your needs.
- If you are on a special diet and staying in a hotel let them know in advance so that they can cater for your needs.
- When self-catering do a little pre-holiday research online to see if you can source products and ingredients locally to save you carrying them with you.
- Order small packs of flaxseeds and take them with you. I just bought organic linseeds through Amazon to take with me.
- Make up daily packs of supplements so that you have your morning and evening supply clearly marked. That way if you are travelling you can put a little zip lock bag in your handbag so that you have your supplements with you.
- If you are on a city holiday that doesn’t leave much time for relaxation build in your relaxation time just as you would schedule cleaning your teeth each day. Don’t forget that just 20 minutes of formal relaxation helps reduce flushes by up to 60 percent.
- Make a point of switching your favourite music on and dancing. If there is no one in earshot you might like to sing as well! If you have a pool nearby try some aqua aerobics to release the endorphins, those wonderful feel good hormones.
- Get your partner to give you a massage with some lovely essential oils as research really does show that it helps our mood, relaxes and calms us as well as helping to set the tone for some intimacy.
- Keep alcohol to no more than 3 units per week as it will bring on flushes and wash away your progress.
- Remember that holidays are times we ideally set aside to rest and recharge so ensure you catch up with some peaceful sleep.
Once you are symptom-free and on a maintenance plan you won’t have to be so strict about your diet and alcohol consumption. I am a firm believer that a little of what you fancy does you good when you are feeling well! I hope that a little planning helps to make your holiday memorable this year for the right reasons.
Hot Flash Top Tip
Headaches and migraines are common during menopause and may be the result of changing body temperature, tiredness due to hot flushes, sleeplessness or general stress and anxiety. Migraines can be affected by oestrogen levels and can get better or worse during menopause. So here are some of my tips:
- Relaxation techniques may help – try the Pzizz App
- Regular exercise is a must
- Complementary therapies, such as massage and acupuncture, may help ease the pain
- Eating a wholesome snack before you go to bed can help keep blood sugar levels balanced. If they drop during the night, you may wake up with a morning headache
- Use freshly chopped ginger root in your cooking and in either black Redbush Tea or hot water.
Dirty Little Secrets
Constipation is a huge problem for many women at midlife and beyond often making them feel embarrassed, bloated and depressed. It doesn’t have to be that way for symptoms can be overcome very quickly using a natural approach.
The gut, technically known as our enteric nervous system, is now thought to be a second brain in our body. It consists of more than 100 million neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube which extends from our mouth to our tail.
Many women become constipated in the week before their period. The normal rate food moves through the gut slows down and this causes abdominal bloating and discomfort. During the perimenopause, when our metabolic rate is slowing down, constipation can become even more of a problem.
Most of us know that lack of fibre makes constipation worse and therefore assume that wheat and bran will make it better. However, when we have low levels of nutrients, which we know that women commonly do at this life stage, wheat and bran can cause a chemical reaction in our body which leaves us lacking energy, feeling down and even more constipated.
Top Tips to overcome constipation:
- Eat plenty of fibre rich food including fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some cereals that are wheat and gluten free.
- Consume plenty of water or herbal tea.
- Take two tablespoons of organic linseeds or flaxseeds each day with breakfast or with yogurt.
- Drink Redbush tea instead of ordinary tea.
- Take magnesium supplements to gut tolerance as this will help normal gut function. Try MagAsorb and start with a dose of 300mg per day gradually increasing as necessary up to a maximum of 900mg. (This can be ordered from maryonstewart.com/shop and by entering the code midlifeswitch2017 you will receive a 10% discount).
Take plenty of exercise, aiming to do 5 sessions of aerobic exercise
Tea also slows down gut-transit time for many women and lack of fluid won’t help either, nor will stress or some pain killers.