Couples who deal with menopause have some different challenges to tackle than from any other point in their lives together. It challenges each person in the relationship on an individual level, and it also challenges them as partners. It can be both a physical and an emotional battle for both partners.
For women, it is difficult to get the male partner in the relationship to understand the changes she faces in her body.
It can be equally as difficult to get him to empathize with those changes. Communication is the key to dealing with menopause for both halves of the relationship.
Here are a few tips to help smooth the way:
Exercise is important for good health at any age, but is really important around the menopause. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day vacuuming and energetic housework counts towards your exercise time by the way!
The benefits of exercise will begin as soon as you start and it take a while notice improvement but one of the first things that will happen is that you will sleep better and also start to feel like you have more energy. Which makes us all happier!
Food can change your hormones and it is best to avoid massive changes in your diet around your menopause. Gradual and lasting changes however, can make the menopause easier to deal with and will improve your overall health.
A diet that is low in meat, cheese, eggs and high in nuts, seeds and oily fish can help reduce some of the symptoms of the menopause. Unsaturated fats ( the nuts and seeds ) have essential fatty acids which help the body adjust to new hormone levels. Women at the menopause should go for food with lots of calcium, vitamins E, D and B, and magnesium.
To deal with hot flushes you could have some roman chamomile with you and put some drops on your wrists if you feel one coming. You can also put some drops on a handkerchief to keep the scent with you should you need it.
To help relieve general aches and pains you can always try a message with a relaxing oil like lavender or roman chamomile. A massage also increases endorphins which is your very own natural pain-killer.
Keep a journal for its power to help you reflect in a positive manner on your life ahead and the life you have led. Keep it for the healing power it has by acting as a channel for your thoughts and feelings, but if you have daughters, keep it to hand down as a legacy of wise words from someone who knows what they will go through.
To be prepared for the hot flushes, make sure you dress in thin layers that can be easily removed and put on again as you need to let off steam. My mom gave me this tip one time and she described a meeting when her flush left her feeling as if steam was escaping from her neck as she sat there trapped in a thick cardigan.
Avoid fried food as they are full of trans fatty acids which are created when liquid oils solidify by partial hydrogenation, a process that stretches food shelf life and changes “safe” unsaturated fat into dangerous fat. Trans fats are concentrated in margarine, solid vegetable shortening, doughnuts, crackers, cookies, chips, cakes, pies, some breads and foods fried in hydrogenated fat (chicken, fish, potatoes). The best way to avoid the problem is to cook food in olive oil and never ever deep fry again.
Avoid spicy food and it could help reduce your hot flushes. A jalapeno pepper can make anyone come out in a hot flush so if you are going through the change then hot spicy food can bring on a proper hot flush. A way to counter the effects is to eat tofu or other soya based products.
This is not a tip but a benefit of menopause that I just have to mention: You may very well develop chocolate cravings! How great is that? You have the perfect excuse to indulge with your favourite dark chocolate as it has to contain more than 71% cocoa to have real benefit. Really dark chocolate that is low in sugar is a good source of magnesium and antioxidants which together with the cholesterol reducing unsaturated fat and phenol helps your heart.
The British medical journal found that 100 grams 9 around 3-4 oz ) of this dark chocolate reduced blood pressure and heart related problems with 21 per cent so there you have your daily Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdoze as well. (just make sure to exercise off the extra calories! )
Here is a tip for those of you that have issues with nausea. One very simple and inexpensive thing to do is to use ginger in your food or have a lemon and ginger infusion teas.
It’s a fact! Alcohol makes your hot flushes worse! If you remember back to your rebellious youth, waking up after a rough night out, you would experience waves of hot flushes and cold sweats as the alcohol left your body and you replenished your water with much-needed hydration and vitamins. Imagine what will happen if you have a few drinks when you are prone to those flushes already. Not nice!
Demand pampering! Change of any kind has a tendency to create stress ( yes really!) and a great way for us ladies to de-stress is to do something that is only for us. Create your own space and time and let your family know why you need to pamper yourself.
Add nuts & seeds to your diet for the nutritional benefits and oils that helps your body cope better with the changes that are going on. It also provides you with a rich source of amino acids which are claimed to be helpful in our Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsituation.
Reduce the amount of caffeine that you have in a day ideally none. The basic truth is that caffeinated tea and coffee is dehydrating. Ignoring the poisonous effects of caffeine, a dehydrated body is less capable of dealing with the things that might happen during menopause. It can make headaches worse for instance.
Eat more fish! Salmon, sardines, halibut, tuna, mackerel and herring are all great sources of essential fatty acids which can help your memory ( how great is that?!? ) and help if you are also having dry skin problems.