Article By Dr Marion Gluck, Founder and specialist in women’s health at The Marion Gluck Clinic
The recent news coverage around the menopause has been celebrated for raising awareness and giving women a voice about this sensitive and often divisive subject. Whilst the coverage has been brilliant, we must be mindful that the menopause isn’t something to be feared and for many women, symptoms can be minimal or are manageable. Yes, some women may find that symptoms are affecting their lifestyle, but for these women there is effective treatment available.
The menopause is a medical condition, and as such medication should be used to alleviate symptoms. The difficulty comes in choosing a treatment option, with HRT receiving negative press and many GPS sadly lacking in adequate training, many women who need help may feel they are adrift with no one to turn to.
This is particularly relevant for working women who experience brain cognitive issues, anxiety or even depression. To suddenly not be able to process and retain information in the same way can be a scary and isolating feeling, but there is support available and many workplaces are now more open to discussing the needs of their female employees, and period and menopause policies are now becoming more commonplace.
What can women do to prepare for the Menopause?
Around 45 years of age, many women being to enter the perimenopause. During this time an emphasis should be placed on keeping active and the body supple, however exercise shouldn’t be overdone. Bone densities weaken as with age so a gentler form of exercise, such as swimming or Pilates are ideal.
Irregular periods and symptoms such as hot flushes and mood swings may begin as women approach their 50s. Women should try to take a proactive approach to symptoms, such as dressing more lightly or carrying a handheld fan to help with hot flushes and keeping a diary if remembering dates or events is becoming an issue.
Focus on eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts and wholegrains, and drink lots of water; this is a great foundation to build a healthy lifestyle. There are so many benefits of eating well but in addition to this many fresh fruits and vegetables will actually help your body balance hormones. Balancing hormones is vital to help ease menopause symptoms. Other ways to relive symptoms is to reduce stress, exercise and practicing mindfulness or meditation are great ways to train your brain to switch off and to calm your body.
For women who are finding their symptoms are severe and simple lifestyle changes not making a noticeable difference, it is likely that a hormone imbalance is the problem. A hormone imbalance can exacerbate symptoms and is why hormone balancing with bio-identical hormones should be considered. Bio-identical hormones are chemically identical to the hormones found in our bodies and are sourced from Mexican yams.
By introducing bio-identical hormone replenishment therapy (BHRT) that is prescribed specifically to each patient’s own hormone levels, women can feel much better and find that symptoms are reduced, if not eradicated.
Yes, there is more work to be done on educating the masses around the menopause, and yes, women do need a voice in this deeply personal transition. However, we must be mindful not to fear the menopause or allow women to feel as their lives as they know them, are over. 50+ is a wonderful time of life for a woman, with children grown up, more freedom to embark on hobbies and personal interest, a deeper sense of self-worth and inner belief; women should approach this time of life with joy, enthusiasm and excitement, not fear, worry and trepidation about managing menopause symptoms. Finding a treatment plan that is right for the individual woman based on her needs, lifestyle and previous medical history is a must. Women have spent so many years finding their voice, and they should continue to use it now to demand the medical treatment they deserve.
Dr. Marion Gluck
Dr. Marion Gluck has gained global acclaim for her work in women’s health and bioidentical hormone balancing therapy which can help reduce menopause and perimenopause symptoms. The Marion Gluck Clinic is the UK’s leading medical clinic that pioneered the use of bioidentical hormones to restore and maintain optimal health and hormone balance for patients. Headed up by Dr. Marion Gluck herself, the clinic uses her pioneering method of bioidentical hormonal treatment to rebalance hormones to improve wellbeing, quality of life and slow down ageing.