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7 Uplifting Ways To Avoid An Early Menopause

Sep 24, 2016

Have you recently noticed more of those unsightly black hairs sprouting from your chin and upper lip? Do your moods fluctuate wildly whatever the ‘time of the month’? Are you having trouble sleeping? Are your periods more irregular than they used to be? Or perhaps they’re lighter or heavier than before and you’re not sure what to expect from one month to the next? Have you started missing periods lately but the pregnancy test was negative?

And worst of all, are you in your mid-thirties and panicking about what is going on in your body, fearing that it could be the menopause?

Whilst these physical and emotional changes you’re noticing are almost certainly unwanted, they aren’t always a sentence of early infertility and menopause. Instead they might point to a hormonal imbalance which you can easily remedy to slow down or even stop your hormonal decline in its tracks, and ease all of your irritating symptoms too.

Here are seven brilliant tips to help you avoid that early menopause:

#1: Kill your chronic stress

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that chronic stress is enemy number one when it comes to the health of your hormones. Not only does it leave you feeling exhausted, burnt out and entirely rubbish, it massively disrupts your hormones too.

When you are under stress, your body responds in the same way it would if you were an ancient tribeswoman face-to-face with a lion. It does this by kick-starting that fight-or-flight response and releasing huge amounts of cortisol (and diverting your blood to your limbs) so you have a better chance of escaping.

And as you might remember, higher cortisol levels disrupt the production of all of your hormones in a process known as a ‘prenenolone steal’ which is a precursor hormone and your entire endocrine system is thrown out of whack.

Naturally, we can’t entirely avoid stress but we can take steps to improve how we cope with it. Great options include positive visualization, breathing, meditation, gratitude journaling and getting time out in the fresh air.

#2: Quit smoking

Smoking doesn’t just kill more than 100,000 in the UK each year by causing cancer, heart disease and long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases. It’s also a death sentence for your fertility.

Statistics say that if you smoke, you’re far more likely to experience premature ovarian failure and head into peri-menopause or even full-blown menopause before your time.

Researchers at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital recently uncovered just why this might be. It turns out that cigarette smoke contains highly toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which prematurely trigger the genetic signals that cause a woman’s ovaries to shut down and her eggs to die. Hearing it like this should really bring the truth home

But don’t think you’re out of the woods if you’re a non-smoker- studies also show that drinking excessive levels of coffee or drinking alcohol might also play a role. For the sake of your overall health, cut down on the cigs, reduce your coffee and avoid alcohol as much as you can.

 

#3: Stick to healthy weight

Studies say that if you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to enter the peri-menopause earlier and struggle on with terrible symptoms before your body actually becomes menopausal. But surprisingly, the very same thing can be said for women who are very thin.

Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why this might happen, the answer seems to lie in the fact that your tummy fat stores oestrogen. If you are thin, your oestrogen stores are likely to be depleted, and if you are obese, they are likely to be excessive, causing hormonal disruptions either way.

Whatever the answer, one thing is clear. It’s vital to nourish your body with exactly the right kinds of foods, in optimal quantities and really start to take care of yourself when it comes to your diet. Your hormones are worth it!

#4: Cut down on your sugar intake

Did you know that your high sugar intake isn’t just responsible for your mid-afternoon slump, it could also be worsening your hormonal imbalance?

When you eat something containing sugar, your blood sugar levels rise and so your body releases a hormone called insulin to level things out again.

However, when you consume excessive amounts of the stuff, your body is pushed to the max and pumps out excessive amounts of insulin out to cope. Which then causes a dramatic drop in your blood sugar level, which is hardly ideal either.

So in an attempt to bring it back up to a normal range, your body releases those familiar stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

And if you remember, high levels of cortisol = an imbalance in all of your sex hormones: oestrogen, progesterone, the androgens DHEA and testosterone too.

It might just be time to rethink that mid-morning bar of chocolate.

#5: Avoid phthalates

plastic bottles Phthalates are more than just a tongue twister- they’re part of a group of chemicals called xenoestrogens which, as the name suggests, release an artificial form of oestrogen and disrupt your overall hormone balance.

In fact, studies at University of Washington reveal that these dangerous chemicals form part of a group of environmental toxins which can trigger an early menopause.

You may not have heard of this toxic substance but it is everywhere, in most plastic products including plastic water bottles, cling film, plastic food storage containers, cosmetics, flexible plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, building supplies, solvents and insecticides. The list is almost endless!

Whilst we can never completely avoid plastic, we can certainly do our best to minimize our exposure to these chemicals by investing in an aluminium or glass water bottle, ditching plastic food storage and being more mindful about the other plastics in our lives.

 

#6: Get supported!

The support of people we care about plays a vital part of all of our lives. It helps us feel loved and understood, gets us through the tough times and helps relieve the pressures of life at times.

But too many of us are scared to ask for help when we need it. We’re afraid of what they might say, we feel ashamed to ask in the first place. So we just struggle on as best we can.

But when we do this, we’re placing undue stress on our body and mind, we’re actually increasing ours risk of an early menopause, thanks to effects of that old friend of ours; cortisol.

People who truly care about us want to be there and they want to help us out when we need it the most. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it the most. Read this article for more info.

#7: Get moving!

Physical exercise gets your blood flowing, keep your immune system healthy and keep your hormonal health in check. Yet so many of us avoid getting off our devices and moving our bodies- we dread physical activity almost as much as going to the dentist. (Almost!)

But when you actually get out there and get moving you often feel quite pleasantly surprized. Because not only are you rewarded handsomely with those feel-good endorphins, your oestrogen production also increases and you also get a great dose of uplifting serotonin. What’s not to like about it?

Don’t panic if you think you’re heading towards an early menopause.

By putting these excellent lifestyle tips into action, you can help rebalance your hormones, lose weight, feel happier and also get much healthier so that you can postpone your hormonal decline and regain your energy and lust for life.

Images  © Vic

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