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You Can Delay the Onset of Menopause By Doing These 5 Things

Mar 23, 2019

No one can predict when you’ll reach the menopause.

Not you. Not your GP. And definitely not your best friend.

The fact that your sister, your mother, your aunt and your grandmother went through the menopause in their 40s doesn’t mean that you will too.

Just like puberty once was, the menopause is your very own unique experience and hormonal journey.

Whilst genetics do indeed play a role in when and how you’ll start your own menopause journey, we can’t disregard the impact that our lifestyle choices and our environment also have.

As Doctor Oz says, “Genetics holds the gun but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

This basically means that even if you’re genetically predisposed to certain health challenges, you can positively influence your health with lifestyle changes. [Read this article if you’re interested in knowing more about some of the research.]

Or to put it another way, you can postpone the age that you hit the menopause by taking care of your body and mind.

Here are five ways you can delay the onset of menopause.

1. Be extra kind to your adrenal glands

When you start your period (day one of your cycle), your ovaries are recharging themselves ready for ovulation (around day thirteen). Your hormone levels are rising and your adrenal glands are working hard to support you hormonally.

To help your body maintain its natural balance, it’s important to listen to your body, to down tools as much as possible and to do everything you can to take care of your body at this time in your cycle.

So instead of hitting the gym or pushing yourself to keep working hard when you feel worn out, go for the restorative and gentle approach.

Practice Hatha or restorative yoga, enjoy breathing exercises (like this one) and make sure you’re getting as much sleep as you can.

Also, fill up with wholesome adrenal nourishing foods such as homemade chicken and turmeric soup or fennel and coriander soup. These are great healthy comfort foods and they help support your body and nourish your adrenal glands.

2. Reconsider your contraception

The pill (and other forms of hormonally-based contraception) are certainly convenient and they also take away the worry of unplanned pregnancy.

However, they could also be disrupting your natural hormonal balance and potentially changing your body’s ability to respond to natural levels of hormones in your body, even after you stop using them.

They work because they ‘bind up’ two of the main sex hormones; oestrogen and testosterone and instead replace them with synthetic hormones.

These hormones interrupt the connection between your brain and ovaries, stop you from ovulating and thus prevent pregnancy from occurring. These synthetic hormones also come in amounts which are lower than your natural hormones, doesn’t work as well and comes in a lower amount.

Recent research has also suggested that your natural oestrogen and testosterone could continue to be ‘bound up’ permanently, even when you’re no longer taking the contraceptive and affecting your natural hormonal balance.

Because of this, I’d highly advise that you reconsider your contraception and come off the pill sooner rather than later!

3. Practice radical self-care

Take care of yourself and your hormones will take care of you.

Yes, thanks to social media, we know we need to be taking care of ourselves but how much are you actually doing it?

Do you find yourself nodding along in agreement or wishing you could take better care of yourself but limiting it to those moments when you see #selfcare on Instagram or decide to go on a weekend retreat?

Then I’ve got news for you. To work, self-care needs to be consistent and it also needs to be radical. Your interpretation of that is really up to you.

Here are a few of my radical self-care tips to give you food for thought:

  1. Get those lights out before 10 pm without fail
  2. Eat breakfast within one hour upon waking
  3. Practice breathing exercises daily- mostly in the mornings
  4. Have an 8 pm social media curfew
  5. Enjoy more anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric and green tea
  6. Get daily light exposure. A walk outdoors is always wonderful.
  7. Reduce your exposure to chemicals such as plastics and parabens
  8. Have a lie in at the weekend
  9. Eat real food
  10. Practice journaling

What might yours be?

4. Prioritise your sleep

Good quality sleep is the foundation of youthfulness and longevity.

Without it, you’ll age more quickly, you’ll get sick more easily, and you’ll be at an increased risk of developing an illness such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer's.

You’ll also worsen any health issues such as hormonal imbalances, chronic stress, autoimmune conditions and even find it harder to make healthier food choices and to feel at your best.

Of course, we all know how important sleep is. But we often take it for granted, particularly when we have one hundred and one things to do.

We find ourselves saying things like;

“I’ll just do this one last job before I go to bed.”

Or, “I want to watch the end of this gripping TV drama because they’ll be talking about it at work tomorrow and I don’t want to miss out"

Or we get really into a good book and then notice that the time has really flown by and it’s well past our bedtime.

So ask yourself how is your sleep now? Do you wake up feeling energetic and refreshed or could you do with an extra hour or two? Do you find it easy to fall asleep and stay asleep?

Read this blog I recently wrote about sleep to learn more about how you can improve the quality of your sleep naturally.

5. Don’t over exercise

Exercise is great for your mood and wellness, but if you force your body to exercise too much, it can actually have the opposite effect and lead to adrenal dysregulation, hormonal imbalances and total exhaustion.

In my clinic, I see many women who exercise at a high level and who are completely worn out.

They feel drained and exhausted. They struggle to make it through the day yet they still continue to exercise hard, thinking that they are doing the best for their bodies and minds.

But the opposite is true.

Their bodies are telling them that they need to slow down. They’re crying out for them to stop and rest.

Whilst they ignore these messages and keep trying to push themselves through the exhaustion they’re actually harming their long term hormonal health.

The closer they get to the peri-menopause and menopause, the worse the effects can be.

Once your reproductive system starts to wind down and your ovaries produce less oestrogen, the adrenal glands take up the slack and produce smaller levels of these hormones for the rest of your life.

It can’t do this if your body is stressed out from hard exercise, if you’re struggling to get out of bed or if you have to push yourself to reach the end of the day.

Something has to give, and that something will be you at some point.

The good news is that adrenal dysregulation is reversible, but once you hit the menopause this becomes harder to achieve. Act now instead of later.

 

 

It’s not always easy to change the habits of a lifetime, especially when they involve reconsidering your contraception, getting to bed early, reducing your exercise, and taking better care of yourself.

But the payoff can be massive. You’ll feel more rested. You’ll feel calmer. You’ll have more energy that you can use exactly as you like. You’ll become the healthiest version of yourself possible. And, most importantly, you can delay the onset of the menopause.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, these small changes are very much worth it.

 


Want to connect with a lovely group of ladies and learn the art of self care?

Come and join us at our upcoming retreat ‘Unleash Your Inner Fire’ taking place between Fri 14th- Sun 16th June 2019 at the gorgeous Uppermore Farm in the Peak District. Find out more here.

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