Fluctuating hormones leave many menopausal women feeling frazzled. We get the expert lowdown on managing symptoms and getting your vitality back
“When oestrogen is low, it can have a negative effect on your energy, concentration and focus, while reduced progesterone impacts your sleep and your mood – compounding the problem,” explains Dr Sohère Roked, a GP and hormone expert at the Omniya MediClinic. It’s no wonder so many menopausal women feel shattered, but help is at hand with our expert guide to getting back your va va voom
Eat more phyto-oestrogens
Phyto-oestrogens contain oestrogenic compounds which are thought to bind with oestrogen receptors in the body’s cells, which may increase the total oestrogenic effect. A high intake of phyto-estrogens is also thought to reduce the frequency of hot flushes in menopausal women. You will find them in soya milk, soya beans, linseeds, tofu, tempeh and miso, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb and green beans.”
Lift yourself up
“The hormone testosterone – which is good for your energy, vitality and get up and go – falls during the menopause,” explains Dr Roked. “Strength training and muscle-building exercise will help boost your energy levels.”
Take a deep breath
“When we breathe deeply – inflating our lungs fully – we oxygenate more blood, which helps boost energy,” says Ms Shirin Irani, a consultant gynaecologist, who regularly treats women with menopausal symptoms. “It doesn’t come naturally to most of us so it’s something we have to do consciously. Try it for five minutes in the morning when you’re lying in bed waking up.”
Meditate on it
“When we’re stressed it affects us physically and emotionally and can leave us feeling tired and lethargic,” says Dr Roked. “Regular meditation can help lower stress, improve our sleep and boost our energy. Even just five minutes a day is a good start. A variety of apps are available which will take you through a guided meditation, or you can simply focus on your breath – breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, then breathing out for four seconds.”
“When we’re dehydrated it can make circulation sluggish, which impacts on energy,” says Ms Irani. “Water also flushes out the toxins in our kidneys. Aim for two litres, or eight glasses a day.”
Avoid the sugar spike
All too often a sharp rise in your blood glucose level may be followed by a sharp dip, which leaves you feeling tired and drained. Choose fresh fruit with a few nuts instead.
“Getting outside, especially in summer, will increase your Vitamin D, which will help improve your mood and energy,” says Dr Roked. “Heading somewhere green, such as your local park, should also help lower your cortisol levels which, when high, can make symptoms feel worse.”
The ‘me’ in menopause
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