Don’t pause your life for menopause!
When most people think of menopause, they think of getting older, and their mind shifts to negative body changes and stressful symptoms.
Let's debunk this. Yes, there are many ways that menopause can impact the body and mind, but it is necessary to keep a positive mindset and learn to embrace this new chapter in your life. I am so interested in this topic I started a weekly INSTAGRAM LIVE with Dr. Suzanne Gillberg-Lenz, the best-selling author of “Menopause Bootcamp: Optimize Your Health, Empower Your Self, and Flourish as You Age”, every Friday to talk about it with her and you.
What are the differences between menopause and perimenopause?
The word "menopause" literally means the "end of monthly cycles" from the Greek words"pausis" (pause) and the root word- men from "mensis" meaning (month). Menopause is the permanent cessation of menses and is described as the end of the last menstrual period. A natural period of transition, which begins several years before menopause, is perimenopause. This phase can last from a few months up to 10 years before menopause.
Typically, a woman is between the ages of 45-55 when they begin perimenopause for no other medical reasons. Sometimes, women begin menopause early between the ages of 40-45. If you begin perimenopause before 40, it might be a good idea to go to a medical professional and make sure everything is okay with your body.
What are the symptoms?
There are many symptoms that women can experience during perimenopause and menopause. Some of these include:
· Mood swings: During perimenopause, our body's hormones change. Our bodies need to replace the hormones in the ovaries to keep our bodies balanced. The most common hormones that fluctuate are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA (precursor hormone, converted into testosterone or estrogen in locations other than the ovaries).
· Sleep disruption: It can become difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
· Weight gain: Hormones appear in other places since they can no longer be produced in the ovaries. This includes the fat glands.
· Sexual health changes
· Heart palpitations
· Muscle stiffness
· Hot flashes: One of the most common symptoms!
Solutions to symptoms
Even though there is no specific medication or treatment used for menopause and perimenopause, there are some solutions for symptoms. I highly advise you to check out @themenopausebootcamp on Instagram and learn more about solutions from Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, MD.
Some other resources are:
Some of the best ways you can help your symptoms are through lifestyle changes. These include getting more sleep (Rule #6), exercising (Rule #5), and maintaining a balanced diet that will help your body feel good during these changes.
As I mentioned during my Instagram Live with Dr. Suzane Gilberg-Lenz, in order to know what changes need to be made during this time, it is necessary to know our state of harmony. Harmony is not always balanced, and there are always ups and downs as our bodies cannot constantly stay the same. It is important for us to know our state of harmony in order to strive to reach this.
It’s not a loss, it’s a pivot!
When women think about menopause, they often get embarrassed or overwhelmed by the changes in bodily sensations. And the first word that might come to mind is “loss” or “struggle” because they are now infertile, and it is the end of an era. It can be scary to think that we are losing a part of ourselves, so why should we continue to think of it that way and make ourselves anxious about change? But - think no more periods! Take that as a positive.
I have always expressed that change is a good thing. As Dr. Gilberg-Lenz mentioned, it can be difficult “letting go of a part of our lives we are so identified with.” Our menstrual cycles are known to make us a woman, but so many other aspects make us a woman.
Beginning perimenopause and reaching menopause is not a loss but a pivot. This is a new chapter of our lives that we should learn to embrace. It is important to continue loving our body even when it experiences changes and new things because it is still the same body we have been in since we were born! And you will no longer have hot flashes, cramps, PMS, or mood swings.
Educating yourself to prepare!
I highly recommend watching my Instagram Live with Dr. Suzane Gilberg-Lenz as it offers valuable information to help you prepare for this new experience in your life. There are so many questions that women have about menopause because not everyone has the same education on this topic.
Learn more about perimenopause and menopause so you know how to care for your body as it changes! If you have questions, join us each Friday as we delve into topics, and your questions are welcome.