What to Do When Feeling Blue During the Menopause
No More Feeling Blue For Me!
Does this describe one of your menopause symptoms?
In fact if this could be solved, the others wouldn't feel so bad! After all, this is meant to be a natural progression from one stage of life to the next, not an illness! It's when we enter the autumn of life!
Feeling blue is a common problem for many of us and one which can leave a woman in middle age feeling useless, regretful and even depressed. It can leave you feeling alone, because other people don't really want to be around someone whose mood swings are unpredicatable. I know, because I have been there and am still journeying through this phase of my life. I was left feeling that my body was trying to tell me something more than that it was no longer able to conceive. It was as if it was lacking something.
Menopause means the cessation (Greek "pausis") of monthly menstruation
So I decided to empower myself to discover what my body needed from me right now. After all, when one of my children had indicated to me in the past that they needed something, I wouldn't just ignore their signs and hide them with ice cream or loud music. No I would find out what they needed and meet that need. I believe that many of us are needing things that are quite fundamental to our general health, but for most of the time we manage to ignore them by propping ourselves up with a strong cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine. There comes a time however when our bodies can't cope anymore with this lack and it comes to the point where the need for a cure has caught up with prevention.
This account of dealing with feeling blue during the menopause has been written based on my own experience as someone who has searched for and found a cure naturally and not as one who is pertaining to have any special medical expertise. We have the right to make our own decisions and in today's world with so much information and natural resources at our disposal, we can!
Feeling Blue During The Menopause - Does this describe you?
Have you felt blue during the menopause?
You Are What You Eat
So off I went to learn what I could do to help myself. The more I read and listened, the more I discovered that giving my body the right fuel was the most important thing.
Healthy Eating and Lifestyle
Helping to balance your hormones and ease the change in your body gradually
Combine this with regular exercise and periods of rest, this natural path can lead you through the menopause gradually and easily. You will see how certain foods drastically affect our hormone balance and other bodily functions, including mood swings. By educating yourself on what to avoid and what to increase in your diet, you can avoid the need for using drugs and chemicals during this natural time of your life.
12 Vital Foods To Eat Or Avoid During Menopause -
- Include hormone balancing phytoestrogens that include pulses such as lentils and chickpeas, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflowers seeds, rice, oats and wheat, vegetables such as broccoli and carrots and natural soya products.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are anti-inflammatories. Known as EFA (essential fatty acids) because they are essential to your health. Found in oily fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel and in flaxseeds (linseeds).
- Anti-ageing fruit and vegetables whose antioxidants combat cell mutations which can lead to cancer. Eat a rainbow of these to get good levels of these vital vitamins, minerals and unique compounds every day.
- Eat the right kind of unrefined carbohydrates that don't mess up your body sugar levels and leave you with lasting energy. These include wholegrains, nuts, fruit, beans and pulses.
- Choose organic food where possible. They contain more nutrients and less xenostrogens from pesticides and plastic. These contain excessive amounts of oestrogen which disturbs your delicate hormonal balance at this time particuarly. If you cannot afford to eat everything organic then choose organic grains to start with, as these soak up more of the pesticides.
- Reduce intake of saturated fats and keep off trans fats (found in many processed foods such as biscuits, cakes and margarine) which have no nutritional benefit and are detrimental to your health, such as heart disease. Saturated fats are found in meat and dairy products and tropical oils such as palm oil. High levels increase the levels of oestrogen in your blood, increasing risk of breast cancer. Although it has been proved that saturated fats do not make you fat, they need to be eaten in moderation.
- Eat plenty of natural fibre which helps to excrete old oestrogens from the body, which can cause cancer if left to re-circulate in the body. Bran is harsh on the body, so eat in preference plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Drink pleny of fluids, especially water, which helps to metabolise stored fat, crucial for weight management. Try to cut down on tea, coffee and alcohol which dehydrate the body. The good thing about eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is that they contain a good amount of water.
- Eliminate chemicals such as sweeteners, additives and preservatives in your diet. Sweeteners can lead to mood swings and actually increase your appetite, causing weight gain. If your body has to deal with foreign substances, it has fewer resources to deal with your body's changes and keep your hormones balanced. Man-made and processed ingredients are found in many of our western foods, so it's worth reading the ingredients on the labels.
- Avoid or reduce caffeine in your diet as it has a diuretic effect, causing the loss of important nutrients, such as calcium, which is vital to bone health at a time when it is at risk. Beware of chemical substances used to remove caffeine from drinks as well, making decaffeinated drinks a bad option. Try herbal teas instead.
- Avoid or reduce alcohol as it puts a huge strain on your organs, especially the liver, which is needed to balance blood sugar and oestrogon levels, amongst other important functions. It also blocks the effects of valuable nutrients to your body.
- Avoid refined sugar, such as is not found naturally in fresh food. This has the most drastic effect on reducing or curing a whole variety of symptoms ranging from tiredness and headaches to mood swings and thyroid problems and which aren't necessarily due to the menopause.
I started to read stories of people who had been cured of menopause symtoms through diet and lifestyle.
I read most of my information from Marilyn Glenville's book, Natural Solutions to Menopause.
For details on the 12 points above, this book gives more information in an easy-to-read manner.
Let Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD Explain - The UK's leading expert in nutrition for women's health
Is when your age shows around your middle.
My Natural Menopause Journey
Here's my story so far-
My main reasons for embarking on this journey were because I was gaining weight, not sleeping well and suffering from mood swings. Although I was already eating quite a healthy diet, getting exercise and giving myself regular times of quiet to de-stress I realised that I needed to do more. I had been wondering whether to give up the expense and commitment of going to the gym, but after learning these interesting facts I decided that my gym membership was an important investment for my health and well-being.
I also went out and bought myself some Omega3 suppliments, as I felt that despite trying to include Omega3 in my diet (at the same time as cooking for my family) I needed more. I also went to my local health food store and bought some natural soya products (keeping clear of genetically modified ones) and mixed soya mince and nuggets in our normal meat dishes. This is working well and my family aren't complaining! I also buy a lot more fresh fruit and veg which my teenagers also enjoy, mainly chopping it up and eating with oats and nuts for breakfast. It's become a morning ritual which is almost therapeutic. I have always enjoyed baking, so even though I can't yet completely eliminate sugar in our family food, I try to use natural brown sugar or honey when possible and buy less biscuits than before.
Although I wasn't drinking large amounts of caffeine and alcohol, I have cut down and on days when I think that maybe I should drink more water or less coffee, it gives me the power to do so because I now know what it is doing to me.
And The Results Are In!
What difference has it made?
Everyone wants to know whether all this really makes any difference and so here are my results so far, about two months down the line:
I am sleeping much better = not waking up in the night as before.
I can't remember having any mood swings, so I feel stable again.
My weight has remained constant in this time, partly I am told, due to more muscle weight which would compensate for less calories.
I feel generally healthier and happier.
© 2013 Christine Hulme