A guest speaker at our ABC Menopause Peer Support Meeting recently referred to the menopause as a “transition”; it is normal and it will pass like all other stages in our life. I think this is a really positive way to approach this year’s World Menopause Day.
The theme for this year is Cardiovascular Disease. While breast cancer is often thought to be the number one cause of death and disability in women, the number of cases of cardiovascular disease is high and continuing to rise.
However, women going through this stage in life (and women make up almost half of the UK workforce and 83% at ABC) will probably be more focused on the never ending list of symptoms that impact their day-to-day life. Anxiety, brain fog and hot flushes are just a few of the unpleasant features that can make life challenging, particularly if you have an important work meeting/presentation/event to attend. Not only will you need support at home, but also at work from your colleagues.
There is also the common misconception that the menopause only affects women in their 50s and over. More and more younger women are entering the menopause earlier – perhaps due to medical surgery or treatment for cancer – and feeling the full brunt of symptoms traditionally associated with older women. On the other end of the scale, women well into their 60s are reporting symptoms they thought they would have finished with a long time ago. What is very clear it that no two people are the same.
Fortunately there is a lot more awareness around the issue with TV programmes such as Davina McCall: Sex, Myths and the Menopause highlighting the benefits of HRT, GP menopause specialists such as Dr Louise Newson publishing books and setting up the Balance App balance – balance app (balance-menopause.com) and campaigns by journalist and presenter Mariella Frostrup.
Many companies, meanwhile, are taking the initiative through positive action. At ABC we have an ABC Menopause Policy.pdf and in April we invited Dr Terri Lovis from Care Collaborative PCN to do a presentation aimed at everyone in the company so they could better understand what their colleagues might be going through PowerPoint Presentation (sharepoint.com)
We also hold a monthly Menopause Peer Support Meeting on Teams that anyone at ABC is welcome to join. This is a chance to meet with other women experiencing the same difficulties and swapping useful hints and tips. We have invited guest speakers including a life coach, a health and wellbeing coach and a medical herbalist to provide their help and advice and have discovered lots of useful tips and hints as to how to deal with some of the symptoms.
There is clearly no magic answer or one-size-fits-all solution as everyone’s experience of the menopause is so unique, but hopefully some of the following resources will help in some small way to manage the worst of it.
If anyone would like find out more about our Menopause Support Group please contact Zabian firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember, if you do see someone struggling regardless of age, please remind them they’re not alone.
Top tips and hints
- Diet – following a more plant-based diet, with heart healthy fats may be particularly beneficial during the menopause.
- Exercise – regular exercise, particularly weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics and tennis will strengthen your bones. Aim for 30mins activity, five times per week.
- Calcium- eat 2-3 portions of food containing calcium a day e.g. yogurt, custard and cheese, and dairy alternatives such as soya milk or soya yogurts.
- Magnesium – can help with sleep.
- Sage – mixing herbs in an infusion or Lamberts sage capsules can help reduce hot flushes and night sweats.
- Soy – a diet rich in soy products can reduce both the severity and frequency of hot flushes. Additionally consuming soya foods may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Vitamin D – helps your body absorb more calcium. The recommended dose is 10micrograms Vitamin D each day.
- Menopausing Menopausing: The Sunday Times bestselling self-help guide for 2022 to help you care for yourself, cope with symptoms, and live your best life during menopause : McCall, Davina, Potter, Dr. Naomi: Amazon.co.uk: Books
- Cracking the Menopause Cracking the Menopause: While Keeping Yourself Together: Amazon.co.uk: Frostrup, Mariella, Smellie, Alice: 9781529059052: Books
- The Definitive Guide to the Perimenopause & Menopause The Definitive Guide to the Perimenopause and Menopause – The Sunday Times bestseller : Newson, Dr Louise: Amazon.co.uk: Books
- The Female Body Bible The Female Body Bible: The Instant Sunday Times Bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Ross, Dr Emma, Moffat, Baz, Smith, Dr Bella: 9781787636194: Books
- The New Hot The New Hot: Taking on the Menopause with Attitude and Style: Amazon.co.uk: Mathews, Meg: 9781785042539: Books
- British Menopause Society Raise awareness – The Menopause Charity
- Daisy Network Charity for Women with POI | The Daisy Network
- Menopause and Me Menopause and Me|Official Website
- Menopause Matters Menopause Matters, menopausal symptoms, remedies, advice
- Pausitivity #KnowYourMenopause Poster Campaign (pausitivity.co.uk)
- Talking Menopause Resources — Talking Menopause
- The Latte Lounge Home – The Latte Lounge
- The Menopause Charity Raise awareness – The Menopause Charity
- Wellbeing of Women Sign the Menopause Workplace Pledge (wellbeingofwomen.org.uk)