Debunking Common Menopause Myths
For decades, women have been discouraged or silenced from talking openly about their struggles with the growing list of perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Additionally, some medical professionals often tell women that there is nothing they can do about their symptoms because they are a normal part of the aging process and being a woman. As such, this type of thinking has created various myths and misconceptions about perimenopause or menopause. I have lost count of how many times I have heard the above. And, many women have bought into those misconceptions or myths, thinking they have to suffer with their menopause and perimenopause until it passes. THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Some common perimenopause and menopause symptoms include unexplained weight gain, especially around the midsection, lack of energy, cravings, insomnia, bloating, brain fog, mood swings, hot flashes and night sweats, and so much more.
If you are a perimenopausal or menopausal woman, you probably have experienced one or more of the above. Perimenopause usually starts around the age of 35 to 40 and is the period where the body starts to gear up for the end of the reproductive years. During this time, there are a multitude of hormonal changes in the body leading up to menopause or your last period. On the other hand, menopause usually occurs around the age of 52, but could vary. This is when a woman has not had her period for 12 consecutive months, which signifies permanent infertility or the end of the reproductive years. During menopause, a woman usually has lower levels of estrogen, which could lead to different symptoms that may vary from woman to woman ranging from mild to problematic.
Below are some common myths about menopause and what you can do to better manage menopausal symptoms.
It’s normal so you just have to suffer through the symptoms.
This is not true. I used to think the same thing because that was the information I received from my medical practitioner until I did my research and learned otherwise. Most women can alleviate their symptoms naturally through diet, the use of supplements or herbal remedies (e.g.,passion-flower extract, black cohosh, red clover) and making lifestyle changes (e.g. yoga, meditation, acupuncture, essential oils protocol). However, in more severe cases, some women have opted to use medications or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
It’s too late to get healthy during menopause.
In general, it’s never too late to start improving your health, better than never. If a healthy lifestyle is new to you, consider working with a coach who can help navigate your journey. In the meantime, I recommend you start making small changes such as reducing your consumption of processed foods, drinking more water, incorporating supplements and herbs, get a walking buddy and start moving or start a yoga practice.
Weight gain is inevitable during menopause.
While weight gain is common during menopause, mostly due to the reduction of estrogen production in the ovaries (ending of the reproductive years) and sluggish thyroids, which leads to slower metabolism and hence weight gain. Eating a wholesome diet and making lifestyle changes such as regular exercise including resistance training and getting quality sleep can be effective in reducing symptoms and managing excess weight gain.
Every woman experiences hot flashes & night sweats.
While they are very common and have garnered a lot of attention, not every woman experiences them. Some women have very mild hot flashes and no night sweats or night sweats and no hot flashes that interrupt their life or their sleep.
If your hot flashes are very bad and are disrupting your sleep, start doing the following:
Establishing a clear night time sleep pattern and a set bedtime.
Adding moderate to vigorous varied physical activity into your daily routine. This shift will work different muscle groups, which gives you a better workout making you more tired.
For hot flashes during the day, mix a few drops of peppermint essential oils with water in a spay glass bottle and spritz your face as needed. Peppermint helps to cool down the body.
You lose your sex drive after menopause.
For sure hormonal changes affect your sex drive. Many women also experience vaginal dryness and thinning tissues because the ovaries shut down and estrogen drops, resulting in less blood flow to vaginal tissues, which can make sex uncomfortable. However, you can absolutely have a great sex life with the help of some lubricant.
Menopausal women should avoid soy
Soy continues to be a very controversial food. Some people see no problems with soy, particularly the fermented forms, while others are totally against all forms of soy because they believe that the estrogen in soy is bad. Here is the deal, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it is harmful or beneficial to menopausal women. I suggest that you work with your medical practitioner to determine the best course of action that is right for you as there not one size fits all when it comes to soy.
You no longer produce hormones after menopause.
The truth is your body still produces hormones, but there is a shift in the types and quantities that are produced. For example, as you approach menopause, estrogen production in the ovaries diminishes (decline in reproduction) and the production shifts to the adrenals.
If you have a partial or total hysterectomy, you will not experience any menopause symptoms.
Actually, you are very likely to experience menopause symptoms soon after a partial (removal of the uterus only) or total (removal of uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes) hysterectomy because there is a drastic shift in hormonal
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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