Menopause can feel heavy, in so many respects. Whether it’s bloating around the belly, wooden-feeling swollen legs or a feeling of despair and anxiety.
Hormones aren’t just important for reproductive health, they play a key role throughout the brain and body. Thankfully, there’s lots you can do if things are getting you down. Here are 3 simple ways to, literally and metaphorically, take the weight off.
- Bloating is one of the biggest laments I hear from women in my practice. Before you start removing entire food groups from your diet, look at your eating behaviours. Are you sitting down at meals? Are you taking your time and chewing really well? Have you tried taking 3 really deep belly breaths before you even pick up your cutlery to make sure you’re in rest and digest mode? Can you squeeze in a very short walk around the block after meals? If not, try these tips and see how beneficial they are for digestion. If all else fails, a mint oil capsule before a meal can work wonders.
- Restless legs can be very uncomfortable and are commonly reported as aching, throbbing or crawling. Cramps can also be an issue. Movement helps stave off the sensations, which is why it’s bedtime usually when the condition is at its worst. Try to improve your circulation thorough exercise during the day. Get your iron levels checked as low levels can cause restlessness, especially in your legs. And maybe try a 350-400mg magnesium bisglycinate supplement or epsom salt bath half an hour before sleep – both aid muscle relaxation.
- Anxiety is complex so you may well need to tackle it from a number of different angles. Therapy and CBT are both extremely useful tools, as is making sure you have plenty of support and a good group of friends who give you the change to off-load. If you don’t feel you can talk to those around you, there are lots of menopause-specific communities and forums. In terms of diet, I’d say ensure you’re minimising alcohol, trying to reduce the amount of processed foods you consume and making sure you stabilise your blood sugar levels by including lots of protein and fibre with each meal. That might mean Greek or soya yoghurt with berries and nuts at breakfast, an omelette and salad for lunch and salmon or crispy tofu and roasted veg for supper.