Our hormones are our superpower. Our bodies house over 100 of them. They begin in our brain and are part of a complex system that effectively tells our bodies what to do. When to sleep, when to wake up, when to eat or when to give birth. Rebekah Brown, founder of MPowder, the pioneering plant-based powder supplement brand which targets three distinct stages of the menopause, explains how hormones also support our working memory, energy levels, they keep our immune system in check, help us to maintain a healthy weight, regulate heartbeat, bone health and so much more.
As we transition into midlife, hormone fluctuations can cause us to experience a vast range of symptoms (the medical community recognise 34 of them – but, as we learn more about individual journeys, the list continues to grow). Because we are taught that menopause happens at ‘around 51’ – and are told very little about the years leading up to this date, many of us will notice changes to our bodies and our minds long before we realise we are in perimenopause.
Our bodies are happiest when they’re balanced. So, when we lose that equilibrium, we feel and see it.
And our legs are not exempt!
From restless legs impacting on sleep, to itching legs and water retention, our pins may need a little additional support and self-care to ‘meno-well’.
Here are a few practices to consider if your legs are in need of a little love in menopause:
The most likely cause will be a depletion in magnesium levels which is common at this lifestage. Stress levels, a sensitive gut, lower oestrogen levels…all play a part. But, the good news is that we can increase our intake simply. Look to magnesium rich foods – oily fish, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and soya beans are all great. You may also want to consider a supplement. Look to Magnesium Glycinate – which is kinder to the gut. And, if you’re still struggling, a combined approach of supplementation plus topical sprays or both salts can make a big difference. We often recommend applying magnesium spray to the soles of your feet just before bed to soothe the legs and aid a good night’s sleep. It acts as a calming ritual, encouraging our bodies to unwind and settle.
Low levels of oestrogen is usually the cause of skin discomfort in menopause. Moisturising well, avoiding extreme temperatures and ensuring you’re drinking enough water can help. But it may also be worth trying nettle tea. It’s a great herb at this lifestage. It’s full of iron, which many of us lack in menopause, but it also acts as a natural antihistamine, so effectively soothes the skin from within.
Water retention / puffy legs
Often, when our legs become puffy, it is because our circulation isn’t working as it should. Look for exercises that increase blood flow gently. There is a growing body of research that points to the impact of both yoga and tai chi in improving circulation and blood pressure. Explore including more ginger in your diet too. From hot water infusions to added bite to a salad, this unassuming spice can help our bodies in many ways in menopause. And drink water to reduce water! It’s counter-intuitive – but by upping your daily intake – and doing it consistently – you give a helping hand to your kidneys in flushing your system as well as sending a message to your body that it doesn’t need to hold on to water to mitigate against dehydration.
The Chinese have a wonderful expression for menopause. They call it ‘the second spring’.
Today, if we’re lucky, we may live 40-50% of our lives post-menopause. With the right support it can be a stepping up point. An opportunity to push yourself up the priority list (just a little!). Unlike the outmoded media representation of women in midlife, fading away, we’re actually more likely to start our own businesses, find our purpose. Research shows wisdom counts. We bring greater empathy to the workforce. We recognise and embrace vulnerability because we understand it is what makes us human – and what draws us to others. We are increasingly more comfortable in our own skin. Take the time to listen to your body. Seek out the care you’ve earned to nourish it well. And love your legs. Because Part 2 is going to be brilliant.
With love, Rebekah
About: MPowder is the first powder supplement range for the 3 stages of menopause. Developed with doctors and naturopaths. Tested and verified by women in our community. Make midlife your superpower.
Note: nature packs a powerful punch! If you’re on existing medication or have an underlying health condition, always talk to your medical doctor or a qualified naturopath before introducing new herbs and supplements to your diet.