incontinence in menopause

Does coughing, sneezing or laughing make you wet your pants?! ☹️ One of the downsides of midlife is the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles (Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, PFD),  which can start as early as 40. This is not an inevitable sign of growing older and easily be prevented and even reversed. You should include strengthening pelvic floor muscles in your exercise regime, and the sooner you start, the better. This way you will have control over your bladder and bowels all your life. Plus exercise can help you avoid back and abdominal pain, have better orgasms, and may even help you achieve a flatter stomach! 😄

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your pelvic floor muscles healthy and reverse PFD.

5 Natural Methods for Treating Urinary Symptoms

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you’re struggling with urinary symptoms that are interfering with your life, the following methods can be very effective:

  • Do Kegels: More women than men might be familiar with this term. A Kegel squeeze is performed by drawing your lower pelvic muscles up and holding them up high and tight, similar to trying to stop urinating in the middle of the flow. To make this a habit, do this daily at least 10 times whenever you think about it, eg driving, watching TV, and of course sitting on the loo! This can help to strengthen the muscles that help you hold in and control the flow of urine. Kegels can also help you suppress the need to urinate if you have trouble with frequency.
  • Keep a Bladder Diary: This will help you identify a pattern. It may help you develop a plan to visit the bathroom at timed intervals to avoid accidents, as well as help you strategically increase time between bathroom trips as you gain control.
  • Bladder Training: The bladder diary is often one step of bladder training, which involves visiting the bathroom according to a fixed schedule. When you feel the need to urinate before a scheduled visit, practice Kegels or relaxation exercises like deep breathing to suppress the urge.
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment or Chiropractic Adjustments:  Research has shown that osteopathic manipulative treatment provided virtually the same therapeutic effect as pelvic floor muscle training (Kegels) in women with lower urinary tract disorders.
  • Limiting Fluids at Certain Times of the Day: If you’re getting up during the night to urinate, stop drinking three to four hours before bedtime. Coffee, tea, and alcohol should also be restricted.

If you only experience occasional incontinence, wearing a thin absorbent pad may help give you confidence and allow you to go about with your daily schedule without fears of embarrassment. But, ideally, try the safe options above so that you can fully recover. Remember, this is a very common problem that can often be effectively treated, naturally.

Can kinesiology help? 7 tips

Many women use kinesiology to manage their menopause. The menopause is a very natural wind down process, which can happen slowly over many years or can be very sudden, depending on the individuals’ bio- chemistry.

7 tips for an easier menopause:

  1. Water– dehydration will cause problems with every function of the body. Everyone needs to consume at least 2 litres per day. So often this simple tip is often forgotten and should be top of every list. When unwell the first thing to reach for is a glass of water before reaching for pain killers. Keeping the body fully hydrated is a must to achieving good health.
  2. Balancing stress in the lead up and during the menopause helps to minimise the symptoms.  There are many therapies that assist with stress management, however the beauty of kinesiology is that muscle testing establishes the specific stress and along with many powerful techniques the stress can be released simply and effectively.
  3. Ensure all the nutrients are provided by diet and fully processed in the body.  Addressing digestive issues can often help improve many health issues.  Initially digestive enzymes maybe needed short term if there is a problem.  Kinesiology can establish if digestion is struggling and also identify any foods which are causing problems by using muscle testing. Supplements which often benefit menopausal women and help with hormone balancing include the following:
  • Agnus Castus
  • Black Cohosh
  • Wild Yam
  • Dong Quai
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Star flower oil
  • 5 HTP
  • Amino acids
  • Vitamin B complex , B3, B6, C, D, E
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron

Supplemental needs are unique for each woman and often changing. Kinesiology can assess regularly individual needs using muscle testing.

 

4. Avoid caffeine, reduce alcohol and avoid sugary foods. It has been proven that caffeine increases the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Coffee also has a negative impact on fatigue, sleep and energy levels.  Sugar is also a contributing factor to hot flushes and night sweats.

5. Eat meals which are high in nutrients avoiding processed foods. Regular Intakes of protein to balance blood sugars is essential. High protein foods are hugely beneficial.

Add these foods to your daily diet:

skinless, boneless chicken, turkey, fish, organic eggs, full fat yoghurt, nuts and seeds, quinoa, beans and lentils, goats cheese or cottage cheese, oily fish, nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, organic cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, spring greens, broccoli, celery, parsley, chamomile, peppermint, fresh fruit, flaxseeds.

5. Exercise has a significant and positive impact on mood and increases oxygen intake and improves blood and lymph circulation.

6. Set time aside each day for relaxation recharging the body and mind. The body and mind thrives on relaxation and this only needs to be for 10 to 15 minutes per day to be beneficial.

Article by Karen Thrush, a fully qualified systematic kinesiology practitioner and tutor registered with the Association of Systematic Kinesiology working in Wiltshire.

http://www.karenskinesiology.co.uk/ Facebook: Karens Kinesiology Twitter: @k_kinesiology

5 Ways to Relieve Anxiety Naturally During the Menopause

5 ways to naturally relieve aniety during the menopause

 

One of the most common symptoms of the menopause is anxiety.  Worry, tension and fear have a really negative effect so it makes sense to reduce them as soon as possible.  If you have felt more anxious than usual try these 5 ways to alleviate it

1. Meditation – Calm your mind by developing a meditation habit. Select a quiet, comfortable place and meditate for a few minutes each day. You don’t need any special equipment, just a quiet space. Getting out in nature helps too. You can find plenty of meditation videos on You Tube.

2.  Take time out –  Where possible remove yourself from the situation which is making you anxious. Listen to music, get a massage or learn relaxation techniques.

3.  Diet – Choose foods to boost your mood. Foods rich in Vitamin B such as pork, chicken, leafy greens and citrus fruits. Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been linked with uplifted and enhanced moods. Try salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines. Avoid caffeinated drinks and sugar. Avoid processed foods. All foods should be organic to avoid the interfering effects of added hormones and pesticides.

4. Exercise – Evidence shows a link between physical activity and mental wellbeing. Try introducing more exercise into your day and making it a habit. You don’t need to go to a gym to work out, having a good time dancing, a brisk walk or even taking the stairs instead of the lift are all just as effective.

5. Sleep – Make sure you get enough sleep. Tiredness exacerbates anxiety and you can cope with life much better if you aren’t feeling tired and grumpy. If you’re having trouble sleeping try our article on sleep How to get a good night’s sleep

 

Have you noticed yourself feeling more anxious since peri-menopause? What have you tried? Share your remedies with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page

Sitting is the new smoking!

Well, unbelievably today is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere, and we’re already practically half way through the year! At least the sun is shining, and summer does seem to have finally kicked in!

We continue our series on the Heroes and Villains that can be found in all aspects of menopause, and today we focus on exercise and keeping in shape. This is particularly vital during menopause, as exercise not only keeps you trim and helps with mood swings and depression, but also keeps away villains like osteoporosis.

  

However, whilst keeping fit and exercising are Heroes, beware an Arch Villain that can undo all the good work! That villain is SITTING!

It can be quite daunting to realise that even if you dutifully go to the gym several times a week and are really fit, it is still not enough to counteract the many hours you sit during the rest of your day…

SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING!

Is it possible to be incredibly fit yet still be at high risk of premature death and disability due to inactivity?

Startling as that may sound, mounting research says, yes, it does!

Dr. James Levine is the author of the book

Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.

In one of his early speeches, he presented compelling data showing that people prone to weight gain and obesity are those who stay seated for two and or more hours each day.

Slings and Arrows…

The insinuation that sitting was independently harmful, and harmful enough to kill, was so unpopular that his peers sent letters to senior faculty at the Mayo Clinic suggesting he was psychiatrically ill, and he was required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist!

Since then, some 10,000 publications have shown that sitting is harmful to your health, irrespective of other lifestyle habits, including an excellent exercise program.

Dr. Levine notes, “The bottom-line is that if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long. We should all be up at least 10 minutes out of every hour.”

Are You Ready to Give Up Your Chair?

The evidence is overwhelming at this point—10,000 studies and growing—that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. It actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight and type 2 diabetes. As a general guideline, if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve sat too long. Dr. Levine recommends sitting no more than 50 minutes out of every hour. But that’s really a bare bones minimum recommendation. Ideally, you’d want to limit sitting altogether.

If this all seems overwhelming, don’t despair! Just start slowly and gradually decrease your sitting time every week. In fact, it might be a good idea to start a “sitting record” to keep track of your progress and record any health improvements you notice.

Heroes & Villains of Menopause

Superheroes and villains of menopause

 

HEROES & VILLAINS:  the good the bad and the ugly 

With the current movie craze for Superheroes showing no sign of abating, we decided to jump on the bandwagon and start a series on the Villains and Heroes of Menopause! There are plenty of candidates for both in all aspects of experiencing a natural menopause, and this week we start with diet; who are the Heroes and the Villains of food?                                        

What you eat during menopause is all important. Because of your body’s hormonal changes, foods you used to eat without a second thought now seem to stick to your tums and bums like glue! 

Of course, no food on its own is a villain! It’s just so many of them have been adulterated to make them more appealing i.e. removing fats and adding extra sugar to compensate!

Whatever diet/eating plan you choose to follow, the general rule is to avoid processed foods, and watch out for hidden sugars, and instead choose whole, nutrient-rich minimally processed foods.

Environmental toxins

Of course, dietary advice can be a bit of a moving target, and needs to be regularly revised based on new research. A classic example would be the advice to eat fish, one of the best sources of protein and a critically important source of high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat. However,environmental pollution with heavy metals and other toxins has become so pervasive with mercury, PCBs and other toxins, that eating nearly any fish now may actually do more harm than good…

VILLAINS

Processed foods which contain excess sugar, preservatives, additives, trans-fats, (hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils which are unsaturated fats that have been artificially manipulated into saturated fats i.e.made solid) colourants, harmful chemicals, pesticides, gm foods, many of which are hormone disruptors.

HEROES

Organic vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy products. Healthy fats such as saturated fats that are found in organic animal products like unpasteurised milk, butter and cheese and fatty meats, plus avocados, raw nuts and coconut oil.

Trust your body

Your body is designed to identify the best foods, but problems arise when it is  tricked into craving foods that don’t contain the nutrients promised by their smell and taste. The system does work, however, if you eat real food.

“My advice to people is to eat the most delicious food you can, but buy real foods,” says award-winning journalist and author, Mark Schatzker. ”Don’t be frightened of calories. Don’t be frightened of food … The other thing I’d like to tell people is be aware of your own eating experience … I think there are two different kinds of delicious.

There’s a delicious feeling where you can’t stop eating. This is what happens to me with flavoured potato chips or the like. You have one and you just can’t resist putting your hand back in the bag … These are experiences to be avoided …

“Then there are other foods — dark chocolate and a great tomato are good examples— where the point isn’t to stuff as much into your mouth as fast as you can. The point is to sit in a kind of deep contemplation of this incredible flavour experience. That, to me, is a better kind of food experience to have. I don’t think it’s one that you need to be afraid of. I think it’s one that will give back.

Also, be aware of how you feel after a meal. Try to integrate that into your perception of food. I’ve eaten some pretty low-end fried chicken that had that manic I-can’t-stop-eating [sensation], and an hour later I felt dreadful. If you can remember that feeling, it makes you less inclined to go after that [unhealthy food] again in the future.”

All this might all seem a bit daunting at first, but remember that the most complex tasks can be made easy if you just take one step at a time.

(The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor,” by Mark Schatzker)

should you or shouldn’t you….?

Following the news that hundreds of women missed out on having routine mammograms due to an NHS oversight, the process has been under scrutiny with different opinions on how effective/harmful they are.

Breast cancer screening scandal: Doctors warn against catch up scans

In an open letter, 15 medical professionals claim the breast screening programme “causes more unintended harm than good”.

Women who did not undergo routine breast cancer screening because of a computer glitch should not attend catch-up appointments, a group of doctors say.

They are being told to “carry on with their lives” as the programme can do “more harm than good”.

In a letter published in The Times, 15 medical professionals including GPs and university professors said women aged 70 to 79 who have been offered the checks “would be well advised to look this gift horse in the mouth” and should only seek medical help if they notice symptoms.

The letter, which includes the signatures of Susan Bewley, professor of women’s health at King’s College London, and Michael Baum, professor emeritus of surgery at University College London, warns that women should not be subjected to worry or “fear-mongering”.

More harm than good

The doctors write: “The breast screening programme mostly causes more unintended harm than good, which is slowly being recognised internationally.

Many women and doctors now avoid breast screening because it has no impact on all-cause death.”

Obviously it’s up to you to decide whether or not to go the mammogram route. Just make sure you read all the pros and cons before you make a decision. Other options to detect breast cancer include breast self-examinations, physical breast exams by a doctor, ultrasound, MRI, thermography, and other tests that may be ordered by your doctor.

How to pause the menopause

How to delay the menopause with diet

How to Pause the Menopause

We know that a diet rich in  fish and legumes is healthy, but how many women know that it can delay the onset of the menopause? And women who eat a lot of pasta and rice may hasten the process, scientists have found.

A British study involving more than 35,000 women aged between 25 and 69 from England, Scotland and Wales has found that a woman’s diet, and her intake of meat, fish, vegetables and carbohydrates, may play a role in the age at which she goes through the natural menopause.  Natural menopause is when menstrual periods stop permanently for at least 12 consecutive months.

The study, published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health , found that the average age of menopause was 51, but noted that certain foods play a role in its timing taking into account influential factors such as weight, physical activity, reproductive history and women’s use of hormone replacement therapy.
It found that for each additional daily portion of carbohydrates eaten, particularly pasta and rice, women were more likely to reach the menopause 1.5 years before 51, but that for each additional daily portion of fish and fresh legumes – beans and peas – women could delay the process by more than three years. Women with a higher intake of vitamin B6 and zinc were also more likely to delay the menopause.
Omega 3

Vegetarians were found to reach the menopause at an earlier age than women who ate meat. Non-vegetarians who increased their daily portion of savoury snacks were more likely to reach the menopause by 49 while mothers who ate high levels of oily fish and fresh legumes reached the process at a later date. Women without children were found to delay the menopause by eating more grapes and poultry.

Oily fish, which contacts omega 3 fatty acids, are found to stimulate antioxidants in the body while legumes contain oxidants, which are important in the maturation and release of eggs during ovulation, explained researchers.

Refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, can boost insulin resistance and oestrogen levels, both of which could increase the number of menstrual cycles a women experiences and deplete her egg supply faster.

While vegetarians consume a lot of antioxidants in their diets, they are more likely to eat more fibre and less animal fat which are associated with low oestrogen levels and can affect the timing of the menopause.

Women who go through the menopause early are at increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, while those who go through the process late are at increased risk of breast, womb and ovarian cancers, noted the study.

While the study’s findings confirmed that a woman’s diet could be associated with the age when natural menopause occurs, it cautioned that the women involved in the research were “more affluent and health conscious than average” which may have influenced the findings.

However, given the implications that menopause can have on health conditions later in life, the researchers from the University of Leeds noted that the research was relevant to public health and that health practitioners should take into account the diet of a woman when dealing with menopause-related issues

Rescue remedy for Menopause and Peri Menopause

Here are the symptoms you don’t want to talk about. Heavy, flooding periods. Mood swings. Insomnia. Hot flushes.

They’re not nice symptoms because, well, it’s not fun to bleed through your clothes or wake at night with your heart pounding and your sheets all wet.

And part of you is thinking that maybe you’ve done something wrong to get into this situation. Or, at the very least, that you’ve made the shameful mistake of getting older in a society that doesn’t want to hear from older women. And so you keep quiet.

These symptoms won’t last forever. And there are simple things you can do now to feel better quickly. (Things that aren’t the hormonal IUD or antidepressant your doctor wants you to take.)

Please try them IN ORDER, adding the next treatment only if you need it.

Step 1. Magnesium plus taurine

Together, magnesium and taurine boost GABA which is the calming neurotransmitter your brain needs as it adjusts to the great progesterone crash in your 40s. They’re incredibly soothing and can improve sleep, mood, and hot flashes. (300 mg magnesium plus 3000 mg of the amino acid taurine.)

For additional relief, consider adding 50 mg of vitamin B6, which is another good way to boost GABA.

In a 2017 paper called “Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review,”magnesium was found to be effective treatment for symptoms of menopause and peri menopause.

For mood and sleep and hot flashes, this could be as much treatment as you need. Try it for a few weeks, and then if you’re still suffering, consider adding progesterone.

Step 2. Natural progesterone cream

Natural progesterone or micronised progesterone is entirely different from the progestins used in birth control or conventional hormone replacement (HRT). It’s not a drug. It’s the beneficial hormone you used to make in your 20s and 30s.

Progesterone has many benefits.

• It makes periods lighter so progesterone can be used together with turmeric and other treatments to relieve the crazy heavy periods of peri menopause.

• It relieves hot flushes— even on its own without oestrogen. Progesterone works best in combination with magnesium and taurine.

• It improves sleep. For severe sleep problems, a progesterone capsule such as Prometrium is preferable to a cream. By ingesting progesterone, you can convert more of it to the sedating metabolite allopregnanolone (which is like a natural sleeping tablet).

It helps to clear histamine thereby relieving the histamine intolerance that can flare up during perimenopause and menopause.

• It stabilises the HPA or adrenal axis and improves your ability to cope with stress.

 Tip: Other strategies to stabilise the HPA adrenal axis include rest, meditation, and adaptogen herbs such as ashwagandha and Rhodiola. All are valuable treatments during the menopause transition.

  Tip: Natural hormones should not be taken continuously; they should be stopped for at least five days per cycle.

Magnesium + taurine + progesterone should be enough for most of you. Try it for a few weeks, and then if you’re still suffering, consider adding a small amount of oestrogen.

 Tip: Do not take oestrogen until you are first taking natural progesterone.

Step 3. Oestrogen

It’s okay to add a small amount of oestrogen. It’s a lot safer than you’ve been led to believe and can be incredibly helpful for sleep and mood and hot flushes. (Please read In Defense of Oestrogen).

 Tip: Most of the cancer risk from conventional hormone replacement was from the synthetic progestin—not oestrogen.

If you do decide to add oestrogen, please choose one that is:

• Low-dose. When it comes to oestrogen, the lower, the better. If you can get away with a little dusting of Vagifem cream or a pessary, then stick with that. The next step up is a low-dose patch like Estraderm 25.

• Bio-identical, which means it is identical to human estradiol or oestrogen. Fortunately, most (not all) modern conventional oestrogen products are bio identical.

• Transdermal, which means you absorb it through your skin from a cream, gel, or patch. Oestrogen is better and safer when taken this way.

 Tip: Please also take progesterone—even if you don’t have a uterus! You need natural progesterone for mood and to protect your breasts.

  Tip: Do not take oestrogen if you’re still having periods. A common situation is first, your periods stop (you need oestrogen). Then, your periods return for a few months (you should stop oestrogen). And finally, your periods stop again (you need oestrogen again). But you can take the basic prescription of magnesium + taurine + progesterone during all the tumultuous years when you’re having symptoms but still having periods.

This information is from an article by

Lara Briden, Naturopathic doctor and period revolutionary

Endometriosis..a silent enemy

menopause survey results

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a hormonal and immune system disease where tissue similar to that inside the uterus grows in other areas of the body. It is undetectable unless seen through laparoscopy, and is unlikely to develop after the onset of menopause. In peri menopause it is triggered by the oestrogen oestrodial, which diminishes after menopause.

Endometriosis most commonly occurs between the uterus and the rectum, where its presence can cause painful intercourse, rectal pressure, and pain with bowel movements, especially before a period; symptoms are pelvic pain and inter-menstrual spotting.

You may be one of the many women with endometriosis who looks forward to reaching menopause – the time when your hormones change and your period stops; your doctor may have told you that it “dies out” after menopause. The good news is that this seems true for some women although research on endometriosis and menopause is very limited. You may find that menopause brings relief from the pain you’ve experienced during your cycle or with sexual activity, and other symptoms may also ease up.

However, women with advanced stage endometriosis can often have long-term pain associated with the damage that endometriosis caused before menopause. Since it is a disease that affects the digestive and immune systems, as well as the reproductive system, you may find that you still experience problems or even develop new problems with your bowels or with your immune system, like asthma or allergies. While endometriosis symptoms vary a great deal from woman to woman, the classic symptoms of endometriosis are pelvic pain, abnormal menses, and infertility. A woman with advanced endometriosis may experience no symptoms and be unaware she has it, whereas another with minimal endometriosis may experience debilitating pelvic pain and cramps almost continuously. Most women with endometriosis fall somewhere in-between these extremes.

WHAT TO DO?

Natural progesterone is the best way to combat the effect, and it is best applied as a cream. A whole foods diet high in fibre that avoids trans fats can also provide dramatic relief from symptoms of endometriosis. Many women have had remarkable pain relief from simply stopping consumption of dairy foods, eggs and red meats.Be sure to eat one to two servings daily of organic, cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage, and turnips, and also avoid caffeine. Supplementing the diet with a good source of essential fatty acids and a multivitamin–mineral supplement rich in B complex, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium can also help.

Simplify and declutter

Menopause can be a time of great overwhelm as here is so much going on and new things to learn about yourself and your body so it pays to simplify wherever possible. Decluttering your surroundings is one way of clearing space so there's room for other aspects of your life to flourish and grow.

Have you ever noticed just how much ‘stuff’ you have I your life? By that I don’t just mean all your physical possessions but also all the life going on around you that demands your attention. Menopause can be a time of great overwhelm as there is so much going on and new things to learn about yourself and your body so it pays to simplify wherever possible. Decluttering your surroundings is one way of clearing space so there’s room for other aspects of your life to flourish and grow.

Taking a bit of time to radically simplify your life by decluttering can radically affect the quality of your life and free up time you never even knew you were wasting. Trying to find things you need in an uncluttered environment is much simpler, takes less time and eliminates a lot of stress.

Lets start by looking at the physical possessions as it’s often much easier to deal with and the results of dealing with it are instantly visible.

Look around you. Are there piles of papers? Would your house be a great place to visit if there were a sudden famine? Can you fit one more thing in your wardrobe or would it be a challenge? Do you have cosmetics and toiletries which are half used and have been the same for ages? Does it take you an hour to get ready to go out because everything you need is in several different places?

Make it easier for yourself by deciding to do some decluttering. If that seems too huge to take on then break it down into smaller chunks. If you start by clearing out just one drawer that is a great start. Satisfactory completion of just one small area can often spur you on to tackle the more difficult areas as you see what a difference you’ve made.

Some simple rules for decluttering:

Set yourself achievable goals, share them and make yourself accountable. You can do this by sharing your goals with a friend/family member or even sharing in our Facebook group.  Deciding what you will do with the space you make when you declutter can be a great motivator.

Start small – I suggest a make up drawer or similar.

Set yourself a time limit. 10 minutes concentrated effort in one place won’t clear the decks immediately, but if you set yourself the task of decluttering for 10 minutes every day you will soon start to see results and 10 minutes doesn’t seem too onerous and de-motivating.

Really look at each item and ask yourself … Do I really need this? Do I use it? How many of these do I really need? Nobody needs 5 containers of black mascara! When did I last use this? Is it out of date?

Decide what you are going to do with your discarded items. I usually have a bin bag and a charity bag going. The ones which are delivered to your door are great as they are collected too. All you have to do is remember to put them out for the collectors

If the task really seems overwhelming or you don’t want to tackle it yourself there are professional decluttering companies you can engage to take the strain for you