B is for bone health

Bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years. It's vital to take care of your bone health in menopause.

Normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years. You can lose as much as 35 percent of your bone density during those few, short years…many people have weak bones and don’t even know it! Hormone imbalance, due to low levels of progesterone, over-acidic diet, nutrient deficiencies, smoking, excess alcohol, and sedentary behaviour are common osteoporosis risk factors. The good news is that there’s lots you can do. Healthy progesterone levels are vital and a healthy diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium, an organic progesterone cream and regular weight-bearing exercise also help to support bone health.

What is bone?

Bone is a living substance that contains blood vessels, nerves, and cells. There are two types of cells that control your bone structure:

▪ Osteoblasts – cells that build your bones

▪ Osteoclasts – cells that break down old or damaged bone to make room for new bone

Strong bones protect your heart, lungs, and brain from injury.

4 Steps to Help Protect Your Bones in Menopause

One of the best ways to achieve bone health in menopause (or any other time) is a diet rich in fresh, raw whole foods. In addition, you need healthy sun exposure along with regular, weight-bearing exercise:

  • Optimise your vitamin D3 either from natural sunlight exposure, a safe tanning bed or an oral vitamin D3 supplement. Check your blood levels regularly to make sure you’re within the optimal range.
  • Optimise your vitamin K1 through a combination of dietary sources (leafy green vegetables, fermented foods like natto, raw milk cheeses, etc.) and a K2 supplement, if needed.
  • Make sure you do weight-bearing exercises.
  • Consume a wide variety of fresh, local, organic whole foods, including vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic meats and eggs, and raw organic unpasteurised dairy for calcium and other nutrients. The more of your diet you consume RAW, the better nourished you will be. Minimise sugar and refined grains.

N.B. Osteoporosis Drugs

Contrary to what you’ve been told, most osteoporosis drugs actually weaken your bones. Bisphosphonate bone drugs impact your normal bone repair process by killing off your osteoclasts, and do make your bones denser, but because the osteoclasts are killed the bone is actually weaker as it is not remodelled properly.

AND REMEMBER!…it’s never too late to start! 

A-Z of menopause: A is for anxiety…

We were inspired by a recent blog to write a an A-Z of menopause – Thanks Simply Ceremonies. It’s such a wide ranging subject so there’s lots to learn. Keep coming back as we work our way through the alphabet. Let us know if there’s a subject you’d like us to tackle by emailing us at info@menopausematters.guru

A is for anxiety

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

BE AWARE! It’s Breast cancer month!

Vitamin D is vital for good health but did you know it plays a role in protecting you from cancer. WE discuss the link between vitamin d and breast cancer

October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day is the third Friday of October, which this year was on the 19th.

There are many reminders that mammograms save lives, but little effort is made to educate women about actual prevention. Detecting cancer has nothing to do with prevention, and at this point, it’s already too late. Many doctors now say that mammograms have serious health risks which are ignored by conventional breast awareness campaigns.

Importantly, vitamin D optimisation could potentially eliminate a vast majority of breast cancers, yet this key information is being completely ignored!

Research shows most cancers occur in people with a vitamin D blood level between 10 and 40 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL), and the optimal level for cancer protection has been identified as being between 60 and 80 ng/mL. Once you reach a minimum serum vitamin D level of 40 ng/mL, your risk for cancer diminishes by 67 percent, compared to having a level of 20 ng/ml or less. Vitamin D also increases your chances of surviving cancer if you do get it, and evidence suggests adding vitamin D to the conventional treatment for cancer can boost the effectiveness of the treatment.

Just last month, research published in the journal Menopause found that postmenopausal women who receive a diagnosis of breast cancer are more likely to be vitamin D deficient and overweight than women who receive a negative diagnosis. Overall, breast cancer patients were one and a half  times more likely to have low vitamin D.

This year, do your breast health a real favour and get your vitamin D level checked.

The best way is through sensible sun exposure, but many of us will need oral supplementation, especially in the dark days of winter!

Just remember that if you take high-dose oral vitamin D, you may also need to increase your intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K2 as well, as these four nutrients work together, and rely on sufficient amounts of each to work properly. Low levels of vitamin K2 in combination with high vitamin D intake may cause over absorption of calcium, which in turn can result in calcium deposits in your heart and kidneys.

Calcium-to-magnesium is also important, as magnesium helps keep calcium in your cells so they can function better, a ratio of 1-to-1 appears to be ideal.

Magnesium is also required for the activation of vitamin D, as without sufficient magnesium, taking a vitamin D supplement may be ineffective, making it appear you need unnecessarily high amounts. If your magnesium level is too low, the vitamin D will simply get stored in its inactive form, doing you absolutely no good.

If you’ve been taking a certain amount of vitamin D3 for a number of months and re-testing reveals you’re still not within the recommended range, then you know you need to increase your dosage. Over time, with continued testing, you’ll find your individual sweet spot and have a good idea of how much you need to take to maintain a healthy level year-round.

Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes

Osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging. There are many natural wways you can reduce your risk of fractures and improve your bone health

What if everything your doctor told you about osteoporosis and osteopenia was wrong?

Until recently, most of the medical fraternity believed that the reason older people fell was because their bones had become brittle and fractured more readily. An article in the Journal of Internal Medicine titled, “Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes,” confirms that the primary cause of what are normally labeled “osteoporotic fractures” are falls due more to lifestyle factors and not osteoporosis, i.e. abnormally “porous” or low-density bones.

The new study pointed out three false notions that can be disputed:

    1. Mistaken diagnoses:  Most fracture patients have fallen, but actually do not have osteoporosis. A high likelihood of falling is an age-related decline in physical health.
    2. Ineffective screening: Current fracture risk predictions including bone densitometry and other prediction tools can’t identify a large proportion of patients who will sustain a fracture, whereas many of those with a high fracture risk score will not sustain one.
    3. Unproven and unsafe treatment: The evidence for the success of prescribing drugs to prevent hip and other fractures is mainly limited to women aged 65–80 years with osteoporosis, whereas the proof of hip fracture-prevention in women over 80 and in men at all ages is virtually non-existent. Plus many drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis have also been associated with increased risks and serious side effects.

“While bone drugs like Fosamax  (a bisphosphonate) may contribute to increased bone mineral density, they do not necessarily improve bone quality and strength. Very dense bone created by destroying osteoclasts (bone-degrading cells) may be far more brittle than less dense bone where there is healthy turnover of the osteoclasts and osteoblasts (bone-building cells). In fact, drugs like Fosamax are notorious for contributing to bone degeneration in the jawbone. Plus an extensive body of research indicates higher-than-normal bone density greatly increases the risk of breast cancer.”


The authors conclude: “Given all this, should ‘osteoporosis’ be added to a long list of diagnoses for which doing less, or even nothing, is better than our contemporary practice?”

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives!

Eating a balanced diet of organic, unprocessed foods, using a natural bio-identical form of the hormone *Progesterone, doing regular weight-bearing exercises plus practices like yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking etc., can help reduce the risk of fracture, and increase bone mineral density and strength.

*At ‘Your Natural Menopause’ we recommend a natural, organic progesterone cream called Naturone, available from their  website  www.naturone.com

GET A MOVE ON!

Get a move on!

 It’s vital to keep active during menopause for all sorts of different reasons. We need to keep our bones and our hearts healthy and strong, and the last thing we want to do is seize up and become less mobile as we get older.

Flexibility is important, but it can be really difficult during the menopause. Who wants to be jumping up and down when you’re suffering from hot flushes and aching joints! Of course, an exercise routine is very important, but on days when you feel you just don’t have the energy for a formal session, here are some tips on what you can do to keep fit as you go about your daily routine.

  • It’s important to keep arms and shoulders strong, and wrists also need exercise as our grip weakens as we get older. If you’re in the kitchen, grab a couple of tins and lift your arms up and down, and rotate your wrists, and do a few press-ups against the wall or sink.
  • just stepping up and down, 20 or 30 times, once or twice a day, on one step, can be really beneficial, and of course, taking the stairs instead of the lift! 
  • jumping jacks are good for heart and lungs. Just do a couple whenever you’re in a good space and add a few more every day.
  • there’s a lot you can do when you’re just sitting! A really good way to get the inside of your thighs exercised, ( which is a problem area for a lot of women), is to place a small, firm cushion between your thighs, and just keep squeezing. You can also do shoulder shrugs back and forwards. This is  really important if you do a lot of sitting during the day at a desk, because your shoulders can become very tight.
  • practice standing up and sitting down without using your hands, which is actually the start of a squat. Great for your heart and thighs.
  • practice standing on one leg when you’re in a queue or waiting for a bus. Start holding one leg up for 30 seconds, and then the other one, and slowly increase every time you do it. Your balance will improve enormously!
  • and don’t forget to s-t-r-e-t-c-h! It is so important for good muscle condition. Bend down and touch your toes, and do sideways-bends when you get out of bed in the morning and before you go to bed at night.

 

 

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.

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

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

Pressing for progress on menopause – Happy International Women’s Day

How to have a stress free natural menopause. Happy International Womens Day

It’s International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March, IWD is a global day celebrating the social economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also calls for gender parity. We have come a long way but there is still work to do. 

Each year there is a theme and this year it’s press for progress focussing on equal pay and recognition for women. 

 At Menopause Matters Guru we are pressing for progress to ensure women are enlightened and empowered about the menopause. Many women have been taught to fear the menopause believing that it is nothing but gloom and doom coupled with a huge mixture of horrible symptoms ranging from well known hot flushes and mood swings to the lesser known joint pain and burning tongue. With those thoughts in your head who could be blamed for dreading this time that all women experience?

 It doesn’t have to be like that.

 There’s lots you can do and you don’t have to resort to hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants. 

 We are great advocates of using natural remedies and holistic methods. We believe by taking a whole body approach you can have a stress free, natural menopause. 

 Start with what goes on in your head and work down. Just believing that the menopause is the start of all good things and freedom from lots of other parts of life that have been holding you back will help immensely. We regularly publish positive affirmations on our social media to get you on the right track. 

Hormone imbalance which is the cause of most menopause symptoms can be approached from a whole variety of angle. You can apply a natural progesterone cream which fits with your body’s own receptors. You should ensure it has the correct percentage of progesterone in it or it will be ineffective.

Next think about what you are fuelling your body with. If you feed it with junk food, highly processed foods and sugar, it doesn’t owe you any favours. Adapt your diet to contain more natural, organic vegetables, fruits fish and meat. The closer your food is to its natural state, the better.  The beauty of home cooked food is you know what goes in it. You can be sure there will be no nasty additives or artificial ingredients.

Take a good look in your cleaning  cupboards and the products you use for self care. Are they chemical cocktails of toxic substances. These all affect your hormone balance in the form of xeno-oestrogens. Check the ingredients and reduce harmful chemicals where possible by switching to natural alternatives. 

Exercise is also crucial to your wellbeing. You don’t need to do lots but it’s good to establish a regular habit. We like the 7 minute workouts which can easily be found on YouTube.

Lastly take time to relax and refresh your mind with some meditation. Just 5 minutes a day will soon get you feeling more chilled and less stressed.

Our blog contains lots of information on how you can make your menopause a happier, stress free time. Take a look through and feel free to email us with any questions at info@menopausematters.guru or join our Facebook group for mutual support and a safe space to share your wins and worries

Why you need Vitamin D during the menopause

Why you need vitamin D during menopause

VITAMIN D during menopause

Although vitamin D is vital for everyone, it is particularly important for women going through menopause. Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin, although scientists refer to it as such. It’s a steroid hormone that you get from sun exposure, food sources, and/or supplementation. The term refers to either vitamin D2 or D3, but D3 (chemical name 25-hydroxy vitamin D) is real vitamin D—it’s the same substance produced naturally through your skin by sun exposure.
Optimising your vitamin D levels could help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer. According to one large-scale, randomised, placebo-controlled study, it can cut the risk by up to 60 percent.
The most important factor is your vitamin D serum level. To prevent a wide variety of diseases and health ailments, your vitamin D level needs to be between 50 and 70 ng/ml year-round. According to the most recent research, adults need about 8,000 IU’s of oral vitamin D3 per day in order to get serum levels above 40 ng/ml.
The ideal way to optimise your vitamin D level is through sun exposure in summer, or a safe tanning bed during the winter months. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, a tanning bed comes a close second after natural sun exposure as an ideal way to optimise your vitamin D levels, as opposed to getting it from fortified food items or supplements. However, it must be the right kind of tanning bed—one that produces UVB without dangerous EMF radiation produced from magnetic ballasts used in most conventional tanning beds. Vitamin D is also found naturally in foods such as eggs, organ meats, animal fat, preferably organic, and cod liver oil. If you take a vitamin D3 supplement, you also need to take vitamin K2 as it helps move calcium to your bones and teeth, and remove it from your arteries and soft tissues.
 As a very general guide, you need to expose about 40 percent of your entire body for approximately 20 minutes to the sun, between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is at its zenith, as UVB rays will only penetrate the atmosphere when the sun is above an angle of about 50° from the horizon.
I love this infographic from Dr Mercola – 7 signs you may be Vitamin D Deficient