Plastic pollution and your menopause

How plastic pollution affects your menopause

How plastic pollution affects your menopause

If you’ve listened to any news recently you can’t have missed the big plastic pollution problem facing our planet at the moment. Miles and miles of plastic in various forms are littering the oceans and causing death and destruction to sea life. That is to say nothing of the quantities of plastic in landfill which will not break down in our life times.

Plastic is also bad news for hormone balance and consequently the menopause. Toxins, both in the plastic and the manufacture of it are a major contributor to oestrogen dominance which you can read more about in one of our previous blogs – 10 signs of oestrogen dominance and what you can do about it

So, eliminating plastic, where possible from your life and that of your family can only be a good thing, for your health and the environment. We have long been champions of natural products which avoid toxins. Of course, plastic is everywhere so getting rid of it entirely will be a challenge. But, even halving you’re your plastic use will make a huge contribution. We aim to reduce our own use of plastic at home as far as we possibly can and it would be great if you could do the same.

Here are 8 ways you can be not so plastic fantastic

  1. Become aware of the amount of plastic you use in your household. Do you really need to use cling film and plastic bags when you could store leftovers in a lidded container for example? Simply by raising awareness of the plastic you get through will help you to reduce it.
  2. Check out the packaging when you go shopping. Choose retailers who pledge to reduce plastic use. When other retailers see the effect on sales they will follow suit. Shops like your local greengrocer will have unpackaged produce. It’s great for the local economy too.
  3. Invest in a set of durable shopping bags. That way you will always have a bag handy and won’t need to buy carrier bags which will eventually end up clogging up the ocean floor for hundreds of years.
  4. Many household cleaners come in plastic containers. Both container and contents are highly toxic. Try natural alternatives, or you could make your own using lemon juice, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda etc. Check out these suggestions for natural cleaning and a few recipes from Wellness Mama
  5. Ditch the plastic water bottles. A BPA free, biodegradeable water bottle will be far less toxic for you and your environment. Even better use glass.
  6. The same goes for disposable coffee and tea cups. Some coffee shops will reward you if you provide your own cup. There is a lidded coffee/tea cup to suit all tastes, and they keep your drink warmer for longer too.
  7. Straws – do you really need one? If you can’t drink your cocktail or soft drink without one, switch to paper or stainless steel.
  8. Bamboo toothbrushes have natural bristles and are biodegradeable. Try these from Amazon

 

There are lots of ways you can reduce your plastic usage. Feel free to share your suggestions either as a comment here or on our Facebook page

 

Brain Fog in Menopause: What is it and how to cope with it

Menopause brain fog and how you can clear a way through it

The menopause brain fog you notice is definitely  real. Leaving the remote control in the fridge or forgetting what you came into a room for is frustrating and women notice it happens more and more around their 40s and 50s.

Have you noticed some things aren’t some clear as they used to be? Do you feel forgetful, muzzy headed and have difficulty concentrating at times? Those times when you go into a room and forget why, or start doing something and lose your train of thought are very real for menopausal women. A recent study by Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University found that brain fog around the ages 45-55 is a  real feeling.

Memory and cognitive tests were carried out on men and women, hormone levels were measured and functional MRI scans were used to view changes in the brain’s memory circuitry. The research found an association between decreasing levels of oestrogen and brain fog in women, particularly those with lower levels of oestradiol (one of the oestrogen hormones produced by women’s bodies). However, the fog wasn’t the same in all women with lower oestradiol, prompting the big  (unanswered so far) question: why should some women be more resistant to lowering levels?

 

So what can you do to clear the menopause brain fog?

1.  Increase your activity levels. Regular brisk walking is fine. You don’t need to take up marathon running (unless you want to).
2.  Keep mentally stimulated. Challenge yourself with a range of activities which keep you thinking. Puzzles like Sudoku and Words with Friends are great for some gentle brain stretching.
3.  Get good sleep.
4.  Avoid toxins – try to stick to natural, organic products to banish those damaging chemicals.

5.  Help your memory by writing the important things down. Keep a diary of important dates and events and get in the habit of referring to it. Make lists.

6.  Make life simpler. Could you help yourself by reorganising life in a different way. Now is a great time to reassess what you do and the ways you do it. Often complexity gets built into life over time and we rarely step back and assess what is going on. You could simplify by decluttering your house/work place or delegating to others.

How long does menopause brain fog last?

The good news is, most women seem to bounce back after menopause and are just as sharp as ever. So hang on in there. Taking the simple steps we’ve outlined above and knowing that it will come to an end will really help.

 

10 Signs of Oestrogen Dominance and What You Can Do About It

How oestrogen dominance affects your menopause and what to do about it

Oestrogen dominance has become a hot topic, particularly during peri-menopause and menopause when progesterone levels start to decrease. We all have much to be thankful for in our modern world, but unfortunately, a side-effect of greater industrialisation is the introduction of harmful chemicals in our daily life, such as ‘xeno-oestrogen’, an unnatural substance which mimics oestrogen in the body, leading to oestrogen dominance.

Signs of Oestrogen Dominance

1. Heavier than normal periods
2. Severe PMS (breast tenderness, mood swings, headaches)
3. Loss of libido
4. Weight gain (especially round middle)
5. Tiredness
6. Brain fog
7. Hair loss
8. Abnormal thyroid function
9. Sluggish metabolism
10. Sleeping problems

Xeno-oestrogens can be found in some surprising places so it pays to be aware of them and reduce your exposure to them where possible

Here are some of the top offenders:

  • Plastic water bottles
    Plastic food containers
  • Cosmetics, makeup and toiletries, cleaning products (opt for natural lines)
  • Non-organic dairy, vegetables, meat, fish, chicken
  • Tap water
  • Cans lined with BPA (bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in plastics)
  • Dryer sheets
  • Birth control pill
  • Non-fermented soy protein

 

These 3 simple steps will help you bring your hormones back into balance.

 

  1. Avoid constipation:
  • Drink 2-3L of water per day
  • Fill up half your plate with vegetables at each meal
  • Eat probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, plain full cream yogurt and tempeh
  • Add a scoop of fibre to your daily smoothie

body brushing to reduce oestrogen dominance

To support elimination throughout the body, do the following as well:

  • Take deep breaths to support the lungs
  • Go for a massage to support the lymph system
  • Work up a sweat through exercise or sit in a sauna to support the elimination of toxins through the skin
  • Use a dry skin brush to remove dead skin cells

 

  1. healthy food for oestrogen dominanceSupport your liver!
  • Eat a real, whole-foods based diet , and avoid processed food
  • Drink plenty of clean, filtered water
  • Avoid overeating
  • Avoid alcohol abuse
  • Eat plenty of foods that support liver health:

beets, dark leafy greens, artichoke, onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, eggs, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale etc.)

 

  1. Natural progesterone

Find a source of natural progesterone, preferably in cream form, as it is the natural antagonist to oestrogen dominance.

 

(Sources; Sally Longden, holistic health practitioner,

Alina Islam, nutritional practitioner)

 

 

 

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 

Beware the silent thief! How to “lock up” your bone health

Here’s something that every woman needs to know: 

Your normal bone loss accelerates during and after menopause for about five to seven years before returning to the slightly slower rate that men experience.

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!




bones-1Beware the Silent Thief!

Taking good care of your bones, starting from an early age, involves three major steps:

1. AWARENESS of the “Silent Thief” – If not given the right kind of care, bones can begin to weaken early in life. It’s a quiet, symptom-less process that steals away your bones. You can’t feel it happening, at least not in the early stages – hence the name “silent thief”.

2. PHYSICAL activity and the proper exercises – for increasing or maintaining bone and muscle mass, balance, and coordination.

3. DIETARY changes to improve your bone health, including clearing up some of the myths surrounding supplements and nutrients.


bones-2What 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

Osteoblasts produce a protein called osteocalcin that strengthens your skeleton.Very simply, as long as the bone-forming activity, called absorption, is greater than bone breakdown, called resorption, you’re pretty much assured of maintaining healthy bones. Strong bones protect your heart, lungs, and brain from injury, and your bones become a warehouse for important minerals that you need throughout your life.



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.


Do’s & Don’ts

Hormone imbalance, mainly due to low levels of progesterone, over-acidic diet, nutrient deficiencies, smoking, drinking 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, but this is  huge subject and will be the main  topic of the next newsletter. A healthy diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and magnesium, regular weight-bearing exercise, and hyaluronic acid may also help to support bone health.

  • Sesame seeds (1/4 cup) 351 mg
  • Sardines, canned in oil with bones (3 ounces) 324 mg
  • Yogurt (unsweetened) (1 cup) 300 mg
  • Goat’s milk (1 cup) 326 mg
  • Swiss cheese (1 ounce) 270 mg
  • Spinach (1 cup cooked) 260 mg
  • Cabbage/Broccoli (1 cup cooked) 226 mg
  • Canned salmon with bones (3 ounces) 181 mg  

NB. Some high calcium foods also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2, such as fermented cheeses and butter from grass-fed cows. When choosing dairy, look for products made from raw, hormone-free, unpasteurised milk:


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


P.S. Feeling hormonal? Why not download my free guide to hormone imbalances. Click Here

P.P.S. Any queries, ideas or if you would just like to say Hi, email me at info@menopausematters.guru