Menopause Made Bearable: How to Feel Like Yourself Again While Living With Menopause
You made it through peri-menopause, so the rest is easy, right? My peri-menopause experience was very difficult, so menopause, for me has been petty darn good, though not without a few challenges.
I’ve been post-menopausal for three years and had to go off bio-identical hormones the year after I experienced living with menopause due to health concerns. I am active, generally healthy and, it is important to point out, I am not a health care provider and you should check with your doctor before making health-related changes.
Start by visiting your doctor, dermatologist, and gynecologist to make sure there isn’t an easy solution right under your nose. Many hair, skin, weight, and sexual problems can be tied back to medications, or, as in my case, an underactive thyroid. Once the thyroid was taken care of, (in my case) several of the other problems fell in line. I’ve known of women living with menopause whose hair, skin, or weight problems were tied back to a medication they were on, and after a few tweaks, they were back going strong.
If you are generally in good health, you will still have a few concerns. I have put them into categories, skin, hot flashes, dry brittle hair, weight gain and problems in the boudoir. After you have a clean bill of health from your doctor, create a list of the things you want to work on, then pick one or two to work on at a time. It’s very difficult to track the effectiveness of a given change if you make a whole bunch of changes at the same time. It’s like when you introduce foods to a baby, you don’t do them all at one time, you do one, give it some time to be assimilated and tested, then you move on to the next.
Living with Menopause
One of the first things I noticed was that my skin.
It’s generally drier, and well, it sags much more than even a couple of years ago. Oh, and did I mention the brown spots? I think they call them hyper-pigmentation. I have all of that going on now. But, last January, I decided to tackle the brown spots. I learned all about hyperpigmentation, its causes, and how it can be treated naturally at home, and with prescription medication. Not on a maintenance protocol which is completely over the counter:
Next, I began tackling my skin’s waining elasticity. Here’s a video I made talking more about skincare devices I am currently using.
Can you stay slim after menopause?
Although women can gain from 3 to 30 additional pounds during and after living with menopause, weight gain is not inevitable. Muscle mass decreases with age, and body fat can increase. However, studies have shown that working to maintain muscle mass through weight-bearing exercise, adding walking or light cardiovascular exercises daily, reducing caloric intake by 200 calories, and reducing intake of sugars help keep weight gain in check.
In 2018, my doctor recommended a low carb diet along with intermittent fasting. When I follow this regimen, along with our daily exercise, I have been able to maintain my weight. You can read about intermittent fasting here.
My weight has ticked up twice post-menopause and can be directly attributed to sugars and carbs sneaking back into my diet. As soon as I return to my low carb diet, my weight goes back down. You can read more diet tips here.
One of the things I still struggle with three years out is hot flashes. No one is really sure what causes hot flashes, but they are sometimes a symptom of something else going on, so if you suddenly get sweats or hot flashes, or you feel like they have lingered on too long, be sure to speak with your doctor. Since I haven’t gotten rid of mine, I’ve been trying a few things. First, reducing carbohydrates is said to help and exercise…but I’ve always been an exerciser and have pretty much always eaten a low carb diet. It may help a little, but I still have hot flashes. I definitely notice spikes when sugars find their way back into my diet.
Fennel, as in the herb is said to help with hot flashes and since it doesn’t involve altering my hormones, I’ve been trying it. I will let you know how it goes.
We all know our hair will grey as we age but can experience thinning, changes in texture, and our hair can become dry and brittle. I’ve written several posts about hair care, but here are a few basics:
- Be sure to check with your doctor before tackling thinning hair on your own. While hair loss can be hereditary, sometimes it can be remedied in other ways.
- To increase shine and hair health, I love OlaPlex products. Lately, I’ve been using Aveda Nutriplensh Hydrating Shampoo. A little goes a long way, especially now that I don’t wash my hair every day.
- While it’s tempting to use products such as Minoxidil, you will experience hair loss if you stop using it. I’d try everything else first.
Olaplex O (this is brand new and perfect after coloring) Aveda Shampoo Set (This stuff is my new favorite). The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density Briogeo Hair Mask I’ve been using this for two years and love it!
Problems In the Boudoir
Not feeling attractive anymore: I wish I could say something like buy yourself some sexy undies and you will feel attractive again, but for me, it wasn’t that simple. It wasn’t that I felt I was “unattractive” specifically, it was more that I had changed and it’s taken a while to figure myself out. There was also no question that my hormones were shifting and for a while, I was able to manage them with help from my doctor.
It was more about finding “me” and learning about what I wanted and needed to feel amorous at this point in my life. Some women believe they are actually unattractive simply because they are post-menopausal, but this is completely untrue. Taking the time to reconnect with “me” helped me to become more confident as a post-menopausal woman.
Low levels of hormones can also be at play. As we go through menopause, our hormones may be out of sync. Bio-Identical Hormones can help. You can also try products like Foria Awaken, which are gentle stimulants that also provide moisture making intimacy more comfortable. I’ve written more in-depth posts here.
I’ve written a couple of posts diving deeper into this subject, here. In the end self nurturing and being patient with the process has helped the most.
I’d love to hear about any products you’ve tried or tips you have to make menopause easier, so please email me or leave a message below!
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Are you currently living with menopause? What are you doing to feel more like yourself? Let me know in a comment below!