Navigating through menopause may not feel like a cause for celebration with the hot flashes, insomnia, memory lapse, anxiety and weight gain often experienced during this stage of a woman’s life. However, I am a firm believer in embracing this change and by giving your body what it needs, you can truly transform your life.
With hormones, it’s all about balance. The hormones that keep us healthy and happy are the same ones that cause emotional and physical distress. During menopause, the body has an imbalance of sex hormones which are often secreted in lower quantities and released at the wrong time, leading to common symptoms. The relationship between hormones is intricate – and while they each have a specific function, it’s important to remember they all work together in a complex system.
Although a difficult time, a comprehensive functional assessment, combined with blood and urine tests, and a personalised treatment plan can help to overcome symptoms and prevent long term chronic health problems. If you are going through menopause, here are a few lifestyle measures you can take:
Ensure your diet consists of wholegrains, cruciferous and other green vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits
Avoid cosmetics that contain parabens and phthalates as these are chemicals that disrupt hormonal balance.
Exercise must be included in the daily routine as it helps relaxation, breathing, mental clarity, improves muscle mass and bone health. It’s important to combine both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
Manage stress by incorporating five minutes of mindfulness or meditation. Twice daily is all you need to reset your body clock.
Targeted botanicals and bio-identical hormone replacement may be needed.
Above all, it’s crucial to listen to your body as each woman’s menopausal journey will be unique. Remember that you’re not alone and you can work with a practitioner to form a personal treatment plan.
Dr Avani Karl, MBBS FRNZCGP, Dip Obs, currently practises in Auckland as a functional medicine practitioner. Specialising in an individualised treatment approach, she works closely with her patients, empowering them to address the underlying cause of disease to achieve optimal wellness. Visit fmdr.co.nz for more information.