DR ROSY FAZZI TELLS US HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS WITH THE MENOPAUSE

I am absolutely delighted to host this guest post by Dr Rosy Fazzi , who is head of the Women’s Health department at Dr Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre in Edinburgh.  Dr Rosy is a specialist in women’s health issues, and is passionate about the treatment for management of intimate female problems at various stages of life.  Here are her tips on how to survive Christmas with the menopause.

 

The menopause is often thought of as ‘the last taboo’, trailing behind many other health and wellbeing issues when it comes to something that is spoken about openly. In fact, the menopause is something that up to 50% of UK women are too embarrassed to talk about at all, even with their GPs.

 

But it is imperative that we talk, that we open the dialogue surrounding the menopause; it’s something that every woman will experience and we need to create greater visibility surrounding the symptoms and the triggers of the menopause, some of which I want to discuss in this blog post. The menopause can be a distressing time for women who aren’t sure what to expect from their symptoms and aren’t certain which triggers will set them off – women need to be equipped with the knowledge that will help them manage the symptoms and the triggers during this time of life.

 

menopause

 

For example, we all know that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, but did you know that for menopausal women, it is also one of the biggest trigger times for symptoms of the menopause – in particular, the hot flush?

 

It’s very common for women to experience a higher frequency of hot flushes than normal if they are exposed to increasing levels of stress, as well as other triggers, including drastic changes in temperature or consuming greater amounts of alcohol or coffee – all triggers which are prevalent during the festive season.

 

The stress of Christmas shopping, meal planning and sticking to a hectic pre-Christmas social calendar – never mind the day itself – these alone can be hugely demanding for women who feel the responsibility is left to them to ensure that everyone else is having the most wonderful time of the year.

 

Stress is actually one of the major factors in triggering hot flushes; the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream causes your heart to race and blood flow to increase, leading to a subsequent increase in temperature. A hot flush is your body’s response, its attempt to cool the body down. But a hot flush can be overwhelming in its intensity and leave you sweating and even shivery afterwards, as your body attempts to bring your temperature back to a normal level.

 

Alongside stress, there are other factors that come into play when it comes to bringing on a less-than-festive flush. The extremes of temperature that come with dashing in and out of shops, or in and out of the kitchen on Christmas Day itself, contribute to kickstarting a hot flush. And while we’re all so busy, you might not think that there’s any harm in consuming an extra cup of coffee to give you an energy boost, or indulging in some wine with friends in the run-up to December 25, but caffeine and alcohol are both hot flush triggers too.

 

But you needn’t think that your entire social schedule, shopping routine and gift list has to go out of the window this Christmas; in fact, I firmly believe that making small lifestyle changes this Christmas may help to reduce stress levels and keep those hot flushes at bay.

 

My five top tips for surviving a menopausal Christmas:

 

Wear temperature-control undergarments

This is such a simple change to make, yet it can really make a big difference. There are some fantastic menopause-specific undergarment ranges on the market, using temperature-control fabrics to regulate body heat, reduce the awful shivers post-flush, and wick away moisture to avoid embarrassing sweaty situations too. These garments are designed for wearing underneath your clothing during the day, so you can still wear your regular clothes and get all dressed up for the festive season, but be confident that you can remain in control underneath.

 

coping with menopause at Christmas

Layer up your clothing

Layering is the ideal solution for helping to regulate your temperature when you’re out and about. Layer a temperature-control tank top with a t-shirt and a cardigan, rather than wearing one bulky jumper, to help you better manage your body’s response to changes in temperature. Choose cosy items that are quick and easy to pull on and off, depending on how hot or cold you feel.

 

 

Swap your coffee for a matcha tea

The caffeine in your regular teas and coffees stimulates the central nervous system, accelerating the heart rate, the blood pressure and the body temperature – all of which can bring on a hot flush. But just plain hot water can induce an episode, so I recommend trying something cooler to start your day. A bottle of cool iced matcha tea a good choice, as it’s cool and refreshing, with very low levels of slow-release caffeine, and an incredible level of antioxidants that help to keep the body healthy – especially important in winter when germs are rife!

 

 

Reduce your alcohol intake

Yes, this can be very tricky around Christmas, but if you find that a glass of wine brings on a sweaty, shivery flush, it’s best to find an alternative. There are plenty of non-alcoholic options in the supermarket if you don’t want to feel like the odd one out without a glass of something with dinner, or you can make delicious mocktails with fresh fruit juices. Pomegranates are credited with high levels of oestrogen and antioxidants that can help ease the symptoms of the menopause, as well as rich levels of vitamins C, A and E, and folic acid. Make yourself a deliciously festive, non-alcoholic cocktail this Christmas, using a plentiful helping of pomegranate juice and seeds, so you can still join in the festivities but soothe your symptoms at the same time.

 

coping with menopause this Christmas

Limit exposure to extremes in temperature

If you can stay indoors and do your Christmas shopping online, you might find it much easier than dashing from the cold into a store with the heating ramped up, and back out again. Extremes in temperature can bring on hot flushes in a flash, so if you can avoid exposing yourself to them in the lead-up to Christmas, you might find that you have a far more comfortable experience Christmas shopping. If you do find yourself getting hot and flustered whilst out and about, try a cooling face mist with rosewater to soothe and refresh the skin, and help you to cool down.

 

Related posts:

8 Useful Tips To Get You Through Perimenopause

8 Beauty Products To Help You Through Winter

 

E L Feelgood’s Vintage Top Suggestions to Help You Through the Menopause this Festive Season:

  • Wear temperature control garments.  These garments by Become are just what you need.  They are made using a combination of intelligent fabrics that help to regulate body temperature and wick moisture away from the body while reducing odour. They feel silky smooth, are comfortable and breathable against your skin.  If you head over now to order you will receive 10% off your total order by inputting code ELFEELGOOD10 at the checkout!

 

  • OMGTea Iced Matcha tea.  Matcha tea has many benefits from potential anti-ageing health benefits  to the antioxidants which have amazing nutrients and enzymes that are essential for fighting life threatening diseases and the negative effects of UV radiation.

 

  • A pomegranate ‘gin’ cocktail, made with Pom Juice and Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits.

 

  • Try doing your Christmas shopping online, with stores such as King & McGaw or Trouva, to help you find gifts without the stress!

 

  • Spritz your skin with Aster & Bay’s Rosewater Mist to cool down and refresh.  This is an amazing spritz.  Rosewater Mist is an aromatherapeutic hydrating mist for face, hair and body. It has a light scent derived from the hydro-distillation of fresh Bulgarian rose petals.  Bulgarian rose is one of the finest out there, our recent trip to Bulgaria I purchased as much Bulgarian rose as my suitcase could carry!

 

 

coping with menopause this Christmas

 

Dr Rosy Fazzi MBChB, MRCGP, is the head of the Women’s Health department at Dr Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre in Edinburgh (www.drnestor.co.uk). Dr Rosy is a specialist in women’s health issues, and is passionate about treatment for management of intimate female problems at various stages of life. Dr Rosy understands the mental and physical impact on women that can result from menopause and childbirth; she is enthusiastic about empowering women, with options to restore their sense of intimate wellbeing and general health. Dr Rosy offers bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, which is an alternative to traditional HRT and can help to ease the symptoms of the menopause.

You can book an appointment with Dr Rosy by visiting www.drnestor.co.uk

Find out more about Become by visiting www.webecome.co.uk

 

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8 USEFUL TIPS TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PERIMENOPAUSE

Recently I have become concerned about my health.  All sorts of things started to go wrong from severe mood swings during certain times of the month to feeling utterly exhausted no matter how many hours sleep I got.  It was when reading up on how to improve my health that I came across Perimenopause.  It was the first time I had heard about it. Since then I have been devouring all the information I can about it, I believe that knowledge is power so understanding it helps with dealing with it.

 

perimenopause

 

What is Perimenopause?

It is also known as the menopause transition.  Perimenopause takes place several years before the menopause and can last from four years to eight years.  It can happen to women in their late 30’s to early 40’s.  With the average age of menopause being 50 you can see why it’s important for us women to understand Perimenopause and educate ourselves on how to deal with the symptoms.

 

Perimenopause does not happen to all women but for those who do, it is a normal process.  According to Eileen Durward author of the A. Vogel The Menopause Guide Perimenopause is “the first phase during which your hormonal balance begins to change.  Many women will begin to experience menopausal symptoms at some point during the peri-menopausal phase.”

 

I would highly recommend you visit the A.Vogel website to equip you with the information on Perimenopause.

 

 

Symptoms of Perimenopause

There are several symptoms related to perimenopause and you may experience some of them or none if you are lucky!

 

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Changing periods (duration, flow)
  • Tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of confidence
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Aches and pains in your muscles

 

 

perimenopause

 

8 Tips to Get You Through Perimenopause

 

  • Exercise

Taking regular exercise will help with your mood swings as well as staying healthy in your body and mind.  You should aim for 5 times per week.  You don’t need to go to a gym, a brisk walk is fine or doing an exercise programme at home as I have started to do is also great.

 

  • Food

The lovely Suzi over at Alternative Ageing highlights the importance of nutrition before, during and after the menopause.  Read her article Eating Your Way Out of the Menopause to learn more about the importance of diet and good nutrition during this transition period.

 

  • Good Sleeping Habits

If you are anything like me, the symptoms I have been experiencing have made it extremely tired.  It’s important therefore to get enough sleep.  That means keeping mobiles turned off when you go to bed!  Make sure your bedroom is a sanctuary when you can relax and unwind.

 

  • Avoid caffeine

Try to avoid caffeine as much as possible but avoid it close to bedtime.  Switch to a more relaxing hot cup of chamomile tea which will help you unwind.

 

  • Time out for yourself

During these changes to your body it is even more important to take time out for yourself.  Which can be extremely tough if you have a job and children!  It is important though that we take time to recharge our batteries.  Why not have a nice long soak in the bath or start meditation. Taking time out for 30 minutes a day has proven to reduce the symptoms of perimenopause!

 

  • Drink more water

Increasing your water intake can also help reduce symptoms.  I can vouch for this!  After reading this tip I immediately started to drink more water and my symptoms have improved.  Of course, it is difficult drinking more water especially in the winter.  But with a few changes I now drink a glass first thing in the morning and have a water bottle beside me as I type this and continually sip during the day.  Drinking little and often is the key.

 

  • Take control

There are many therapies and treatments that will help get you through any symptoms you are dealing with.  A.Vogel have a Menopause Support supplement for all stages of the Menopause and their Arnica Gel will help with any joint issues you are having.  There are also beauty products out there that all also help you take back control.  For example, if you are prone to increased hair growth the Jolen Crème Bleach facial hair lightening formula is gentle and safe to use.

 

  • Seek support

It can be lonely going through the Perimenopause, but you don’t have to do it on your own.  A. Vogel have a free 7-day plan with information, support, and advice to help you deal with the symptoms of Perimenopause and if you sign up you will also receive a free sample of Menopause Support.

 

 

Are there any other tips you have?  I’d love to hear them.

 

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Want to know more about the Perimenopause? This post is for you, telling you what it is, they symptoms and 8 useful tips to help you through it.

 

 

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