Menopause Symptoms

Susanne’s blog

I originally set up Menopause Support to pass on information and experiences I gathered through my tricky menopause. If you want my ideas, tips and products to help you with your symptoms, or if you want to know more about the latest menopause research then read my blog. I?d love to hear your feedback so please post a comment at the bottom of the page!

SUPER SUMMER SALE ON ALL MENOPAUSE TREATMENTS & PRODUCTS!

7. June 2011 07:21

This is our BIGGEST sale ever so don’t miss out on fastastic savings with our SUPER SUMMER SALE!!! 

One of the questions we are asked many times is ‘Which products might help with my symptoms?‘. In order to make it easier to find out what natural treatments can help with your menopause symptoms we have re-categorised the shop to make it easier for you.

Categories include Cooling Solutions to help with those hot flushes and night sweats; Nutrition & Weight Control to help you stay in control of your body; Head & Mind to help with anxiety, depression, insomnia & mood swings; Intimate Moments to help with symptoms such as vaginal dryness; Hair, Skin & Bones to improve condition and to combat aching joints; as well as our popular Book section. Hopefully this will make it much easier for you to go directly to the area you are looking for to see what you can take that might ease your discomfort. 

So, take advantage of these reductions to bag yourself a bargain

Menopause Support Survey Results

2. June 2011 05:52

Over two-thirds of women suffer from hot flushes our recent survey results showed, and nearly a half (49%) want more information on HRT alternatives to help with their menopausal symptoms.  But even though hot flushes were the most common symptom, surprisingly nearly 60% of women complained that problems with the head, such as headaches, migraines, anxiety and confusion, were a symptom of their menopause too.  Our present free Top Tip download is 10 Ways to Improve your Headaches and Migraines. You can find this on the right hand side of the homepage. If you know of anyone who may also be suffering, then please share the link with them too.

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our questionnaire.  We had a fantastic response and the results and your comments are very helpful and give us a good idea of what support you’re looking for through your menopause.  We will be making changes over the coming months but hope we will continue with this website as three-quarters of you use the internet to look up remedies and treatments for the symptoms of the menopause.  We’re also looking at writing a book based on the Menopause Support Programme as nearly half of you (49%) get your information from books.

 

We’ve drawn the winner from those that completed the survey and we are pleased to announce that Carol from Plymouth won our goodie box containing a mini Chillow Pillow, a cooling scarf, FEMA 45+ multivitamins, Pure Fish Oil capsules, Spiezia Facial Cleanser, a step counter, lemon Materia Aromatica aromatherapy oil, a selection of Pukka Teas, Walnut, Olive & White Chestnut Bach Flower Remedies, a Recovery Remedy, some Yes! Lubricants and a relaxing cd!

Menopause symptoms mask deadly ovarian cancer

28. April 2011 08:34

Are you suffering from bloating, a swollen and painful stomach, having to pee more often or finding it difficult to eat normally?  All these can be symptoms of the menopause but if you have them on a daily basis they may be the sign of something more serious – ovarian cancer.

 

This disease, often called the ‘silent killer’, is difficult to diagnose but new guidelines published yesterday from NICE are addressing this.  They suggest a simple blood test through your GP.  The test looks for the level of a protein CA125 in your blood.  Even though the test is not 100% conclusive, it’s a good first step and if found positive, will be followed up by an ultrasound examination and further specialist treatment.

 

Time is the most important factor here – if you catch the disease at the early stages, 90% of women survive after treatment.  But this survival rate declines as the disease progresses.  So if you do have any of these symptoms, on a daily basis, then please go and see your doctor and ask for this test.  As a recovering ovarian cancer mother on Woman’s Hour said yesterday.  ‘Women tend to put their bodies on the back burner and put off going to their doctor but early diagnosis is the key to successfully beating this disease.’

 

If you want to listen to the excellent Woman’s Hour interview, click on the link below – it’s the first item of the show: The program start after 30 seconds into the show

Woman’s Hour 10:00 Wednesday, 27th April 2011

 

« I confirm the subscription of this blog to the Paperblog service under the username menopausesupport ».

Menopause Treatments – Special Easter Offers!

21. April 2011 07:31

We’ve reduced our prices for HRT alternatives and Menopause supplements recommended by women in the recent YOU magazine article.  If you’re suffering with your first menopause symptoms and want to try a natural alternative to HRT then why not give the Ladycare magnet a go?  Read my earlier blog post to find out about the latest research.

 

Or perhaps you’re looking for a remedy for the difficult menopause symptom of dryness ‘down-below’? Then we’ve got just what you need, try our natural, organic lubricants.  These are so much kinder to your delicate skin and feel more realistic too. 

 

The menopause supplement Omega 7, Sea Buckthorn Oil, can also help with dryness, but you do have to take it for a few weeks to start getting relief.  We’re offering 50% extra free in our packs – so you pay for 60 capsules and get an extra 30 completely free!

 

Barbara explains that her sex life suffered as she found vaginal dryness a real problem. “I found Omega 7 quite helpful, it lessened my dryness.”

 

We’re keeping these offers, and the very popular Menopause Supplement – Pure Fish Oil with a massive 360 mg of EPA each capsule, until the end of April.  So hurry up, start helping yourself with your menopause and order today! 

Happy Easter!

Mail on Sunday YOU magazine a huge success!

12. April 2011 05:44

 

 

So a big thank you to everyone who gave their menopause story to journalist Rosanna Greenstreet.

 

If you haven’t seen the article ‘Menopause: A change for the better ….. or worse?’ in this Sunday’s YOU magazine then click on the link:

 

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1374394/Menopause-A-change-better-worse.html

 

The article is full of real stories, including some great celebrities, on how women find their menopause.  What continually strikes me is how different everyone’s experience is.  Each woman’s menopause is totally unique.  Women must be encouraged to find the information and advice they need to make their own treatment decisions, whether that’s HRT, lifestyle changes, complementary therapies or a mix of all three!

 

The many appreciative comments on the Mail Online comment board and the response on the Menopause Support website shows how important this type of reporting is.  BT from Chester writes:

 

“How refreshing to see the ‘side effects’ of the menopause described so openly and candidly by such a variety of women.  This subject never seems to get the publicity it deserves and women over 50, like myself, tend to think they are the only ones suffering….”

 

 

Finding work difficult because of your menopause?

4. April 2011 10:52

Then you’re not alone.  Female staff have told the TUC that their managers don’t recognise their problems – they speak of being criticised for menopause-related sick leave, their embarrassment at discussing the menopause with their employers, and being criticised or ridiculed by their managers on the subject.

 

The TUC has recently published new guidance on how employers and the union reps can work together to support women through the menopause at work.  The report suggests initiatives such as:

 

·         the importance of encouraging a positive workplace attitude to the menopause

·         what physical changes can be made to the working environment that will help and

·         why working time flexibility is crucial.

 

Following our successful event at the Stress Awareness Week, Marie Taylor, Organisational Development Manager, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust wrote,

 

‘Menopause Support, a contributor to our Stress Awareness Week, was very well received.  Over 50 members of staff received advice on managing the menopause and will receive further information via email.  We would like to thank Menopause Support for their support’.

 

 

Menopause Support is offering Menopause Awareness Training to work organisations which cover the topics above and more! 

If you know of an organisation who might be interested please contact me on heatherfairbairn@menopausesupport.org.uk

and help us to bring an end to the embarrassment, confusion and inaction around the menopause in the workplace.

 

Thank you. 

 

How does a Ladycare magnet help menopause symptoms?

17. March 2011 06:20

A Ladycare magnet is a small, discreet plastic magnet.  It is a tear drop shape similar to the size of a desert spoon, which you wear all day and night, attached to the front of your underwear, just below the tummy button.  We know that many women find them very helpful in reducing menopausal symptoms after about a month of continuous use.

 

  

In a trail of 508 women between 50-67% found a reduction in their anxiety, weight gain, mood swings, vaginal dryness, insomnia and breast tenderness.  Also a 33% decrease in hot flushes, loss of libido, memory lapse and aching muscles.

 

But how does the magnet work?   I’ve always thought it must be using a similar system to the wrist magnets you use to help motion sickness.  But a recent piece of research shows more clearly how it works.  A trial of 35 British police women measured the levels of the two parts of the nervous system before and then after wearing the magnets for a month.

 

The first part of our nervous system is our ‘fight and flight’ system and secondly, our ‘rest and digestion’ one.  We know that it is the first system that gets fired up when we get hot and sweaty.  This trail showed that after wearing the magnet for a month there was a significant increase in the ‘rest’ nervous system compared to the ‘fight’ system being stimulated.  So this looks like a plausible explanation as to the way the magnet might be correcting your menopausal symptoms.

 

To celebrate this new piece of research we’re offering the Ladycare magnets at a special price of £18.95 until April 30th! 

 

 

What is the peri-menopause?

11. February 2011 11:25

You may well ask!  Although most of us have heard of the menopause, the word ‘peri-menopause’ is not used as often. In fact, when I first heard it, I had no idea what it meant even though I have a scientific background.

 

Basically, it’s the medical term that can be simply summed up in five words: ‘The approach to the menopause.’

 

This is important, as unlike childbirth which, once started, it usually progresses fairly rapidly, the menopause can go on for many years. It can stop and then, just as you think it’s all over, it can come back as an encore.

 

The peri-menopause is the start of all this. It’s the beginning of some of the symptoms such as irregular bleeding, mood swings and tender breasts. It’s the stage where you’re not quite into the full swing of the M word but very nearly – or at least, on the cusp.

 

So how do you know if you are menopausal or perimenopausal or neither?
 

There may be other health reasons for your so-called menopausal symptoms which is why it’s important to see your GP to rule out anything else. Your doctor may give you a blood test to check your hormone levels. The blood tests won’t definitely say if you are menopausal but they can give an indication by testing the level of FSH in the blood: this is the Follicle stimulating Hormone which stimulates the eggs in the ovaries to ripen. As you get older and the follicles become more resistant the FSH levels, they have to rise to a higher level to try and get the follicle to produce an egg. So if the result is very high, the doctor will say you’re likely to be in your menopause, especially if you have other symptoms such as irregular periods. 
 

However, in the peri-menopausal period, the FSH levels fluctuate from month to month and through the cycle, particularly if you’re still having periods. A temporary raised FSH level can also be because of stopping the oral contraceptive pill, breast feeding, severe illness, hypothyroidism, depression, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and some medicines such as Prozac.

 

It’s worth knowing that if you’re already taking hormones for a medical condition (including contraception), the blood tests are unlikely to reflect a true reading. So you might need to come off the Pill in order to see if you really are entering the menopausal stage. The tricky bit here is that you could still be fertile so even if you are peri-menopausal, you could still theoretically, get pregnant.

 

There are also certain over-the-counter medical self-testing menopause testing kits where you can check the level of FSH of your urine on a stick, as in a pregnancy test. To get the best result, take the urine test on the third to fifth day of your period and do it over successive months to get a more accurate result. This will however only be an indication that you are menopausal: you do need to have other symptoms too.

 

How much fruit and veg should I be eating?

4. February 2011 07:34

At least five and preferably eight is the result of two new research studies from Oxford University.  In the first study 300,000 people from countries across Europe were assessed and it was found that eating at least eight portions reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 22% compared with eating less than three portions.  The second study found that eating at least five portions could save 15,000 lives a year by reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.    

 

For menopausal women this is really important as the risk of heart disease and strokes increases dramatically as your female hormones reduce as you go through the menopause.  Also by eating a wide range of plant foods including garlic, celery, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, apples, plums, cherries and rhubarb you are supporting your dropping oestrogen levels as these foods provide beneficial ‘phyto-oestrogen’ nutrients too. 

 

So how to start eating more fruit and veg?  The best way I know is to snack on fruit between meals (rather than the chocolate bars or biscuits) and at proper meal times make half your plate covered with vegetables.  You might also like to think about some vegetable based recipes.  Two of the favourites here at Menopause Support are for mushroom stroganoff and roasted red peppers.  They’re delicious! If you’d like to have these recipes just send us an email to info@menopausesupport.org.uk – enjoy!  

Does Menopause affect your sex life?

28. January 2011 10:57

      

The answer is YES for most of us …. but it’s a really difficult question to get a discussion going on.  Not only do we not like admitting to the menopause but we certainly don’t want to talk about how our sex lives are changing too.  But changing they are, if the experience of women I meet at Menopause Support are anything to go by.

 

During our workshops this topic of ‘personal relationships, feelings & emotions’ often overruns on time and is one of the liveliest and enthusiastically received.  I think women just want to feel they’ve got an safe opportunity to talk about it and know that how they feel, and what’s happening to them, is normal.  Questions like ‘Why am I just not interested in sex anymore?’  or ‘Can I do anything to stop it being so painful?’ are regularly discussed.

 

So with Valentine’s Day coming up (a bit cheesy I know!) we’ve decided to run a free Sex and the Menopause topic talk on the subject.  Register your free place now to join us on Thursday 10th February from 7.30 to 8.00 pm.  Telephone in and listen to my tips, ideas and latest research.  And if you want you can ask your question through the talk too, anonymously if you wish.

 

If you would like to hear a recording of this topic talk, please email us to request the link info@menopausesupport.org.uk