Wellness Osteo

Wellness Osteo

At Wellness Osteo, we are osteopaths who focus on achieving optimal health and wellness, which means treating you and sharing our expertise with you. Read on for the ins and outs of osteopathy.

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Womens Health: Menopause

What is menopause?

Menopause refers to the last time a woman gets her period. She is then considered postmenopausal when for 12 consecutive months she has not had a period. Preceding menopause is a time known as perimenopause which usually occurs between the ages of 45-55, however it is possible to experience this earlier between the ages of 40-45. During this period, women experience the ‘big change’ which is a collection of signs and symptoms discussed below.  

 

What are the signs and symptoms of perimenopause?

Symptoms can include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Body aches and pains
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of libido
  • Hair thinning
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability and forgetfulness

 

 

What are the impacts of menopause?

Menopause can be a challenging time in a woman’s life and can have serious impacts on quality of life. Women undergo hormonal changes, in particular lower levels of oestrogen and serotonin, which are important regulators of mood, emotions, and sleep. Research suggests 60% of women will have mild symptoms for 4-8 years and 20% of women will be severely affected with symptoms continuing into their 60s and later. For the lucky few, some experience no symptoms. Understanding how to manage the symptoms can help your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. 

 

 

How do I manage symptoms associated with menopause?

Strategies include: 

 

  • General → Living a healthy lifestyle; avoiding smoking, eating well, exercising regularly, and incorporating ‘me time’ into your week. 
  • Hot flushes → carry a fan and cold water bottle, dress in layers you can take off, avoid excessive caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol. 
  • Mental → psychology can be helpful to equip you with tools to cope with the emotional rollercoaster you may find yourself on. While it is a common and normal part of menopause, it doesn’t have to be completely disruptive. 
  • Body aches and pains → regular exercise such as pilates, swimming, cycling. If needed, osteopathic treatment can be helpful.  
  • Bone mass reduction → Menopause leads to the body producing less oestrogen which is critical for bone mass. If left unchecked, osteoporosis can develop. Continuing weight bearing exercise as well as increasing your intake of calcium and Vitamin D can help. Before taking supplements, consult your GP. 
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) → This can help manage symptoms such as night sweats, hot flushes, mood swings, and loss of libido. The benefits often outweigh the risks however it is an important conversation to have with your GP.