As we learn and grow our bodies, as well as our minds, change before our eyes. I look for tips, advice and sharing on social media from other women, as we tread this path of change together. Knowing other women feel as I do really helps me, as I embrace my crone years, rather than dread them. Here’s a little of my story and the tips I use.
Pre-menopause symptoms began for me in my early 40s. By 45, I was suffering the ‘big heat’ most days. I loathe the phrase ‘hot flush’! It suggests a warmth that comes and goes as simply as a pull on the toilet chain! I suffered in silence, embarassed in the supermarket as my face exploded in sweat, running into my eyes so I couldn’t punch my pin to pay for my shopping. My friend and dance teacher, Deana, suggested fenugreek tea and though a little weird as you feel hot and prickly straight after drinking, it did reduce the length of any ‘big heat’ episode but then came the night sweats.
I suffered these for many months, often having to change the bed twice in one night. Sleep deprivation caused more ‘big heat’ during the day and I gritted my teeth, determined to find a natural way to help myself. Evening primrose didn’t work and black cohosh made me really ill. On a trip to the nurse at my doctor’s surgery for a smear test, she asked me how I was and I burst into tears. She was wonderful and an appointment with my doctor was made. I now take the lowest form of HRT there is which has almost eliminated the night sweats and makes the ‘big heat’ moments bearable.
I’m sharing this because I’ve always wanted to be a natural girl but, as in giving birth to my children, sometimes you have to go with what is best for your body. Night sweats changed my life. I could no longer function through lack of sleep and I changed into a growling, grumpy monster. Taking HRT at first made me feel like a failure as I was unable to cope with the perfectly natural changes rampaging through my system but now I treat my little pink pill as something my body is missing that it needs.
It seems to me that stress and diet plays the biggest part in dictating the hormonal balance in my body. We came to Wales to help alleviate the stress and since sticking rigidly to no dairy in my already vegetarian wheat-free diet, I feel really well. There will always be stressful times but recovering from them quickly and with new found energy also helps.
My skin has changed drastically and after applying moisturiser the other morning, I realised how tight it felt across my cheeks. After consultation with my lovely friend Sarah at Spellbound Herbals, I now use two of her herbal, hand made products and I’m loving the results. I highly recommend ‘Bright Eyes’ skin lotion and ‘Magic Fountain of Youth’ face and neck skin cream. Pop along to http://www.spellboundherbals.co.uk for a browse.
Finally, aches and pains. I regularly dance six hours a week and for the past five years I’ve been using Sarah’s ‘Sore Muscle and Ligament Injury Oil’ before bed. It’s wonderful! It smells gorgeous and you can feel the warmth of the herbs spreading into your muscles immediately. In the morning, I wake up pretty much ache free. I’m always recommending it to other dancers but it works just as well after a day in the garden weeding!