In this week’s A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays I talk about why some women have been contacting me lately to ask if the menopause can cause hayfever. I explain why menopause and hayfever can sometimes go hand in hand, especially if you have never had allergies before. I also recommend simple ways to ease allergy/menopause symptoms such as itchy skin and dry eyes.
Hello and welcome to another edition of A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays. Now, here in the UK, we’re right in the middle of the hayfever season, and a number of women have actually contacted me. They’ve discovered that they have got hayfever and they’ve never had it in their life before, and they are actually wondering if hayfever can be a symptom of the menopause.
Now, hayfever can cause symptoms, such as dry eyes, runny eyes, itchy eyes. It can cause sneezing, blocked nose, runny nose. You can get sinus problems. You can actually end up with itchy skin as well. So, these do sound a little bit like menopause symptoms, and many of them I have actually talked before, but they’re all bunched together.
Can menopause cause hayfever?
Now, can the menopause cause hayfever? The answer is a little bit yes and no. So I’ll try and explain. We know that when we go through the menopause that the hormonal changes can put a huge amount of pressure on our body. It can affect our nervous system, and don’t we know it? It can affect our digestion. I was just talking about that last week. It can affect our sleep. Now, between hot flushes, night sweats, restless legs, and the fact that oestrogen can actually weaken our whole sleep pattern just on its own. We also get a lot of fatigue.
What do these things all add up to?
Well, if we look at stress, a lot of stress, ongoing stress can affect our immune system. Our digestion problems, it will affect our absorption. If we are not nutritionally up-to-date, if you like, then poor nutrition can actually affect our immune system as well. We actually need lots more during the menopause just to keep our bodies actually going.
Sleep & Fatigue
We know that sleep, as I mentioned before, is a big issue, and research has actually shown that sleep can weaken our immune system. Fatigue itself, if we get it ongoing, it can just grind us down. That whole situation can weaken our immune system as well. So having a particularly weak immune system right in the middle of the menopause can actually make you prone to things, such as hayfever. So this is the reason a lot of women are actually getting hayfever in the menopause. It’s not the menopause itself that’s causing the hayfever, but the fact that all these symptoms are actually weakening our immune system.
Colds and Flu
Some women actually find that they become more prone to colds and flu. Some people will get things like allergic rhinitis all year round or they become far more sensitive to things like fumes, like perfume and paint. Even you can become sensitive to clothes as well. I know I find that going through the menopause, I love pure wool jumpers, and I just couldn’t wear them because they made my skin so very, very itchy.
What can you do to help?
So, what can you do to either prevent yourself from getting these allergies or just to help to strengthen your immune system a little bit? Well, most important thing as usual is diet, a really good varied diet that will give you lots of good nutrients that your body will absolutely love.
Remember the water. Dehydration makes us much more susceptible to itchy skin and other allergies and rashes as well. So the water as usual, really, really important.
Rest and relaxation
Get plenty of rest and relaxation. The menopause puts an awful lot of pressure on our whole body generally, and we need that rest in order to recuperate and to re-energize as well. All these things and anything else that you do that’s really positive will have a good effect on your immune system.
Natural remedies to help
There are also natural remedies for hayfever and allergies. We do something called Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets. These are great because there are no contraindications with other medication, they don’t make you drowsy, and you can take them with HRT and contraceptives as well. Now, if your eyes are particularly bothering you, we have a natural eye drop that you can actually use if you’ve got contact lenses as well. If you’re one of these ladies that tend to get a lot of itchy skin or rashes, you can actually look either at the herb nettle or just make sure that you’re having a couple of cups of nettle tea a day in your diet. And vitamin C is great. If you’re looking for a natural antihistamine, then vitamin C taken little and often can be really, really beneficial.
Now, for those of you in the UK, we actually have a pollen app that gives you a five-day forecast for the pollen count in your local area. All you need to do is go onto the hayfever page on the website and you can download that for free.
So I hope this has given you a little bit of an idea of how important it is to look after your immune system in the menopause. I look forward to seeing you next week for another edition of A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays.