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Hot flushes and other symptoms after the menopause

We seem to be getting a lot of queries from women over 60 who are through the menopause but are still getting symptoms, and they are wondering why. So I thought I would try and shed some light on this tricky matter.

More than just hormones

You are normally considered to be through the menopause when you have not had any periods for two years, and during this time your hormones should have balanced out and your body should have learned to cope with this new low level. Many women feel just as good, if not better, after their periods have stopped – no more monthly blues, feeling low, bloating etc., and as long as they continue to take care of themselves, problems should not arise.

However, for some women the path through the menopause can tax them both physically and emotionally, and even after the menopause is well and truly over, they continue to suffer. Most common symptoms tend to be hot flushes/sweats, fatigue, joint pain and low mood. What is causing these symptoms? It is very unlikely to be hormonal flux after all this time.

Going through the menopause, even an easy one, stresses the body’s nervous system, particularly the adrenals, and if you then couple this with the external stresses of day to day life, poor nutrition, lack of exercise, holding down a job, and family life (many women through the menopause have elderly relatives to care for and maybe have to babysit their grandchildren too), it is not surprising that their body is under so much pressure and eventually something gives.

Adrenal fatigue

This compounded stress, over time, leads to what is called adrenal fatigue and symptoms include:

  • hot flushes
  • low mood/depression
  • poor sleep
  • sore joints
  • digestive problems
  • itchy skin
  • headaches
  • nausea – just to name a few!! Sounds very similar to the menopause, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, most doctors will not recognise this condition and very often prescribe anti-depressants or HRT, neither of which will address the underlying cause. So, if this is you, what can you do about it?

How to support your adrenals

Adrenal support is very important at this point, so you need to have a good look at your diet and lifestyle.

Are you drinking lots of tea or coffee or fizzy/sugary juices? Eating foods with high levels of salt and sugar? Processed foods and/or fast foods? Not drinking any plain water? When we are stressed/fatigued we tend to crave these types of food to give us an energy boost, but all that happens is that we quickly ‘crash’ and our body craves more and more to try and keep going.

All of these foods and drinks can also drain the body of the nutrients it needs to counter stress, and therefore make adrenal fatigue worse. So the first step is to gradually improve your diet. Start adding in more fresh foods and wholegrains such as brown bread and brown rice and slowly cut down on the tea and coffee (don’t do this quickly or you will end up with a really sore head!). Start adding in plain water and herb teas too.

Supplements such as a vitamin B complex and extra magnesium can support the adrenals. Your local health shop should be able to advise you on which are the best for you.

Daily relaxation is vital for adrenal support and just sitting down with a cup of tea and a magazine won’t really do it. Research has shown that if you shut yourself away from all distractions and listen to specially recorded relaxation music, this can very quickly have a beneficial effect, but you do need to be consistent! You can get smashing relaxation CDs/downloads from Amazon for next to nothing.

Exercise is really important too and I know that when you are feeling really fatigued, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym or pound the streets. But just start with a 10 minute walk every day: exercise produces feel-good chemicals in the brain which can lift the mood and you may find that over time your 10 minute walk gets longer and longer. Try to fit exercise in every day: even in little doses it helps – I always run up and down the stairs at work as quickly as I can. Or you could get off the bus a few stops early and walk the last leg, or use a mini trampoline or mini step machine while watching the TV.

Acupuncture can work wonders for adrenal fatigue, so is worth looking into as well.

One word of caution though: these symptoms can be caused by other factors such as low iron or vitamin D levels, or low thyroid function, so it is important to see your doctor as well, even if it is just to rule these out.

A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays: Soya for menopause – why it helps & the right type to take

In this week’s A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays it’s all about phytoestrogens (also known as plant oestrogens) such as fermented soya and how they can help ease low oestrogen symptoms, including hot flushes, anxiety, low mood, joint aches and pains and more. I explain what type of soya you need to take to feel the best benefits.

Missed one? Watch them all on my menopause blog.

Get your FREE Menopause Support sample

A.Vogel Menopause Support is the ideal companion for menopausal women, offering a little helping hand to relieve the symptoms of menopause such as low mood, irritability, tiredness, pains and aches, vaginal dryness and low libido.

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"As soon as I received the product and almost instantly I felt relief from my hot flushes I slept through the night which was wonderful. Thank you for this wonderful product."

Real women stories

"I was breezing through my menopause"

I was breezing through my menopause, barely aware that anything was happening bar the fact that my... Read the full story

"During my menopause"

During my menopause, the worst symptom I have struggled with is the itchy skin. I could cope with the flushes... Read the full story

"Suffering from very heavy periods..."

After suffering from very heavy periods (confined to the house for two days each month), my GP gave me... Read the full story

"My periods stopped five years ago"

I stopped having my periods 5 years ago and felt I was able to cope without any replacement... Read the full story

Soy isoflavones for before, during & after the menopause

Menopause Support can provide support to the body through all stages of the Menopause but is especially useful when broad range of symptoms such as hot flushes, irritability, tiredness, pains and aches, vaginal dryness etc kick in.

  • Made from fermented soya beans
  • Support for all stages of the menopause
  • Also contains magnesium and hibiscus

A herbal dietary supplement containing soy isoflavones, magnesium and hibiscus extract for all stages of the menopause.

TIP: Read why so many women recommend Menopause Support for before, during & after the menopause

How I survived the menopause

What is happening to me? I know I asked this, so if you are asking it too, don’t worry, you are not alone! The menopause can be a daunting, confusing and scary time if you let it be, but as they say, knowledge is power.

I use my personal experience of going through the menopause (and surviving it) to offer support and guidance to help you have a happier, healthier menopause.

I survived the menopause and so can you!

Don't go through the Menopause alone!


Menopause expert Eileen Durward explains the benefits of joining the A.Vogel Menopause Health Hub.



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This week's talking point

HRT 'increases ovarian cancer risk' Well ladies, it's in the news again. According to a recent study, HRT has been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women taking it for over 5 years.

Menopause Expert Eileen Durward looks at the medical facts behind the news headlines.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Eileen Durward

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