It does catch up with you, so beware!

Menopause Advisor
Ask Eileen

26 July 2014

My recent experience

I have had such a busy, hectic but exciting time over the last few months: my trip to South America, a week working at our HQ in Switzerland looking after customers and journalists, and I am just back from our beautiful gardens in Holland after filming a series of short introductions for our website. And guess what? I am shattered, have ended up with a bladder infection (ouch!) and this morning woke up with a lovely cold sore (which I never had before the menopause). So, for someone who is always giving advice to other people about how to look after themselves what on earth has happened to me?

How oestrogen affects symptoms

Well it is really quite simple! As I have mentioned in previous blogs, lower levels of oestrogen can have a huge impact on our body, weakening our nervous system and immune system thus making us more prone to illness and menopause symptoms. Although I love having the drive and focus that the menopause has given me, I do sometimes go overboard and I don’t realise that I have pushed myself beyond reason until my body crashes.

Lower levels of oestrogen affect all the mucus membranes in the body, hence vaginal dryness, mouth and eye dryness – and it also affect the bladder. The bladder walls can become thinner and more prone to infection and irritation from acidic urine (especially if you don’t drink enough water), thus resulting in either cystitis or a very sore, grumpy, jumpy bladder. This is a really common symptom in the menopause and a lot of women who never had bladder infections before can suddenly become vulnerable. Note to myself: must do a blog on this!

Where I went wrong

Your immune system can become less effective at dealing with infection and slower to act when you do catch something, so looking back over the last few months I can now see where I have been going wrong:

Lots of stress travelling – although it is exciting stress, the body cannot distinguish between good and bad stress so will still react negatively.

Flying, being in hot countries and filming all day can dehydrate you quickly, so I was probably not drinking enough water, hence my bladder is now complaining. Dehydration affects the nervous system as well, making it jumpier, so a double whammy!

Drinking too much alcohol: I usually allow myself a nice glass of wine on a Friday as a treat but on holiday we were having drinks every day – as you do!

Being too busy or caught up in work to meditate – I know this is so vital for my health!

Being too busy and forgetting to take my supplements every day. I have taken Menopause Support for a while now and this is known to help keep oestrogen levels balanced so missing these has probably affected low oestrogen related symptoms such as the bladder.

Travelling and being away from home so much means that I have not stuck to my healthy diet as carefully. Although I do really try to be good most of the time, when I am faced with lovely, tasty food that I wouldn’t normally eat it is a bit tempting!

So….what to do now? Well I just need to get back to basics. I am going to do a month’s health plan, sensible eating, drinking plenty of plain water, avoiding alcohol and focusing on rest and relaxation! I’ll let you know how I get on!

(Isn’t it so tough being in the menopause – what we have to do to stay healthy and happy!!)

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Did you know?

You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.

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