Common health problems made worse by menopause

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Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


22 January 2018

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on "A.Vogel Talks Menopause," I'm going to be talking about how existing health issues can get worse when you start the approach to the menopause.

We get asked this on a regular basis, someone will e-mail in and say, "I've had joint aches and pains for a number of years and all of a sudden they seem twice as bad now that I'm going through the menopause. Is it the menopause's fault?" And the answer is yes, that it can be.

What health issues are affected?

And we do find that the majority of ongoing health issues that you may have such as eczema, such as asthma, thyroid problem, this is a very common one, arthritis and also mood problems such as low mood, anxiety, and depression, these can all seem worse as you go through the menopause. And you know, what's the reason?

What causes these health problems to get worse?

Why does this happen? Well, it's really, really simple. The hormonal changes that go on when you start to go through the menopause put a great deal of pressure on the body.

Your nutritional needs also go up, they just literally rocket and if you have ongoing health issues that you've managed to stabilise with your lifestyle and with your diet maybe, just how you look after yourself.

With all this added pressure that's going on inside the body with the hormonal changes, your body literally can't cope with keeping everything stable. And so this is one of the reasons why all these issues start to get worse. 

Health problems caused by falling hormones

We also know that a lot of health issues are caused by the falling hormones themselves and certainly thyroid problems can start in the menopause.

Joint aches and pains, anxiety, and sort of skin issues can all suddenly appear during the menopause. But if you have them already, then you can end up almost getting a double whammy because you've got the fat that your body isn't able to cope quite so well plus the falling oestrogen is actually irritating and contributing to the actual problem itself.

So it can be quite disheartening you know, especially if you've done a lot of work on your health to suddenly find that things just don't seem to be kept under check for as long as possible.

Health problems coming back

The other thing that we find really interesting too is that if you had any health issues years ago but you managed to sort, they can suddenly appear again.

And most of them tend to be ones like, we get a lot of people that had acne as a teenager, that had eczema as a child or a teenager, if you used to have hayfever or other allergies but in sort of midlife they disappeared, what can happen is that these can suddenly appear all over again.

Old injuries or aches coming back

And the other situation again which I find really interesting is that if you had any accident, say you were involved in a car crash and you maybe had some broken bones or you had some real deep tissue trauma and bruises or really bad aches, then these can suddenly come to the fore again.

And it is quite interesting you know, women would say, "Oh you know when I was a teenager, I used to get terrible acne and now it's appearing again and I feel like I'm going back to being a teenager." 

And it's the same thing as your existing condition's getting worse, you may well have been able to cure or sort the health condition that you had a long time ago.

But in these situations, there's nearly always a little bit of weakness in whatever area that happened in and again, when you're starting to go through the menopause and your body is experiencing all this extra physical and emotional stress, then these issues can flare up again. 

What you can do to lessen the impact of menopause

Now, what can you do about this? Really it's a case of dealing with the individual symptoms again and I know but you know you're probably thinking, "Oh, here we go." There isn't a sort of quick fix for this particular sort of scenario if you like.

Eat Well

So it's just a question of remembering to look after yourself well, your nutritional needs have gone up, so make sure you have a really good diet, you're eating a good range of foods to give you all the nutrition that you need.

Boost your mineral intake

You might find that taking some kind of vitamin and mineral supplement or tonic is going to give you that little bit of a boost.

Rest and relax

Remember the rest and relaxation too because of all this added pressure that's going on in your body. For whatever symptom has either got worse or has started to reappear again after quite a while, then you can look these up individually and just treat them as a single symptom. 

So I hope this has given you a little bit of an insight. It is certainly a fascinating subject and it's one that we're just starting to look into just now. So I will see you next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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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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