Our hormones do strange and wonderful things as we move through menopause. Estrogen, serotonin and progesterone, once mysterious, become all too familiar to us. By the time we reach our 60s, we expect our bodies to “return to normal.”
In truth, menopause, while it is usually thought of as a discrete period in our 50s, has long-lasting effects on our bodies. Many of the hormonal changes that take place, stay with us for the rest of our lives.
In my recent conversation with Julie Dargan, a naturopath and nurse, we discuss some natural ways to get your hormones back in balance after menopause. I hope that Julie’s tips help you to understand what is going on in your body.
More importantly, I hope that her comments inspire you to give your aging body the nutrition and exercise that it deserves.
Contrary to popular belief, Julie says that the physical symptoms that occur during and after menopause are not inevitable. Or, at the very least, we can influence them through simple lifestyle changes.
For example, let’s consider constipation, which many older women experience. Julie explains that there is a simple reason that this may be a problem for many women. As our bodies get older, they produce less bile. This contributes to soft stools.
This means that it is even more important for older women to make sure that they are getting the right amount of fiber in their diets. There are many ways to do this, but, Julie suggests we look into flax seeds, also known as linseeds, which can help to keep our bodies “regular.” Be careful though. They need to be prepared in the right way.
Going into this video interview, I had the perception that most women stopped experiencing night sweats when menopause “ended.” Julie assures us that these symptoms can continue well into our 70s. In the interview, she makes some specific suggestions, including keeping a food journal, reducing our alcohol intake and dressing in layers.
The bottom line here is that understanding how our hormones impact our bodies can help us to take control of our lives.
It seems like, every day, the advice from the medical community about “healthy aging” changes. For example, our bodies need cholesterol, so, you may want to see if your doctor can recommend a natural approach to your cholesterol management plan. Eggs, for example, are a wonderful source of healthy cholesterol. Just don’t forget to eat both the white and the yoke to get the right balance of nutrients.
An important vitamin that may help to keep our hormones in balance after 60 is B6. This is found in walnuts, lean red meat, poultry, spinach and beans. Personally, I’m a fan of supplements, but, Julie reminds us that, where possible, it’s best to get your nutrients naturally. Another nutrient to consider is zinc, which is found in dark chocolate.
At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different, but, don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your doctor about dealing with your hormones after 60. There are plenty of natural ways to bring your body back into balance.
Our healthy lifestyle decisions don’t need to end with food. Walking, gentle yoga and meditation are great stress reducers. Even getting out into the sun and listening to the birds singing can help your body in amazing ways. Don’t forget that our stress hormones play a major role in making us unhappy after 60. They also prevent us from losing weight, which, in turn, stops us from exploring the world.
Finally, Julie reminds us to take the time to pamper ourselves. Take a hot lavender bath. Relax with some candles and appreciate some “me time.” Be kind to your body and it will pay you back with many years of healthy life on this amazing planet we call home.
What natural solutions have calmed your postmenopausal hormones? Have you found any specific foods that helped? What advice would you give to the other women in the community who are struggling with their postmenopausal hormones? Please join the conversation.