FAQs About Menopause

Every question is a good one. Here, we will cover questions that we are often asked about menopause, but also questions about our program and what we do at Be the Change. 

The definition of menopause is the single moment in time, exactly one year after our last period. The average age for reaching menopause is 51, some women experiencing menopause in our mid-40s and others as late as our mid-50’s – anywhere in this decade is considered a normal age for menopause. Menopause can also come unexpectedly early, however, and can be brought on by surgery (the removal of ovaries), medication and/or chemotherapy.

Perimenopause is the period of years leading up to menopause, when our hormones (first progesterone and then estrogen) fluctuate and decrease in before the end of our menstrual cycle. Perimenopause can last from 1-10 years and may be symptom-free, or we can experience challenges, such as menstrual irregularities, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, vaginal discomfort, painful sex, and more. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to help us feel healthy and vibrant!

After we have hit menopause, we can say we are either “menopausal” or “postmenopausal” for the rest of our days. Think of this as a beautiful beginning to a wild new chapter!

Yes, they are all common symptoms. Eighty-five percent of us get vasomotor symptoms, or hot flashes, during perimenopause. For many of us, the hot flashes stop around menopause, but for others they continue for years. At least thirty percent of us experience mood changes, including anxiety and depression, during perimenopause. One of the main reasons for this is that we often are not getting as much sleep as before, and we all know what being sleep deprived can do to our sense of well-being. And finally, those of us who are prone to migraines tend to get more of them during perimenopause. Migraines are associated with hormone fluctuations, particularly when estrogen drops, which is why they often happen right before our periods, and why they increase in perimenopause. For most women, reaching menopause brings relief from migraines.

Yes. Both early and late menopause are associated with greater risk of diabetes. And, for all of us who get hot flashes, they are actually a marker for greater risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and we should absolutely consider them to be a warning sign to focus on self-care. Obesity, cancer and cognitive function are all also associated with hormone imbalance. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can lower these risks and may even reverse chronic health conditions.

There is more and more evidence that food and herbs can help balance hormone function to improve our quality of life and our long-term health. We love Beans, Flaxseed, Fish and Omega 3’s, Maca Powder, and Chasteberry – to name a few. Our 3-month program goes into depth on natural recommendations we can easily integrate into our everyday life to reduce our symptoms by up to 85%.

Absolutely. During perimenopause, menopause and beyond, we want to minimize alcohol, caffeine and sugar, as they can trigger hot flashes and night sweats, contribute to weight gain and can be detrimental to our health going forward.

The meaning of “HRT” is Hormone Replacement Therapy. A doctor can prescribe estrogen or other hormone replacement if your symptoms are severe or long-standing, or if you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis or cardiovascular concerns. If your menopausal challenges are mild to moderate, it is absolutely worth your while to start with a nutrition-based, holistic approach to midlife health. Also, women who are prescribed HRT should absolutely support themselves with dietary and lifestyle changes to promote greater health and longevity. The answer to menopause cannot be found in a single pill. While we are enjoying our new found freedoms, we must also think in terms of our preventative health.

We offer educational programs related to menopause. Our signature course is a 12-week program, where you get two emails per week that give you evidence-based information about what is going on in your body, nutrition-related solutions, recipes, projects to take on for your health, and community. We also have a 4-week mini version, as well as individual topic-specific “Projects” if you don’t have the time at the moment!  

If you ONLY want information about hot flashes, for example, you can download just this straightforward option. Think of it as buying a mini-book on a topic that you need to know more about. 

It’s ok! They will await you in your inbox until you have time to get to them. Some participants are up-to-date on the content and others wait until later to read and participate in other ways!

We offer the 12-week program 4 times a year. When one cohort ends, another begins! The mini programs can be downloaded at any time.

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