Health » Your Complete Guide to a Healthy Menopause@ Alva Carpenter

Your Complete Guide to a Healthy Menopause@ Alva Carpenter

Alva2 gifWhat Happens

The menopause happens because a woman runs out of eggs. Without eggs, the hormones oestrogen and progesterone decline and no longer stimulate the lining of the womb to prepare for a baby. Eventually, over the course of a few years menstruation ceases. The average age for the onset of menopause is forty-eight but its symptoms have been recorded in women in UAE as early as thirty-five.


Menopause is your body telling you it no longer wants to spend time and energy preparing for pregnancy and producing babies. The body still able to produce a form of oestrogen (called oestrone) from its adrenal glands in order to compensate for the decline from the ovaries and it also produces oestrogen from fat cells.


It is important for women to know the symptoms of menopause otherwise they can be caught off guard and wonder what is happening.


Some of the most common symptoms during menopause include those listed below:

  • Hot Flushes
  • Night Sweats
  • Mood Swings
  • Free-Floating Anxiety


Many women have no symptoms at all other than the wonderful freedom from the monthly period. 


It is really important to view this change as positive and natural. It is a new phase in your life to be enjoyed to the full and it is wonderful to be free from menstruation. This leads to a phase of more physical freedom and a time to be enjoyed when women are free from monthly menstruation and are still young but have more control over their bodies and can enjoy a very active life. 

Understanding is the key to a healthy, happy menopause.


Women’s lives are always changing and each chapter is full of joy.  

The menopause signals a new chapter in a woman’s life. Just as the onset of menstruation is the sign of a young girl becoming a woman, so the menopause charts the end of a woman’s child bearing years, and the end of menstruation. It is a time to pause and reflect on life and then go on and enjoy the rest of your life. 


Having a positive attitude to change is one of the keys to moving on to a bright future of self-growth and discovery. Although both wonderful and joyous, the years of child bearing we are leaving behind were real hard work and a time when a woman had to put the children’s needs before her own. There is no point in wondering if you should have had children or had more children – you are moving on to a period when you can have time for yourself again and put your aspirations first. If you choose to take care of yourself, it can be an exciting time. Women in their late forties and fifties can often look a lot calmer and more confident and youthful than the busy younger mother does.


Many women worry that the menopause indicates a period when they will be less attractive, but these days the outlook for women has never been brighter. Age brings confidence and wisdom which makes a woman very appealing. You know what suits you and you have passed the phase in your life where you needed to attract a healthy mate to father and provide for your children. There is a lot of negative press about menopause which can be frightening to women. You will not suddenly grow old just because you are no longer able to reproduce. It is important to realise that the menopause is a natural period of change and it will pass.  Woman who take care of themselves can look slim fit and very attractive.


Menopause is not a disease


The menopause has become the subject of increasing medication over the last few years, but it is not a disease. Many doctors still approach menopause as an illness and a large number of women are prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to deal with their symptoms. There are natural herbs and products which can be very helpful and tailored to individual women’s needs. 


Preparation is the Key


There is a significant nutritional factor when it comes to menopausal health. All women should prepare themselves for this new phase in life by eating appropriately. The chances are that pregnancy and breast feeding may have depleted your body. Over years spent feeding a hungry family and living a hectic life, you probably have not always had the time to provide your body with everything that it needs Now is a time to make your own health and wellbeing a priority. 


Good Nutrition is Essential During Menopause


Menopause symptoms today appear more noticeable than in the past due to poor diet, higher stress levels and lack of exercise and this can lead doctors to treating it as an illness rather than a natural change.


In research, it has been found that Western women suffer far more than their Asian counterparts and these studies have been linked to diet. Women eating a diet high in soya foods and low in dairy produce and saturated fats appear to have a lower incidence of hot flushes.


Foods containing natural oestrogens can help relieve symptoms, and nature has provided us with plenty of foods to help top up our oestrogen levels naturally.


A balanced diet is best with a regular routine of 3 balanced meals:

  • Include plant oestrogens in your diet, particularly soya products such as soya milk, tofu, linseed, chickpeas, lentils, and mung beans
  • Reduce your intake of salt and junk food 
  • A deficiency in vitamin B6 has long been linked with depression, so if the menopause leaves you feeling down, make sure that you have plenty of whole grains in bread and cereal as well as in shellfish such as prawns, lobsters and mussels 
  • Aim for three portions of vegetables, three portions of fruit 
  • Cut down on red meat and eat more fish 
  • Use cold pressed oils such as sunflower, olive, sesame, and rapeseed instead of animal fats 
  • Increase your intake of calcium and magnesium-rich foods, such as milk, yoghurt, green leafy vegetables, unsalted nuts, whole grains, and bony fish such as sardines or whitebait 
  • Drink at least six to ten glasses of water every day 


Menopause Supplement Plan

  • Vitamin E 
  • Permea Plus supplement provides a fully balanced source of multivitamins and minerals; you do not need to take any other vitamin supplement.
  • Pause & Go! is a complete natural remedy developed to provide everything you need to relieve symptoms for a supported menopause. 
  • Evening Primrose Oil: your body needs this essential fatty acid to make prostaglandins, which regulate cell growth and hormonal balance. 


Why is Exercise During Menopause so Important?


Exercise is vitally important during menopause as it relieves stress and gives you inner calm, thus helping to reduce menopausal symptoms such as low mood and free floating anxiety if this is present.


Exercise is vitally important for a healthy body mind: if you have never exercised before now is the time to start. 


So Many Benefits


Exercise can also make you feel great through the release of hormones called endorphins. These are hormones which can definitely make you feel good. Some people take up exercise for the first time during menopause and it changes their lives making them fitter and happier. Others notice that exercising lifts their spirits in general. So, if menopause is lowering your mood, you should definitely do something about it and start exercising regularly. It is now the time in your life to give back to your body that has helped you on your long journey so far.


Exercise is also good for your brain function by improving circulation of blood to the brain.


Even moderate aerobic activity five times a week can lower blood pressure by 4-9 mm Hg. Being active will also help you to keep to a healthy weight, which is also good news for your blood pressure.


It has been found in some studies that oestrogen can increase following exercise. This will help reduce many menopausal symptoms, as it is the reduction in oestrogen which is responsible for many of these symptoms.


Exercise is the best anti-ageing pill.


We are all living longer and we want to enjoy those extra years with full mobility. The single most important thing we can do as we age is to take exercise. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it you will lose it.


Getting into the good habit of taking daily exercise is so important as it improves your body and keeps you fit and flexible for the future. 

Strength training is also very helpful at menopause time. This is because it stimulates bones to retain the minerals that keep them strong, and helps to slow down, or avoid the start of, osteoporosis. So see if you can get on the step machine and lift a few weights or join the local gym for a workout to strengthen and tone.


Swimming is good for the circulation, heart and internal organs: try to fit in a weekly swim. It is great for your breathing and helps you sleep well. 


The advice given in this article is not intended to be a substitute for taking proper medical advice.

“HEALTHLINES is a monthly column devoted to healthy living, diet and exercise. Reader’s questions (send them to are appreciated and a selection will be replied to in the column by Alva Carpenter, a nutrition and fitness expert with long experience of health problems associated with Gulf countries. Alva trained in optimal nutrition in London. She counselled ladies in Dubai on how to successfully manage their weight. She now has a counselling service on slimming, diet, and exercise, based in Somerset, England. Readers can visit for more information on healthy living.”


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