Menopause Mechanics: 3. Hot Flushes: Overheated and Underpowered.
Have you got Rushing Woman Syndrome?
The hot flush - that sudden feeling of warmth that can leave a woman flushed and drenched in sweat - has long been considered the defining symptom of menopause, experienced by around 80% of women.
The typical narrative around hot flushes is that they last for 3-5 years around the last menstrual period, that every woman follows the same pattern, and that they are all about the decline in oestrogen hence replacing oestrogen -whether synthetic, bio-identical or plant based - is key to reducing their frequency.
So let’s bust these myths.
Winter Metabolism - Get It Up and Keep It Up
Rushing Woman Syndrome is a phrase coined by Dr Libby Weaver and it speaks to the phenomenon that is modern woman: a woman in a mad rush to do everything, and be all things to all people. The woman who is wired but tired, who has the perception that there is not enough time in the day, combined with a never-ending to do list.
Women are now working at work and working at home for their families, doing a frantic double shift with very little rest. This is changing the face of women’s health in such a detrimental way, with stress causing everything from IBS to PMS to menopausal issues.
Menopause Mechanics: 2. It’s Not an Oestrogen Problem. It’s a Brain Problem.
Winter is creeping up, is anyone else feeling it? A research paper out a while ago showed that more women go through the menopause in the winter than in the summer, which would make sense from an evolutionary perspective.
The summer is a time of abundant sunlight, warmth and calorie dense food which keeps metabolism high to allow for high activity. The menopause is a time when our bodies are switching from using sugar as energy to using fat, and this would be the natural state of being in the winter, when the amount of sugar from fruits and vegetables is low.
If we consider that the menopause is an energetic issue rather than a hormonal issue then it makes sense that women who experience menopause in winter have the lowest number of symptoms, whereas summertime brings an increase in the number of hot flushes.
Menopause Mechanics: 1. Introduction
Hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, headaches - what do all these symptoms have in common? They all start in the brain - they are neurological.
and 70% of it is made of fat. It consists of grey and white matter, and is mainly made up of neurons. Neurons are like electrical wires which are insulated with an outside covering of fat instead of plastic. Neurons are responsible for receiving sensory input from the outside world, for sending motor commands to our muscles, and for transforming and relaying signals at every step in between. They form the information superhighway.
Electricity travels along the densely packed neurons, interconnecting the whole brain and keeping it fully functioning. Crucially, this only works if they are are fully covered and insulated with fat - otherwise the electrical signal stops, lines of communication are broken and brain function deteriorates.
Hahaha - oops! Is Your Pelvic Floor as Weak as a Kitten? Then Try This.
At least 30 symptoms have been associated with the menopause, ranging from the well known such as hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety and depression, to the less common such as allergies, tinnitus and itchy skin. The default position is that all of these are caused by a decrease in the level of oestrogen and that replacing oestrogen should be the primary therapy in resolving these health issues - whether by HRT or bio-identical HRT, or plant oestrogens such as soya and flaxseed.
Oestrogen replacement always struck me as an odd way to tackle symptoms - after all, oestrogen going down is our natural state of being which has evolved over millions of years. It seems inconceivable - at least to me - that nature has designed a system whereby women outlive their reproductive capacity for decades (and outlive men) while at the same time have to try and survive the fall out of low oestrogen. Our bodies are ridding themselves of this hormone, which means that there must be something else going on and with most symptoms it has little to do with oestrogen as the primary factor causative factor
Vaginal Health: Solutions for Symptoms
The prevailing view of our reproductive organs is that while they get some action, they don’t actually do anything themselves. This idea is debunked in this article:
“The pelvic floor muscles play a pivotal role with respect to vaginal and sexual function, their contractions facilitating and enhancing sexual response. They contribute to arousal, sensation during intercourse and the ability to clench the vagina and firmly “grip” the penis. The strength and durability of their contractions are directly related to orgasmic potential since the pelvic muscles are the “motor” that drives sexual climax and can be thought of as the powerhouse of the vagina. During orgasm, the pelvic floor muscles ‘shudder.’
Why Do Women Get Vaginal Dryness and What Can Be Done About It?
This is a topic that no-one wants to talk about, but it occurs in about 50% of menopausal women. Women shouldn’t feel embarrassed or think it's their fault! In this article I talk about vaginal dryness, vaginal health and give you tips to keep your mink in the pink.