Menopause- Part 3, The Beauty Issue
This is the third topic in the four-part Menopause series of blogs I am sharing with you. If you haven’t watched or read part one go back and do so now HERE. Part one explains the emotional/social aspects of this life stage and sets the framework for what’s to come. I’m covering beauty today. There are internal menopausal concerns and then there are the external ones. The external complaints are as important as the internal ones and quite possibly even more so.
When you don’t look and feel your best your desire to engage fully in the world changes. Some women become more introverted, self-conscious, and less social.
Each one of us is born with a unique set of gifts to express in this world.
When you hold back your gifts you rob the world of your unique contribution.
No one has or will ever have your unique perspective.
The world is just not the same without you.
If you are in menopause, welcome. You may not feel your best now but things can expand for you. With a little health guidance and understanding you can be back in your own skin feeling ready to claim your esteemed position as the Queen of your Realm.
The best thing you can do is learn everything you can about the new menopausal body you have and how to live gracefully with it.
The most common beauty concern is Weight. The second most common beauty concern is Hair.
Mostly hair-loss but I also hear quite a bit about wiry, frizzy, hair that does not behave well. (The description sounds a lot like an unruly toddler – wild, difficult to maintain, unpredictable). Treatments for hair will also benefit skin and nails.
(If you haven’t seen my blog post on alopecia in menopause I encourage you to check that out HERE. I wrote it for an audience of doctors so don’t worry if you find some of it difficult to read. I’m going to cover everything you need to know today.)
Menopause is a big deal. It is not a disease and it is not life threatening but it is a game changer. It is a physiology change.
When your physiology changes, you can feel like you are living in someone else’s body. It can seem surreal.
New Rules/New Game
Let’s say that for four decades you played volleyball. Suffice to say that you were quite knowledgeable in the game, then on your next birthday someone said, “Oh no, there is no more volleyball we have moved to Tennis.” At that point you have a choice, learn to play tennis or get out of the game.
Since the world needs what only you can share I don’t suggest you get out of the game. This game that we’re talking about is your life and you only get one precious life. It’s totally fine to throw yourself a pity party now that volleyball is something of the past, but tomorrow it’s time to get back in the new game.
You see, in menopause a whole set of new rules apply; new exercise requirements, new food requirements, new hormonal requirements, new sleep requirements, new hair and skin care products.
If anything can kill the sexy, flirty, extroverted you it’s excess weight.
I find that women are dismayed to find that diets or food plans that once helped them to lose a few pounds just don’t seem to work anymore.
It makes perfect sense when you think of the new rules/new game analogy.
The most successful diet incorporates moderate fruit, lots of vegetables and protein. Most menopausal women find success with higher protein diets.
Food quality does matter. Food choices should include lean organic meats, low mercury fish, at least 3 servings of vegetables with each meal and 2-3 servings of fruit per day. Oils should be plant based and predominantly olive or coconut. Nothing substitutes or replaces real, whole food in its most natural forms.
I have seen some incredibly stubborn weight concerns. If you are feeling defeated and confused it may be time to work with an alternative practitioner to help you reach your goals.
The strength and growth of your hair and nails can give you hints about your overall well-being. This is one of the reasons hair/skin/nail supplements work so well. They replenish the nutritional deficiencies that contribute to poor hair and nail quality.
Hair loss experienced at any point in a woman’s life is nothing less than devastating. I’ve found that most doctors perceive it as a vanity complaint and do not give it the attention it deserves. Menopausal hair loss affects 50% of all women.
Hair growth responds to hormone levels.
In menopause, hair spends less time in the growing phase and more in the shedding phase. This is due to lower estrogen levels and increasing testosterone. Thyroid hormones also play a significant role.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that hormones are to blame, then it’s best to work with an alternative practitioner who can test your levels and work with you to correct any underlying issues.
Early intervention is important I encourage all women to act as soon as they think they are losing more hair than is normal.
If you are high strung, or have a consistently stressful life chances are your body is taking a daily bath in stress hormones (cortisol and Adrenaline). High levels of circulating adrenaline will knock the hair off your head. This is why it is common to experience hair loss 2-4 months after a stressful life event or surgical procedure.
High stress combined with poor nutrition is a bad combination.
The combination of these will deteriorate the thickness, texture, shimmer and strength of your hair, and increase the length of time your hair is in the shedding phase.
Items that are helpful are Ester-C, Biotin, Silica, and other trace minerals such as Selenium and Zinc. No supplement in the world will take the place of good quality food and a high plant based diet.
It’s called Beauty Sleep for a Reason. Put very simply, lose your sleep lose your beauty. Aim for a solid seven hours each night.
I had a patient who had a very old and very wise acupuncturist from China. He would say to her after every session. “Lose Sleep-Lose beauty.” – wise advice my friend.
Today you have learned that Menopause is a new game with new rules.
It all starts with an attitude change, self-awareness and a good look at what has changed in your life.
You have also learned that 50% of menopausal women struggle with hair loss, and even more deal with weight gain. Stress should not be underestimated and can really undermine the best of efforts.
It’s time to stop resisting and start reverse engineering.
You my dear hold the keys to your Queendom.
If this has prompted you to think about things differently then please share by leaving a comment below.
As I always say you become who you hang around so let’s hang out some more and we will help change medicine one person at a time.
See you next week for the 4th and final part in this menopausal series where I talk about deeper health concerns for this life-stage.
Take Good Care
(This blog is originally from my Facebook Live Video, you can watch this video HERE)
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