What is the menopause and what are the symptoms?
The menopause is a natural process in which women get their menstruel period for the last time. The menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and is accompanied by hormone fluctuations. First the menstruation decreases and eventually it stops altogether. If you don't have a period at all for a period of one year, the menopause has officially set in. This also means you are no longer fertile. Hormonal fluctuations take place in the body because the progesterone and estrogen production decreases. As a result, women experience all kinds of complaints during the transition period. The intensity of these symptoms is different for each woman.
Common complaints during the menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular menstruation
- Weight gain
- Dry mucous membranes such as eyes, nose, mouth
- Vaginal dryness leading to urinary tract infections
- Hair loss
- Fatigue and listlessness
- Being more irritable
Dietary supplements for the menopause:
Advice for menopausal symptoms
The menopause can be scary to many women. But it doesn't have to be scary. While there is no miracle cure for menopausal symptoms, there are things you can take into account to reduce any symptoms and discomfort you might experience.
1. Take care of your skin
Although the degree varies for everyone, menopause has a major impact on the skin. Due to a decrease of the female hormones, the skin loses elasticity and volume. This results in a less clearly defined face shape, due to a slower cell renewal and reduced collagen production. The biggest culprit is a lack of hydration. That is why it is important to give your skin some extra attention during the menopause. Take care of your skin in the morning and evening by using the right moisturising and anti-ageing products. This will help you to fight wrinkles at the same time. Some recommendations from Optiphar for the mature skin: Eucerin Elasticity+ Filler Day Cream, Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinium en Isdin Fotoprotector Age Repair SPF50+. You can also increase your collagen level with the Belène Collagen Anti-Age Treatment or with Signasol Beautiful Skin ampoules. In case of vaginal dryness, it is also recommended to use a lubricant to avoid pain during sex.
2. Stop smoking and limit your alcohol intake
A healthy lifestyle is crucial during the menopause. While quitting smoking is not easy, we recommend you to try. Smoking not only increases menstrual symptoms, research by Piazza and colleagues also shows that there is a link between smoking and going through the menopause earlier. Alcohol can also make your menopausal symptoms worse. By reducing your alcohol consumption, you usually also get less hot flashes.
3. Wear light clothing
Speaking of hot flashes: this is one of the most common and most annoying symptoms of the menopause. During a hot flash, you usually get very warm, you start to sweat, or your face turns red. If you are experiencing hot flashes, we recommend you to wear clothing in layers. Instead of wearing a thick sweater, it is best to wear several layers of thin clothing on top of each other. When you suddenly get warm, you can choose to take off a layer. For example, choose to wear a cardigan on top of your t-shirt. Putting a cold washcloth on your neck for a while might also help to relieve hot flashes.
4. Consider taking a dietary supplement during the menopause
There is a wide variety of dietary supplements that can help relieve discomfort during the menopause. Specific dietary supplements can be found at Optiphar for each complaint or symptom. We offer dietary supplements based on phytoestrogens, which are natural regulators of the estrogen balance. Phytoestrogens can be found in black cohosh, hops and soy. Dietary supplements can help support the hormonal balance, increase the joy of life, moisturise the dry skin and control your weight.
Some recommendations from Optiphar that can help relieve menopause symptoms*:
- Sérélys: supports the feminine comfort during menopause.
- Nutriphyt Iso-xx: contributes to a normal menopausal transition.
- Ymea Silhouet: provides comfort during the menopause and helps to keep the weight under control.
- Membrasin Omega: helps in case of dry skin, a dry mouth, dry eyes and vaginal dryness.
- Estro-Fyt: helps with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, a feeling of stress and irritable feelings.
- Vogel Famosan Contour Transition: helps to maintain your weight during the menopause.
*In case of persistent complaints, we recommend you to see your doctor or gynecologist. They may prescribe medication for serious, long-term complaints.
5. Live a happy lifestyle
Try to move for at least 20-30 minutes every day. This will help keep you fit and allows you to avoid extra weight due to the menopause. As the metabolism slows down during menopause, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. However, this does not mean that you should immediately start exercising fanatically. There exists several more relaxed type of sports that will also give you enough exercise such as pilates, yoga, walking or cycling. It is important that you find something you enjoy doing and that is sutainable for you. In addition, sports not only have a positive impact on your health, but also on your mental state. Not only does it help to keep your weight under control, but it can also reduce stress. Of course, a healthy lifestyle also includes a healthy diet and plenty of water. A varied diet is necessary during every stage of life, but it is even more important during the menopause. That is why it is important to drink 2 liters of water a day and eat vegetables, fruits, fish, grains, nuts and brown rice on a daily basis. It is also recommended to avoid soft drinks, sugars and spicy food.