This month we speak to Caroline Keatinge, a registered nutritionist and menopause expert. For Menopause Awareness month, Caroline unpacks how transitioning through menopause is a balance of support, adapt, influence and self.
When I look at how to support women through the menopausal transition – from early perimenopause to post menopause I was struck by the breath of the 40+ symptoms. Do you wonder why there are so many? How can it be that the menopause can impact everything from anxiety and moods, brain fog, weight gain and insomnia to joint pain, hot flushes and so much more.
It’s all to do with the multifaceted aspect of how oestrogen affects our body and our metabolism. Oestrogen plays a role in so many aspects of our daily bodily functions. These can be as wide ranging as impacting temperature regulation, our feelings of hunger and fullness, inflammation, our gut microbiome, our digestion of key macronutrients, bone health, serotonin and more.
With luck most of us will have decades of life ahead of us post menopause, and we want to be our best to be able to really love life and live it to the full. To do this we need to take action to enable our bodies not just to survive, but to thrive through these hormonal changes.
An important bedrock in my approach is to support our bodies thought these changes – achieved by taking supplements, targeting specific foods and dietary changes.
To get optimal results we need to go beyond ‘plugging the gap’, but also look at how we can adapt to the many ways our body is changing. For example, we may experience changes in feelings of hunger and fullness, and our response to hormones like insulin and serotonin can alter. Once we understand what to expect, we can use targeted dietary and lifestyle strategies in addition to any supplements to make profound changes in how we experience these effects.
I also talk to my clients about the importance of influence. Looking at aspects of our bodies which become ever more important in an environment where sex hormone levels are lower. That’s things like gut health, bone health, our circadian rhythm and more. For example, gut health plays a huge role in hormone metabolism. It’s also integral to our immune system and to our overall health. For many women our gut health needs some TLC by the time we reach menopause. Aspects like circadian rhythm become ever more critical as we move from our cycle and energies being governed by our menstrual cycle.
Not only can our stress hormones rise and impact our menopausal symptoms, but for many of us, menopause is a time of transition. Not just bodily transition but family, relationship, job, and our caring responsibilities can all be changing. Menopause can provide an opportunity to look at how we can support ourselves at every level, so we can re-find our mojo and truly be the best that we can be. This might all sound overwhelming – but all my research and experience with clients shows how much opportunity we must live our best lives through and after menopause by really responding to and supporting our bodies though this time of change.
For further help and support or to join Caroline’s Menopause Membership, follow her on Instagram @carolinekeatinge or contact her at email@example.com