What have you been told about Menopause?
When talking to my clients I’m flabbergasted by the amount of misconceptions, inaccurate information, and just absolute BS.
Yes!! There is so much going on in your world.
Yes!! Your body is going through a lot of changes.
Yes!! Sometimes it sucks (just like puberty or pregnancy).
Yes!! You can not only survive menopause but you can THRIVE IN IT!
Here are 5 of the most common menopause myths and misconceptions and what you need to know:
Myth #1: The first sign of menopause is hot flashes
Personally I can count on one hand how many hot flashes I’ve experienced in the last 2 years of being in perimenopause. TV and the entertainment industry love to throw hot flashes around when it comes to “older characters,” joking about that change. But in reality there are a host of symptoms you may feel long before you have your first hot flash.
There are over 40 symptoms related to midlife and menopause. You may have one or many, and each symptom can range in severity and frequency. It’s also important to understand that there’s no set pattern for symptoms you may experience. This is why I highly encourage my clients to track their cycle and symptoms.
Plus, with such a wide variety of symptoms most women may not immediately connect them to menopause or a hormone imbalance. This is especially true when symptoms overlap with adrenal or thyroid imbalances (an issue I personally experienced).
This is why I often suggest starting with a check up and blood work!
Myth #2: Menopause symptoms are only physical
That’s a big ‘ol negative ghost rider! Menopause symptoms can be physical or mental.
Your fluctuating hormones may cause issues with mood, memory and concentration. Actually menopause can be a time of great stress, also influencing your emotions.
I often refer to peri/menopause as reverse puberty with similar emotional ups and downs. The good news is at least this time around we’re old enough for a cocktail!!
Because your fluctuating hormones affect you physically and emotionally, I suggest tracking to see when you notice the symptoms and their severity. This information can help make life a little easier on you and those around you!
Myth #3: You’re destined to gain weight in Menopause
While unwanted weight gain is common in perimenopause and beyond, it’s not inevitable.
As you enter perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels drop naturally and may create a hormonal imbalance. Your body reacts by trying to protect itself by actually storing fat — especially in the midsection.
Since fat tissue also acts as a source of estrogen, your body holds on to it even more as your levels continue to fluctuate.
With these changes taking place in your body, you’ll find a healthy weight by shifting your diet and establishing exercise habits. One of the most important things you can do is — eat!
As a personal trainer and sport nutritionist I see it all the time ~>>> good nutrition can help balance hormones and decrease the amount of weight you will gain during this transition.
To learn more about midlife weight gain check out these articles:
Myth #4: I can’t be as active because menopause makes my bones weak
I’m going to shout this one for those in the back . . . NO!! Menopause does not cause excessive bone loss.
Now that being said, yes on average, a woman loses 10% of her bone mass during the menopause transition — an entirely normal part of the bone breakdown and build up process.
You will reach your peak bone mass around age 30. After that it’s completely natural to experience a bit of breaking down, but most likely you have enough bone mass to handle this loss.
However, there are always factors that affect your overall loss, adding in a bit of a higher risk - poor diet, family history, and lifestyle can lead to 20% more excessive bone loss.
But there are so many ways to prevent excessive bone loss in midlife and through perimenopause and beyond. Focusing on proper nutrition (including good gut health), hormone health, reducing stress and increasing quality sleep, plus proper movement (including strength training) are all ways to help maintain strong bones.
Myth #5 The only real treatment option for menopause is to take hormones
Girl - you’re body . . . you’re choice when it comes to managing your menopause!!
There are so many options out there now. The best place to start is talking to your doctor. Ask about options and possible risks. Talk to your female family members or best girl friends. While your journey is 100% your own and as unique as you, they may have some suggestions you may want to research on your own.
I always encourage my clients to start with a holistic and natural approach when it comes to managing symptoms.
By listening to your body, making small lifestyle adjustments you may be able to sail through without any other type of treatments.
Understand that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is popular but also comes with possible risks. But that doesn’t mean it may not be right for you. Again, (1) do your research and (2) listen to your body!! She’ll tell you what she needs if you pay close attention!!
Personally, HRT seemed like a great fit for me and my lifestyle. I’ve been on it for almost a year now and feel amazing!! But it’s a personal choice and not right for everyone - click here to learn Why I Chose HRT.
I know there is a lot of information out there and it's hard to know what is accurate and what you should apply to your personal journey. I get it and that is why I have dedicated my coaching to working solely with woman in midlife and menopause.
So please, if you have any questions - book a call and let me help clear up some of these misconceptions and get you on tack to feeling your best!