In our 40’s, hormone levels begin to drop and so do our energy levels and even our sexual drive. This is true for both women and men alike, although we may suffer through it very differently. Men tend to act out more often than not with “mid-life crisis” type behavior as they begin to realize they are getting older and may not be able to do the things they used to or it will be looked at very differently at this age. This is not to say that women may not have these same impulses, as some of us do. I colored my hair platinum blonde and thought I was Marilyn Monroe.
Our decrease in energy shows up at work, home and in all parts of our lives. We begin to get a little depressed and may turn to alcohol, which is a depressant and only makes things worse. Some turn to pharmacological drugs. Others will try just about anything to make themselves feel better without coming to terms that this is simply part of life. Now this doesn’t mean you should give in to depression or lack of will. There is much you can do to increase your energy levels.
This article would not be complete without mentioning the feeling of complete and utter impatience, intolerance and being overwhelmed by things we would not usually be that affected by. It’s like you are having a ten year long and highly emotional period, but instead of menstrual cramps you now have the dreaded hot flashes and/or night sweats. Ugh! Estrogen will help with that, but most gynecologists will not recommend it because of the potential of breast & cervical cancer.
Also, the inevitable weight gain that just seems to happen overnight. It almost feels like we gain weight from just looking at food or thinking about eating something … it’s ridiculous!
Yes, our metabolism slows down to about 50% of what it used to be due to the decrease in hormone levels, so that means; we need to eat 50% of what we used to. This can be very difficult and doesn’t happen overnight. The worst is when the weight sneaks up on you 2 to 3 pounds every few months, then all of a sudden you get overwhelmed and feel like nothing you do will make you lose the weight. Then comes the depression, which can lead to using alcohol or drugs to mask these feelings. Yes, it is a crappy time and few people get away with not suffering the effects of “The Change of Life”.
The following are a few steps you can take to counteract menopausal symptoms & effects:
Exercise – Exercise increases your endorphins that help you feel happier and a happier you is a better you. It will also help to raise your metabolism, lose weight, increase bone density and muscle mass;
Meditate – Meditation can help you accept where you are in life, encourage you to accept what you can’t change and help you access the drive you need to change those things that you can in order to improve your life. Meditation will also help manage food and alcohol cravings and help you make better choices;
Eat healthy – eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that provide you with nutrients that will increase your energy levels. Stay away from foods that take too much energy to digest, act as depressants or will increase weight gain;
Dark Chocolate – this is my favorite! Eat a small piece (square) of dark chocolate every day. Dark chocolate increases your serotonin levels, which will make you happier;
Supplements – There are many supplements that can help with you combat the effects of your hormonal changes, depression, anxiety, energy, weight-gain, hot flashes, night sweats, emotional ups & downs, etc…
Bio-identical hormones – These are natural hormones that can assist in combating symptoms during the 8 to 10 year peri-menopausal transitionary period. They also help delay the effects of aging.
All in all, it’s a difficult time in our lives but the way you approach it can make a world of difference in how it affects you. And some people don’t have any symptoms at all. Blessed be those as I was not one of them!
Alina Nunez, Certified Natural Health & Nutritional Consultant, Healer, Minister, & Massage Therapist
Heal with Angels – 305-807-8998 – firstname.lastname@example.org; www.healwithangels.com