It is vital that we stay healthy after the menopause.
If like me you have gone through ‘the change’ (I hate that word!) then you are looking at more than one-third your life still ahead of you which is great.
So the hot flashes and mood swings (and endless other menopause symptoms) may have stopped after menopause but you still need to make sure you look after yourself post menopause
Below are some tips on how to make the most of your new life.
Of course these are only guide lines and if you are worried about any medical condition please do contact your Dr or Local Pharmacy immediately.
Good night sleep
Often after menopause your sleep can be disrupted. So you must make sure you look at how to improve your sleep
- Make sure you avoid having a heavy meal just before bedtime
- Adjust the level of light in the bedroom – Make sure you sleep in a darkened room. If you need to wake up at night for a toilet break then consider using a night-light that will light up when you get out of bed.
- Avoid having certain drinks before bedtime which include alcohol and caffeine.
Diet and bone health
There are 2 essential nutrients that you need to take to make sure you maintain good bone strength, density and also to prevent osteoporosis. These are Calcium and Vitamin D
You should aim to have around 700 mg calcium per day. Calcium can be found in the following products
- Dairy – This includes, milk, yoghurt or cheese (please try to go for the low-fat or fat-free options if you can)
- Food groups with fortified calcium which will include bread, breakfast cereals and also diary alternatives which will include soya products
- Green leafy vegetables including watercress and kale.
- Sesame seeds
- Dried figs
- Fish that is eaten with bones ie sardines
Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium from foods.
What is Vitamin D? This is a vitamin that is produced in our skin when we are exposed to sunlight. Of course we know how bad the British weather is and the last few months we had a really bad winter. So this means that we get less Vitamin D during the winter months. Sadly we will not get enough sunlight during this time so we need to reply on other vitamin D foods which can include the following
- Oily Fish
- Red Meat
- Also foods that are fortified with Vitamin D (check the labels by the manufacture on the foods) these can include fat spreads, certain breakfast cereals and dairy products.
Take care of your weight
I attend Slimming World and was doing really well as I had lost 3.5 stone but sadly during (and after) the menopause my weight had increased and I had gained over a stone. Thankfully I am now back on track with my weight loss. My aim is to lose another 3 stone (making 5.5 stone loss) by the end of September. So watch this space!
It is important to maintain a healthy weight generally but more vital after the menopause. Being overweight can certainly increase your risk of heart disease and even type 2 diabetes.
We post menopausal women have an increased chance of cardiovascular disease. So make sure you have a healthy and varied diet.
Do you think you are overweight.? Then check your BMI (Body Mass Index).
The NHS have an online calculator to establish your BMI which will give you a good indication of your BMI.
I recently did a blog post on how to stop smoking and the link is here
Smears and monograms
Even after reaching the menopause you should continue to have a smear test every two years until the age of 70 (even if you are not currently sexuality active). So make sure you visit your doctor to get this done.
I have attached an NHS link on the importance of women over 50 having a regular smear test.
I recently had my first mammogram and below is my report
I hope this article helps you to stay healthy after the menopause.
Remember that by caring for your health will keep you happy and healthy throughout the rest of your post menopause life.