Hot flushes and hot takes: Manchester-based gynaecologist on how to cope with menopause as the seasons change

An expert gynaecologist has offered her advice on how to deal with menopause as Autumn draws near.

Dr Gail Busby from Spire Manchester Hospital says there are some simple steps people can take which can help ease symptoms.

The menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels – the NHS states this usually affects those are between 45 and 55 years old.

Menopause symptoms feel different for everyone but can have a massive impact on everyday life with changes to mood, disrupted sleep, and hot flushes.

How do I ease my menopause symptoms?

Dr Busby explained menopause affects bone health, so one of the best ways to ease menopause symptoms during months with fewer daylight hours is to take vitamin D supplements.

Without the sunshine of the summer months, Busby said: “It is important to give your body a helping hand.”

For those who have gone through the menopause already, Dr. Busby emphasised that it is even more important to take Vitamin D to help protect your bones.

Photo by Jernej Furman via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

What foods should I be eating?

As well as vitamin D supplements, Dr. Busby recommends fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and calcium-rich foods for easing menopause symptoms.

She said: “If you are worried that your diet isn’t providing you with all of the vitamins and minerals that you need then speak to your GP about taking multivitamins.”

How can my employer support me during menopause?

The menopause can impact all aspects of life, including work. Many people do not feel as though they can speak out about their experiences with menopause, let alone ask their employer for help with managing it.

However, Dr Busby said that your employer should make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your menopause. All you have to do is request it.

Adjustments may include easy access to cold drinking water, flexible working, provision of a fan, or even the ability to wear a cooler uniform.

You can discuss options with HR and/or the workplace occupational health service.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich via Pexels

How can I alleviate my menopause symptoms if HRT isn’t suitable for me?

Although Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is an option for treating those who experience menopause, it is not suitable for everyone.

Dr Busby said alternatives to HRT include low-dose antidepressants, which would help with sleep, as well as herbal remedies such as black cohosh and St John’s Wort.

Although these aren’t licenced for perimenopausal symptoms, they have been shown to be helpful in some cases, she said.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and acupuncture are other helpful alternatives that Dr Busby offered, however, she was quick to note that care should be taken when deciding whether or not to pursue these options.

“It is always best to discuss any herbal remedies and complementary therapies with a GP,” she said.

By sharing her tips on how to ease menopause symptoms through diet, workplace support, and alternative treatments, Dr Busby urges people not to suffer in silence.

Anyone going through the menopause can get help and support – you deserve it and you can ask for it.

Feature Image: Supplied

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