A couple of weeks ago, my 61 year old husband was running on the treadmill at the gym when he felt his left hand and foot grow numb. A trip to the GP confirmed his blood pressure was dangerously high, so he has spent the past 2 weeks while he hasn't been able to work or drive adjusting his diet and exercise regime and popping pills.
There is a human tendency to take our health for granted, to not expect anything to change, to think - even though we know that the thought is quite absurd - that "it will never happen to me."
Although there might be a genetic component to high blood pressure, chronic stress has a cumulative effect. Consistently high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body not only increases our risk of heart attack and stroke (and remember, without oestrogen menopausal women have the same risk factors for heart disease as men), but can cause a whole host of other issues, including headaches, depression, insomnia, low sex drive, palpitations and a weakened...
That's a dramatic title for a blog post, isn't it? My apologies. But I needed to catch your attention.
As we get older we often start to notice a few aches and pains that never troubled us before. Feeling stiff in the mornings, slower recovery times after exercise, a slower metabolism, feeling tired... it's enough to make you want to give up and sit on the sofa. Which is what I am doing now, actually, as I type this blog post...
I confess, I have never been physically energetic. Mentally, I could win Olympic Gold, but physically... well, let's just say I am more Pooh than Tigger. I also have significant cartilage loss in both knees which makes squatting, running and walking up and down stairs difficult at times. It would be easy to give up and slide gently into old age whilst sitting on my (not inconsiderable) bum.
But here's the thing. The less I move, the more I ache. The more I ache, the less I move - and the more I eat. The more I eat the heavier I get and the heavier...
In the third of our three week series of blogs on dealing with the difficulties of peri-menopause and menopause, I want to focus on natural remedies - some of which are regarded as "alternative" or "complementary".
Below is a whistle stop round up of some of the things we can try, with case studies and advice from a variety of therapists:
Personally, I found cutting back on sugar and eating a diet abundant with fresh vegetables and fruit really helped to reduce hot flushes and night sweats.
Here's what Shannon Howe, Nutritional Therapist at I Cook, You Serve has to say:
"The changes that our bodies go through in a lifetime are far reaching, it is remarkable how some women breeze through these changes whilst others feel like they are wading through treacle. And whilst you can’t control these changes, you can use...
A year before I turned 50, I went to see an orthopaedic consultant. My left knee had started playing up a year or so before, buckling without warning and generally keeping me awake at night with constant, nagging pain. Both knees were permanently swollen and I was having days where it was difficult to get around.