6 ways to ease the menopause

Feeling fed up and frazzled?These buys will give you somemuch-needed relief

1 Boost thinning hair

 Losing your crowning glory? ‘Low iron can be a trigger, particularly if you’ve had heavy periods over the last few months,’ says nutritional therapist Alison Cullen. ‘Stress is also a factor.’ Products with caffeine can help stimulate an essential protein called keratin.

2 Increase energy levels

Putting on weight? Coupled with poor sleep, a drop in oestrogen means excess pounds can settle round the waist – which can lead to a lack of get-up-and-go. ‘Kelp is rich in minerals, especially iodine, which is important for normal production of thyroid hormones,’ says Alison. ‘This helps your body burn up food, giving you energy.’

3 Calm itchy skin

‘During menopause, the skin’s ability to hold moisture is reduced, making it easily irritated,’ says Alison. ‘We’re also less able to control the production of histamine, and the itchiness is exacerbated by stress.’ A fermented isoflavone supplement can help restore balance

4 Beat dryness

Around menopause, many women start to experience vaginal dryness. ‘The vaginal walls become thinner, dryer and less elastic, which can make sex more painful,’ says Dr Louise Newson from Spire Parkway Hospital. You may also have itching or soreness. A cream with nourishing lipids (fats) can provide relief.

5 Ease anxiety and flushes

 A reduction in oestrogen can also cause anxiety, as oestrogen acts as a mild antidepressant. Dehydration exacerbates things, so, if you’re having flushes, this could be a factor. ‘Black Cohosh is effective for mood swings,’ says Dr Dick Middleton from the British Herbal Medicine Association. ‘It can also help hot flushes and night sweats

6 Relieve joint pain

Menopausal joint pain can start several years before other symptoms. Avoid too much sugar or salt, caffeine and processed foods, which can irritate joints. ‘Devil’s claw has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties,’ says Dr Middleton

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