The Woman Who Refused to Take No for an Answer

The Woman who refused to take no for an answer

Written by Jo Duff (transcript of interview with Julie Randall)

Author Julie Randall faced aggressive terminal cancer in the face, and although she may have been frightened, she chose to stare down the big C and say “Not yet”.  

Just four days after her fiftieth birthday celebrations, Julie Randall suffered a very sudden and severe seizure at work. Out of the blue, she went from a fit, healthy, fun-loving wife and mother, to not knowing what had happened. Or why.  Julie was rushed to hospital where it was discovered she had a malignant brain tumour. Diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Advanced Melanoma, she was told to get her affairs in order because she didn’t have long to live. 

Her world fell apart, but not for long. There wasn’t time, and she made a promise to her daughters that she would live. Julie then embarked on a crusade to find a treatment that would work and became Patient 71. 

Julie Randall is an open book when it comes to her story, sharing it with the public to give hope, inspiration, and some much-needed laughs to women who are fighting the same battle.  

When you were going through treatment and had down days, what were the things you did to pull yourself out of the darkness? Or did you just push through each day? 

Some days were push and some days were pull.  On the down days, I would sit for a while, give myself a stern talking to and move forward. I kept fit and healthy and stuck to a strict diet.  I worked hard to train my mind to focus on living. I made a mood board about my future and stared at it every day believing I would be in that future for a long time to come. I certainly wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows every day, but having these tools helped me overcome the dark days quicker. 

Do you feel that cancer robbed you temporarily of feeling like a woman? Do you have any self-care tips to women who may be going through treatment? 

Yes, I did. If it isn’t bad enough that you are given a death sentence, you then lose your looks and your femininity as well. It’s cruel beyond measure, but as they say ‘It is what it is!’ So, you just have to get through it the best way you can.  

Exercise is incredibly important. You need those endorphins running through your veins! Yoga and meditation were also vital to my wellbeing. You may think sitting still with a clear mind is impossible when you are going through something as traumatic as a cancer diagnosis, but, just sit, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 minutes imagining your cells in perfect harmony. Don’t fight against your own body. Keep reminding yourself that your hair will grow back in time. Mine is now longer than my husband’s, which was one of my goals! 

You are proof to every Australian woman over 40 that whatever is thrown at you, no matter how bad, it can get better and it can turn around.  What are the common themes and stories you hear from other Australian women?  

I’ve heard from all kinds of women who are in the dealing not just cancer, but divorce, financial hardship and family pressures such as caring for a relative or child. I believe that great women always turn pain into power. There is always a lesson to be learned through suffering, and I’ve witnessed so many women help each other walk that journey and come out the other side. 

Do you ever feel conflicted when you think about becoming such a positive inspiration to people and making a difference by sharing your personal story, considering you had to go through hell and back and share such a tough time in your life?   

Great question. Yes, I absolutely do. I had to think long and hard about sharing my story publicly. It wasn’t just my emotions that needed to be considered. I had to think about those of my husband and children who had been on the ride to hell and back with me. But, there was a nagging voice in my head that said it was my responsibility, almost my civic duty, to share my story and offer hope and inspiration to those who needed it. When I sat the family down and explained that to them, they were very supportive and really proud of me for taking that path. 

They are three amazing humans. 

How will you keep making a difference in 2018? 

My motto is LAUGH, LIVE & GIVE so I will be doing plenty of that this year. I will also be investing time in mentoring those who need support to stay on track with their goals, whatever they may be. I also hope to connect with Maga readers and women facing a similar battle too! 

Julie Randall and daughters

Watch Julie’s 60 Minutes Interview HERE

Patient 71 is available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.com.au 

Interview conducted and written by Jo-Ann Duff 


This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine. You can read more articles like this by subscribing HERE

Mindset of Ageing

Mindset of Ageing

By Lynda Dyer

Why does a simple attitude adjustment suspend Ageing?

Why do some people become well centenarians while others die young?

Does Age affect our wellness or wellness affect our age?

All great questions and ones I wanted to explore to truly understand the ageing process.

Let me share with you some of my findings that I wrote about in my International Best Selling Book ‘Age is an Attitude’ in 2017.

“Cultural Beliefs effect our immune system and thus our health and ageing process”, says Dr Mario Martinez who is a clinical neuropsychologist and developed the Bio cognitive Science Institute in 1998. He wrote the ‘Mind Body Code’ by studying over 400 centenarians. From his research he believes that longevity is learned and not inherited. This study puts a whole new slant on the ‘Nature/Nurture’ controversy and I think it has great credibility.

His bio cognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. I find this fascinating as I believe our thoughts are so powerful. I have been teaching this for many years.

You have to ask yourself why can some people live well past 100 without seeing a doctor? Why can some people live well past 100 when both their parents died young? Why can some people reverse incurable diseases, like I did, while others hold onto childhood diseases despite years of treatment and therapy?

Dr Mario Martinez, on the 180 Nutrition Show with Guy Lawrence and Stu Cook talks about “The Secret of Living Beyond 100 years old”. He gave some great examples for us to get this concept of the cultural thinking influencing our health and thus our ageing process. This is the example.

“Let’s say your culture has a propensity in the immune system issue like Lupus or Cancer. Research has shown that that culture generally teaches you to be subservient with authority”. How many of you have felt subservient with authority growing up? I know I did. I had a big issue with ‘people in charge’. I think many of us have felt this at some time.

Dr Mario Martinez then says “Some of the characteristics for Cancer and Immune Disorders are:

  • Unassertiveness
  • Inability to set limits
  • Fear of the world and not being liked enough
  • Inability to reduce fear which causes a low immunity and a low ability to produce the natural killer (NK) cells that can kill the pre cancer cells.

He goes on to say that “The family quite often fosters the illness teaching us helplessness and subservience”. So we teach ourselves to get sick and remain sick. We should never blame ourselves because we don’t do this consciously. If you can learn to get sick you can learn to trigger the causes of health you inherited.

I believe this because I did it. I felt subservient around authority. I created an auto immune disease.

I know from my teachings that we have a Mind and Body Connection. What Dr Mario Martinez has added is that this Mind Body Connection is influenced by our culture. So our perception of who we are and why we do what we do is cultural. In fact we are influenced by cultural beliefs from the day we are born. I believe Bob Proctor would call this ‘Programming’. In each culture our beliefs are different. We are influenced by what we share or fear even at the pre-birth stage.

As an NLP Coach and Trainer I know this from many processes that we can do with people to take them back to a time where they felt that fear or shame for example. The actual meaning of the words is different in each culture. For example, Dr Mario Martinez says that “Shame and Honour may mean different things in different cultures”. He goes on to say that “Shaming causes inflammation of the immune system by reducing imunoglukans”. Were you ever told that you did not do well at school or sport? This is one way of shaming. Each culture can shame in different ways. Some cultures shame the whole group. For example some older people feel not treated well as a group. Women in some cultures are shamed to keep them feeling subservient.

The problem with shaming, or any other negative word is that our subconscious mind is symbolic so it refers to words as symbols. “These symbols can create a bio cognitive set of responses that can influence our immune system. Therefore illnesses and ageing are learnt and the causes of health are inherited” says Dr Mario Martinez.

He goes on to say that “We are basically born healthy. There are very few chromosomal errors. In the process, however of dealing with the world, we learn to respond in a dysfunctional way. We have a pre-disposition in our DNA to overcome illnesses, through our resilience, that allows us to get well. We become ill from factors we have learnt. We have a tremendous ability to be well and overcome many illnesses and challenges”. I know this from practical experience.

So if .001% is inherited illnesses, why we age must have a lot less to do with our genetics and a lot more to do with our environment or culture. Dr Mario Martinez says “We don’t inherit illness. We actually inherit a propensity for illness. What we do learn is how to be hyper alarmed.” So we live in a constant stress state without realising it.

So let’s have a look at an example of why he says this. “Let’s say you are raised by abusive parents, where you are constantly mistreated. That is not just psychological damage. That creates problems with the immune system and endocrine system and nerves. These systems are learning to get sick and so they secrete chemicals, stress and cortisol steroids, into our immune and endocrine system which lose their ability to assist us. So all our systems, nerve, immune, endocrine, and cognitive are learning stress. The medical system then offers us a tablet for that which enforcers the illness belief.

We don’t inherit illnesses. We inherit the propensity for the expression of genes based on our environment, culture and beliefs”.

Ellen Langer, a Professor in Social Psychology from Harvard University did a study on working women in a hotel. The study was to demonstrate ‘How Context Affects your Ageing Process’. So she split the group of hotel workers into two groups;

  1. Group 1 were all told that what they do in the hotel must be hard work and I’m sure you must get tired at the end of the day”. In NLP we call this an ‘embedded command to the mind’ because it is so suggestive.
  2. Group 2 were told “Do you know that the work you do is similar to aerobics, bending and stretching, like going to a gym and you must be burning lots of calories”. So these workers also had embedded commands of a whole different nature given to them. They were given attributes that the work they were doing attributed to their fitness and had aerobic consequences.

So they then looked at both groups 6 weeks later:

  1. Group 1 got worse
  2. Group 2 allowed the attributions of aerobic exercising while working to change their mindset and attitude about their work and they made significant changes. They dropped their cholesterol, weight and blood pressure significantly, just from thinking about their work differently. They allowed the attributions to change their attitude about their work and they had a significant mind body change.

I actually did this exercise with my son. He was working in a ‘Boost Juice’ bar and he was not happy with the amount of work he had to do for the amount of pay. So I said to him “why don’t you go into your work tomorrow and pretend you own the business and work as if it is your business”. To do that he would have to change his mindset and attitude about his work and his role in the job.

Well the outcome not only surprised the people at his work, it also surprised him and me. He was told “you can’t change that quickly”. His comment was “yes you can because I just did”. He was then asked to become the assistant manager in four days. He not only did this at this casual job, he did it at his next job in a music store with the same results. He now knew that he was in control of his outcomes every day and that his attitude was very much connected to his aptitude.

In NLP, we believe that Attitude is very much attributed to Aptitude. The effort you put into anything in your life will be governed by your attitude, thoughts and beliefs around that task. Attitude is the way we decide to do our behaviour from the way our beliefs and values are.  So our behaviour is a great indicator of our mindset and attitude. If we want to make change we may like to check our willingness to change our mindset and thus our attitude first.

So Can The Power of Thought Stop You Aging?

“Professor Ellen Langer carried out another experiment in 1979 to find if changing thought patterns could slow ageing” according to the BBC News. The full story of this experiment was hidden until 2010 so it’s just being realised now.

Here is the link to the full story http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8498233.stm

The most important point here is that thoughts can actually change the chemistry in the brain. We can make the choice to grow older in a healthy happy way or not. To become a well centenarian is a choice.

So let’s look at what Dr Mario Martinez found as the common denominators for longevity according to his research on over 400 centenarians.

  • They all intuitively express the causes of their wellness
  • They were all assertive, celebrated life and others
  • They had what has been called righteous anger which is good for letting off steam
  • They all set their own limits. They were happy to help others but only to a point.
  • They ate mostly vegetarian or Mediterranean diets until they were ¾ full
  • They don’t manipulate. They acknowledge that both they and you were worthy. This is healthy for the immune system. If we don’t feel worthy and acknowledge it then how can we project ourselves. Our culture quite often teaches us to be humble and helpless.
  • They exercised regularly by walking, riding bikes and dancing
  • They had a purpose every day. Whatever they did (even if it was to mind the great grand- kids) they did it with the best attitude.

The important point here is that cultural anthropology and neuroscience back this information up. So if ‘SHAME’ is the underlying reason behind your immune system not allowing you to have the longevity that you want then you can STOP and DECIDE to find times in your life when you felt HONOUR because honour is the healer for shame. Honour becomes an anti-inflammatory component. So what may be a great exercise for you to do is to write about all the times you felt honoured in your life. You may be surprised at how far you can go back. By focusing on your worth, and a mindset of your purpose, your body feels well and you age well.

Lynda

Lynda Dyer Msc, Mind Power Global

Certified NLP Trainer & Master Trainer of Matrix Therapies

International Best Selling Author of 8 books Including ‘Make it Happen Now’, ‘Good Grief Book’, ‘Healing your Immune System’ and ‘Create Confident Kids’.

You can connect with Lynda at http://mindpowerglobal.com.au/

Read more articles like this one in the Maga Woman Magazine, the magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Menopause Supplements

Natural Remedies for Menopause

In a previous blog I shared with you some of the common symptoms that can occur as your hormones shift and you transition through the menopause stage of your life.  Now that you understand how the way you are feeling is impacted by your shift in hormones let’s have a look at some of the simple ways that you can manage your symptoms.

Please note that I am not going to include pharmaceutical medications or HRT in this blog, I will cover those topics in the future.  This blog will only include herbs, nutrients, diet and lifestyle interventions.

Before I go into how you can treat your symptoms I do want to briefly cover the role that lifestyle choices play in the severity of your symptoms.  As I mentioned in the previous blog the adrenal glands do naturally secrete some reproductive hormones and this process is designed to make the drop in hormones a little more gradual so that you don’t experience too many symptoms.  The problem is that many women are adrenally exhausted by the time they reach their mid to late 40s and their adrenal glands don’t have the capacity to cope with the hormonal shift that occurs.

The release of adrenal hormones is very closely connected to our lifestyle choices (see this blog) and therefore the key to managing your menopausal symptoms starts with healthy lifestyle choices.  Check out the Acts of Self Love E-book and videos (click here) if you are not sure how you can make better lifestyle choices.

Let’s get on to some of the specific treatments for the most common symptoms of menopause

Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Hot flushes are one of the commonly known symptoms of menopause.  A flush is when you get a sensation of heat that seems to start inside of you and intensifies until you are hot all over and you can also have visible sweating.  At night when you wake up covered in sweat and feeling very hot (even if the outside temperature is cold) this is known as a night sweat and can severely disrupt the sleep of some women.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Where possible wear light loose clothing
  • Don’t rug up too much at night, loose cotton nightwear is best
  • Flushing and night sweats often happen more after stressful and busy days, try to manage your energy and emotions during the day

Herbal treatment

  • Note if you see a naturopath or herbalist they will create a herb mix specific for your situation
  • Common herbs used in the management of hot flushes and night sweats are sage, zizyphus, motherwort, black cohosh and red clover (any over the counter remedies will contain these herbs)
  • A simple home herb recipe is to chop up 6 sage leaves and soak overnight in lemon juice. In the morning strain and drink the juice.  Repeat for the next week to 10 days and often your flushing and sweats will decrease.  Do NOT continue this for more than 2 weeks without consulting a herbalist or naturopath

Diet

  • Avoid excessively spicy foods
  • Avoid very hot drinks or foods
  • Avoid coffee (this is not only a hot drink it also stimulates the adrenals)
  • Limit your alcohol intake, alcohol makes flushing worse particularly at night
  • Increase foods high in phyto-eostrogens eg organic tofu, tempeh, flaxseed, garlic, chick peas, pumpkin kernals, green or mung beans.

Poor Sleep – Insomnia is a very common complaint for menopausal women and it can be made worse with the occurrence of night sweats.  Poor sleep then leads to higher stress, memory loss and lowered energy during the daylight hours.  Whilst hormonal shifts can impact your sleep pattern, often the issue with sleep comes from years of poor sleep habits.  The first step to correcting your sleep problems are addressing some of your lifestyle habits while also using herbal support to help you sleep.  You will find a lot more info on my previous sleep blog

Lifestyle

  • Ideally your body prefers to be asleep by 10pm at the latest, this allows for a natural waking at around 6am when the sun rises. Try to be in bed before 10pm
  • Take all electronic devices out of your bedroom. Any device that is connected to the network or wifi produces EMRs which disturb your sleep patterns.  If you must have a device in your bedroom make sure that it is on plane mode
  • Keep your room as dark as possible and the temperature at around 23degrees Celsius
  • If you mind races before you go to sleep try writing in a journal to help you to clear your mind
  • Reduce stress

Herbs

  • Common herbs used to promote healthy sleep include – chamomile, passionflower, lavender, hops, kava, valerian, ashawaganda, St Johns Wort, zizyphus, californian poppy
  • You can purchase Sleepytime tea at most supermarkets or health food stores which will include some of the above herbs

Diet

  • One of the reasons why people wake up in the night is due to their blood sugar levels dropping too low. Eating sufficient protein and fats in your evening meal will help to regulate your blood sugar while you sleep
  • Avoid high sugar foods prior to bed
  • Avoid caffeine late in the day
  • Avoid alcohol especially if you find that you regularly wake between 1am and 3am (this is liver time)

Nutrients

  • Magnesium with dinner can assist with sleep or a long bath with Epsom salts will do the same job
  • Calcium is also required to help with relaxation and sleep

Vaginal Dryness – The decrease in oestrogen levels affects the mucous membranes and the skin.  This can lead to dryness of the vaginal tract, the eyes or the mouth.  The skin also can lose its elasticity which leads to wrinkles or skin irritation.  These symptoms can range from quite mild to very severe in some women resulting in discomfort walking, ongoing cystitis problems or recurring urinary tract infections.

Lifestyle

  • Use of vaginal lubricant such as Sylk (made from kiwifruit), coconut oil or Vit E cream
  • An easy cream that you can make up is – 75gm Vit E cream as base and add 10ml of Calendula Oil, 30ml olive oil, 20ml Evening Primrose oil, mix thoroughly and apply 2-3 times a day
  • Couples counselling maybe required if the relationship has broken down

Herbs

  • Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Wild Yam, Calendula, American Ginseng and Licorice are all great herbs that help with tissue integrity

Nutrients

  • Essential Fatty Acids (Fish oils)
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C

Memory Problems – Many women report that their “memory isn’t what it used to be” after they reach the menopause stage of life.  This can be due to many different reasons.  Poor sleep is a big contributor and so it high levels of stress.  Also the older you get the more you have to remember so it is understandable that you forget some things.  As women age they may start to worry about whether they might have Alzheimer’s but the risk is lessened if you eat well and look after yourself.

Lifestyle

  • Get a good night’s sleep (refer above)
  • Reduce stress in your life and be less busy
  • If you smoke then take steps to stop, nicotine reduces the blood flow to your brain
  • Journalling will help to clear some of the thoughts that fill your mind so you can remember the important things
  • Use memory joggers, notebooks, todo lists etc

Herbs

  • Gingko and Bacopa are 2 fantastic brain herbs that help you remember, can take up to 2 weeks to start working
  • Other herbs are Peony and Ginseng
  • Rosemary as an essential oil is also greata

Nutrients

  • Fish Oils
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Sufficient protein and healthy fats in diet

Diet

  • Drink lots of filtered water, at least 2 litres a day
  • Eat a wholefood diet with heaps of veges, plus protein and healthy fats

Depression and Anxiety – Depression and anxiety are closely related to the memory symptom mentioned above, they are often caused by too much stress, not enough sleep as well as the shift in hormones.  Women over the age of 45 are also often questioning their life and what they will be doing in the future, if things don’t appear to be too bright this can result in feelings of depression.

It is not uncommon during this stage of life for women to wake in the middle of the night with their heart beating fast and feelings of anxiety.  This can be related to a sudden drop in blood glucose levels or it could be due to high levels of cortisol, whichever it is there are some steps that you can take to reduce these feelings

Lifestyle

  • Address any emotional triggers that you have around reaching this stage of life, a woman’s beliefs around aging and menopause will have a significant impact on how she deals with the changes that are happening to her body
  • Find a group of women who can offer support and understanding of what you are going through. The Maga Woman Project was created specifically to provide this support
  • Journalling is a great way to clear some of the circular thoughts that run through your head on a daily basis
  • Meditation or yoga are other great tools that can help with feelings of depression or anxiety
  • Research shows that regular exercise reduces depressive episodes
  • Regular massage helps to increase your sense of wellbeing
  • Spending time in nature will ground you and connect you back to yourself and have you feeling better
  • Slow breathing exercises
  • The LifeLine Technique is a great tool that will help you to connect to the true underlying cause of your depression or anxiety so that you can clear the beliefs that are impacting your life. You can learn more about the LifeLine Technique here

Herbs

  • St Johns Wort is one of the best herbs for mild depression and anxiety, it has been show in several research trials to be more effective than antidepressants
  • Other great herbs are – ashwagandha, skullcap, passionflower, oats, lavender, Siberian ginseng, licorice, ginseng, dong quai, peony

Nutrients

  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fish Oils
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Vitamin B (specifically B6 and B5)

Diet

  • Eat a clean whole food diet with adequate levels of protein and healthy fats
  • Lots of vegies
  • Avoid alcohol, processed foods and high levels of sugar

I have covered some of the most common symptoms above but there are other symptoms which might require more support from a naturopath or similar health provider.  Where I have mentioned herbs I have done this so that you can check for them in any of the products that you might purchase over the counter.  Purchasing products containing these herbs are relatively low risk but please read all labels to ensure that there are no contraindications for you.  I also have not mentioned any nutrient dosages, this is because everyone is different as to how much they need to take.  Simply taking an over the counter product at the dosage listed might not be enough for your particular needs.  Please consult with a trained health professional rather than self-prescribing herbs or nutrients.  If you would like a referral to a local naturopath please let me know and I will find someone for you.

Infinite Love and Gratitude

This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine, a magazine created for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

Common Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

Written by Angela Counsel

Menopause always seemed to be a scary thing until I reached that stage in life. When I was studying we really didn’t cover much of what happened when women reached their mid-stage of life. We did learn about hot flushes and the drop in eostrogen levels and the best herbs to use to treat these symptoms but I now realise there is so much more to know. Over the past few years I have not only personally experienced a shift in my hormones I have also spent a lot of time learning more about menopause and how it impacts the lives of women around the world. Over the next few blogs I will be covering the physical symptoms with some suggested treatments as well as the emotional and spiritual changes that also happen at this stage of life.

Let’s Define what Menopause is

Let’s start by clarifying some terms that are often mixed up and misunderstood. Firstly menopause simply means cessation of periods and is used retrospectively after a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 months, it is simply a moment in time. The time period before this is known as peri-menopause and the time after is known as post-menopause.

Peri-menopause can last for up to 13 years and this is often when many of the common symptoms associated with menopause occur. Post-menopause obviously lasts for the rest of your life and generally the symptoms can greatly reduce but further changes associated with growing older occur.

Until very recently women were expected to keep quiet about what was happening in their body as they transitioned through this stage of life. It was called “the change” and women were often portrayed as being hot, bitchy and witches, go and do a google search of menopause images and see what comes up. I would guess that many of these so-called funnies were created by men who often can feel threatened by the changes that happens to women at this stage of life. I will cover more about this in another blog post, I will stick to the common symptoms in this post.

Changes in Hormones

At approximately 45 years* of age (and this is very variable) women’s hormone levels can start to change. They ovulate less often as their egg supply dwindles and the less they ovulate the less progesterone they release. Progesterone is a hormone that is released by the egg after it is released from the ovary, it is the hormone that helps to support the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Apart from supporting pregnancy progesterone also impacts the brain causing feeling of calmness. It has sedative effects promoting restful sleep and is anti-anxiety. Can you see why when this hormone starts to drop that you might feel a bit tense and have trouble sleeping. Other symptoms that are associated with lower progesterone levels are:
– breast swelling and tenderness
– moods swings
– fuzzy thinking
– irritability
– trouble sleeping
– fluid retention/bloating
– weight gain

You will notice that these are similar symptoms that many women experience just prior to their monthly period except they may continue for longer if you are not having regular periods.

The next hormone that starts to drop is testosterone. The drop of this hormone is not as great and the symptoms are a bit more subtle and they include:
– decreased sex drive
– decreased sensitivity in erogenous zones
– decreased sense of well-being, energy and ambition
– signs of depression
– thinning of pubic hair

While the progesterone and testosterone levels start dropping the oestrogen levels stay high relative to the other hormones but over time the oestrogen levels start to drop as well causing the following symptoms:
– hot flushes and/or night sweats
– vaginal dryness
– low energy and ambition
– depression and mood swings
– dizziness
– mental confusion
– urinary incontinence
– recurrent urinary tract infections
– higher risk of vaginal infections

You might notice that in at least one of the above lists are some symptoms that you have been experiencing, this could be a sign that you are in the peri-menopause stage of life.

Common Symptoms

Whilst all of the above hormones are produced by the reproductive organs they are also produced by the adrenal glands. Ideally as your egg supply gets lower the adrenal glands should be able to produce enough hormones so that the drop in hormones from the reproductive glands doesn’t impact your health too much. Unfortunately due to the modern lifestyles many women are living their adrenal glands are tired by the time they reach this stage of life and there is not enough of these hormones produced from the adrenal glands. This is one of the reasons that many women experience severe menopause related symptoms.

The most common symptoms that women experience are:

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats – this is the sudden heating of the body from the inside, it can include sweating and flushing of your face. For some women hot flashes are only a minor discomfort but for others it severely reduces their quality of life. Excessive heat and sweating at night can disturb your sleep along with the physical discomfort that occurs.

Poor Sleep – as mentioned above poor sleep can come with night sweats but for some women they simply find it harder to sleep at night. There might be nights were you feel totally wired and unable to sleep or maybe you are waking at a set time each night.

Infrequent or irregular menstrual bleeding – as your egg supply drops and your hormones shift you can find that your period becomes irregular even if you have always had a very regular cycle. You might miss a month, or have a light bleed one month and a heavy bleed the next, or maybe you seem to be having a period every 2-3 weeks. There are many changes that can happen to your monthly cycle which are part of the menopausal shift. It is quite common for women to not have a period for 3-4 months and then start taking some herbs (which I will cover in the next blog) and then their period starts again and becomes regular.

Vaginal Dryness – this occurs with the drop in oestrogen levels and is not only uncomfortable but can also increase the risk in vaginal infections.  There can also be an impact on a woman’s sexual experience both physically and psychologically.

Memory Problems – problems remembering things can be as a result of falling hormone levels but it is also associated with high stress and poor sleep patterns, all issues that can worsen at this stage of life.

Heart Palpitations – waking up with your heart racing can be a common occurrence even if you have a health heart.  This is often triggered by a sudden lift in stress hormones or if it happens while you are asleep it could also be related to a drop in insulin levels.  Given that heart disease is the biggest killer of women if you suffer from heart palpitations on a regular basis get your heart checked to make sure there is nothing else going on.

Depression or Anxiety – many women can experience depression and/or anxiety at this stage of life.  Often is can be related to high stress or worry about ageing.  In our western culture there is a lot of negative beliefs around women growing older and this can cause women to feel like their life is over when their children leave home and they no longer in a full parenting role.  There are many causes of depression and anxiety and one of the primary causes is feeling alone, this is why I created the Maga Woman Community to provide women with support and friendship.

Heavy bleeding – most women expect that as they transition through peri-menopause that their periods will get lighter until they stop all together.  This is not what happens though.  It is not unusual to have at least one significantly heavy bleed after several light bleeds, if you continue to have heavy bleeding please make sure you visit a health professional for further investigation.

The menopause transition is different for every woman and while I have described some of the physical symptoms that might occur, they might not happen for you.  In the following blog I will share with you some ways that you can manage your symptoms.

Menopause is NOT a medical condition, it is a natural time of change that every woman goes through.  Women can experience physical, emotional and spiritual changes during this time.  If you see this stage of your life as a time to re-connect to the real you, often the part of you that you left behind in your teens or early twenties, then you often will transition through this stage of life with minimal issues.

Quote from Susun S Weed

The joy of menopause is the world’s best kept secret.  Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate…as thousands of women from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, it is the most exciting passage a women ever makes”

In the next blog I will share with you some great natural remedies to help you on your journey.

*What I have described is the natural transition into menopause not medically/surgically induced menopause or premature ovarian failure which can happen a lot earlier than 45. Symptoms in these cases can be more severe

This article first appeared in the Maga Woman Magazine a publication for women over 45. You can grab your free copy HERE