Self-Care Week is an annual UK-wide national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities, families and generations. Practise Self Care for Life is the theme for 2021. The Consultdoc organisation is focusing on Women’s health this week and one hot topic in women’s health is managing menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms.
There are lots of information now available online including online support groups to help women with symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and sleep disturbances. What Consultdoc is trying to do is to provide evidence-based information to help you make an informed decision about your health and this information is usually based on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations.
I share the view of a long-time friend Matilda who turned 50years of age this week. She has been getting practically all the symptoms of menopause for a few years and has learnt to manage these symptoms through combination of measures. For example, having regular exercise, maintaining a healthy ideal weight for her body, wearing lighter clothing, turning down heating or sleeping in cooler room and using an air conditioner during hot weather. Matilda does not smoke and only drinks wine less than 14 units a week. She tends to avoid spicy food and caffeinated drinks.
I asked Matilda how she copes with stress at her age, she said “I just take life easy; I enjoy life as much as possible, spend time with my family and go on holiday.” I know Matilda to be a person who likes nature and likes walking in the forest and spending time outdoors. She often does her exercise like walking with her husband and swimming in the mornings. Matilda feels all these measures have helped her manage this period of her life and cope well with menopausal symptoms. Looking at what Matilda has been doing, it fits to what NICE recommended for lifestyle measures that helps with menopausal symptoms.
The other advice we will encourage generally to improve quality of life includes seeking occupational health advice if support is needed in the workplace, encouraging engagement with the national screening programmes such as cervical cancer and breast cancer screening programmes if appropriate, discussing your risk of osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bone) and bone health with your GP. When you discuss with your GP, they may also advise you on the need for contraception even if you are on a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). If you have difficulty getting an appointment with your GP or you would like a second opinion, you can click here to register and book an online consultation with a Consultdoc GP who can arrange an intervention appropriate for your health needs.