• Andrea Marsh

What is a natural menopause?

and making Bitesize changes that add up to a big difference!


What is a natural menopause? When did natural become alternative?


I've been doing weekly instagram lives talking directly to you about my thoughts on how you can have a great menopause as well as giving advice and I was pleased to see that the week I did What is a natural menopause got sigificantly more views! The reason I'm pleased is because it means you're curious about how to ensure you have a good menopause and that you don't need to resort to any medications or pharmaceutical offerings to help you through a time of amazing transformation.


I've noticed in the last couple of months a lot of fear in women now talking about their menopause; they think they can't do it without HRT and that they may get dementia. You may get a lot of things, and there are ways to live healthier to reduce the likelihood of getting dementia and so all the bitesize changes I mention in this blog will add to your health and reduce chances of major ill health post menopause, and THAT is what I mean about having a GREAT menopause; a healhty one, and ultimately a happier one!


If you'd prefer to watch listen to my thoughts and advice on having a great natural menopause, watch on instagram below!



What is a natural menopause? Join Andrea at Cotswold Menopause Instagram


What is a natural menopause?


It should be the most natural thing in the world, one day your periods stop. With this your hormones should be balanced, you finally get back the real you, not the one that has been a slave to those hormonal fluctuations that have made you fly off the handle, cry, or curl up in bed for a certain number of days every month. So what's gone wrong? And why is having a natural menopause now being treated like it's making women suffer? When it shouldn't, and today's blog will show you you absolutely should not be suffering with symptoms, for one major reason:


Your symptoms are your body telling you there is something wrong with your health and it needs to be resolved.


A natural menopause is not about suffering in silence, it is not about saying 'oh these symptoms will pass' and it is not about putting yourself last to the detriment of your long term health.


A natural menopause is about listening to your body, questioning how you can relieve the symptoms you're experiencing, and about feeling empowered to make changes, to slow down, to say no, to not compare yourself to who you were or what you could achieve in your 30s or 40s.


I found it a relief when I turned 50! I felt justified once I had a 5 in my to say no, to slow down and register, I'm in my 50s, I'm menopausal I don't have to set the barrier too high and make achieving it impossible, either phsyically or metaphorically,


That doesn't mean I've given up! Far from it, I still achieve, I'm still pushing to ensure as many women as possible take on the message, make the change and feel so much better. What I'm not doing is putting the pressure on myself, I'm not creating a layer of stress that I don't need, because I know one of the major issues in menopause and cause of symptoms is stress!



The role perimenopause plays in a natural menopause


Right now, for this current generation it is the unnaturalness (is that a word?) of the perimenopause is the cause of a majority of symptoms. There was a time when the menopause was hot flushes, now there are nearer 100 symptoms; how has this happened?


It's happened because of how we are in our perimenopause.


Have you ever met a woman in her 40s that says:


"I'm pretty chilled actually, I'm taking it ease, the family don't stress me, work is great, I've got plenty of me time."


I haven't. If she exists she's probably off grid, or in another country that doesn't put itself under pressures to achieve as our current western life style pushes us to.


A woman in her 40s more likely will say:


"I'm tired all the time, aren't we all? I don't get a minute to myself, the family are always putting demands on me, I've got to look after my parents, the stress at work is getting me down..."


And women feel that that is the way life in their 40s is meant to be, and that they shouldn't say or be anything else. I was the same! I didn't want to admit that I was slowly down, saying no to more things, creating more me time; but I was doing that behind the scenes. Now 50 I feel like its acceptable to say that more, but in our 40s we're still trying to compete with our 30 somthing self.


And this is the root cause of the burgeoning symptoms of the perimenopause and why it's making a natural menopause so difficult, because the way we live our 40 something lives creates all these symptoms you now know about - anxiety, fatigue, low moods, low libido, brain fog, aches and more. It's because we're pushing ourselves past the limits that our bodies can achieve at this time.



Feeding your mind and body in the perimenopause


Feeding your mind and body in the perimenopause


If you're tired all the time, can't sleep for blocks of hours during the night, feel achy, have anxiety or brain fog, or both, then you're running on empty; you need to pop some petrol in the tank!


In Chinese medicine we call this depletion, and the current group of symptoms that you to feel so cr*p are to do with something missing in your body, simply vitamins and minerals for starters.


Before you got crazy hectic as a 30, 40 or 50 year old, you were a kid and you had basic needs. If you were hungry you asked for food, if you were tired you slept. Then you bounced back and got on with things, and that's how body's work simply put. Then as you've gotten older you've kind of bypassed these things, you survive on less sleep and you've done diets, you cut down on food as you put on more weight, and you exercise more too.


Plus life starts to add layers of stress as you become a more responsible and mature adult. Then life throws major hurdles in your way like divorce, loss of parents and friends and deadlines to achieve at work, plus more responsibilty because... you can handle it!


Then your hormones start to change, progesterone is the first to decline in your 40s, and the stress that you're under also reduces your progesterone and so here begins the first symptoms, it's like having PMS more days a month; and where did anxiety appear from?




Perimenopause: too much stress, not enough nutrition  - Cotswold Menopause




Making bitesize changes to reduce symptoms and make a big difference!


Part of my mission to help women is to suggest changes that are minimal but they culminate to make a big change - that you feel better. So let's have a look a some of these because if we get your sleep back and top up your nutrition, your stress will start to lower then anxiety, low moods and fatigue start to ebb away:


1. Add a plant based multi vitamin and magnesium into your daily life - Why?


The stress hormone cortisol requires nutrition to do its job (it's trying to destress you!), it's nabbing it from where ever it can in your body, leaving you with brain fog, aches and fatigue. Then you're into a catch 22 situation of creating more stress, and this impacts your sleep, especially around 4am. For more on sleep read my blog on insomnia in menopause.


2. Work on your sleep cycles - Why?


Sleep is the basis of your health, to get you symptom free you need good sleep.


We sleep in 90 minute cycles through the night, and this is handy to know because if you wake up groggy the alarm has gone off in the middle of a deep sleep cycle. Maybe altering bed time/alarm time by 15 minutes each way (which may mean getting up a bit earlier!) may shift you into more natural sleep cycles.


Then we look at the 1 to 3am sleep and the 4 to 6am - the former affected by your liver and food at dinner, the latter a lack of nutrients and stress. If you're awake in those dark hours, up your nutrition now, this is the first step.


3. Eat more veggies - Why?


I bet you hear this a lot, and there's good reason, because it's true!


You may not realise what vegetables do for you so here you go: Veggies have the vitamins and minerals in them your mind and body need, we've already established this. If you suffer from low moods you need a better gut and more veg.


Veg are also antioxidants so they combat toxins in your body. You may have heard of free radicals, they're bad, veg do battle with them! This will help your long term health as toxins and free radicals build up low level inflammation in your body, which lead to chronic illnesses, eating our little green friends will help your health, especially heart health.


4. Get to know your liver health - Why?


Your liver is incredible, it does over 300 vital processes in your body everyday, but right now it's clogged up!


It's like a giant filter and we've managed to get it pretty dirty with living life so far. Think hoovers and car engines, they just don't work when they're clogged up and what happens, they get hot, they make noise and if you don't service/clean them then they're going to cause problems.


This is night sweats. This is irritability, lethargy, lack of motivation, itchy skin and mood swings.


A whole host of your symptoms is your liver crying out for some loving care and attention. It's also amazingly forgiving, help it out and it'll start working better and you'll feel cooler and calmer, and fly off the handle less. I take 2 daily supplements to support Turmeric and Liver health, both from Cytoplan - I've put together a supplements guide to help you get started here.



5. Essential fats are good for your brain. Sugar isn't - Why?


Your body and especially your brain loves the right kind of fats. Sadly you're of the generation that was sold by the food industry that fat is bad, so in opting for low fat foods they bulked them out with sugars. Processed convenience foods also contain a lot of sugars (and salt) for flavouring. Sugar causes inflammation and is very noticeable in the brain - brain fog.


You may not be able to eat oily fish 2/3 times a week (salmon, tuna, trout) so take an Omega 3 supplement - feed your brain and get your ability to function back again.


Essential fatty acids are also found in avocados, seeds, nuts and olive oil. I have created an ebook Eating for the Perimenopause and Beyond that helps you understand the right foods to eat to support your changing body.


Eat for the perimenopause and beyond - ebook from Cotswold Menopause


A natural menopause is a healthy menopause


Having a great menopause is about sorting out your health. If you address your symptoms as they appear then the changes you make will be smaller. You can jump in and make all of the changes I've popped above and this will be fantastic for you you'll start noticing differences in a matter of weeks, this is you understanding that your symptoms are your body asking for help, asking you to add something in so that it can run better.


A natural menopause is not about suffering, it's about feeling great in mind and body, then one day your periods stop, and you're still feeling great.


A natural menopause is about having the energy to live your best life, and about listening to your body, taking time out because you know it's right for you, and looking after your wellness to prevent ill health now and for your future post menopause life!



Help from Andrea to have a great natural menopause


Right now I appreciate that you may feel a little overwhelmed and not know where to start so let me help you take the step that is right for you.


Do you like to read, take in a little information and make the suggested changes?


If yes, read Understanding Your Menopause it will step you through changes over 4 to 8 weeks



Do you like to watch videos and immerse yourself in the reasons why you have your symptoms?


If yes, then watch Feel better, relieve symptoms in 28 days - this is a 5 part video set (plus a host of beneficial bonuses!) that will step you through making changes, delve a little deeper and help you start to feel better within the month.


Do you like to have 1 to 1 attention, work with someone or are your symptoms more complex?


If yes, I'd suggest you look at my consultation options, one thing I guarantee is you'll come away smiling and relieved that you have a plan of action on how to get started.


Are you motivated and clued in and just want to know which supplements to get?


If yes, then you just need the supplement guide options to get you started!



Haven't got a clue what you want?


Book a clarity call with me and I'll help you make sense of where you are and we'll work out where you want to be!


See you soon,




Understanding Your Menopause - book by Andrea at Cotswold Menopause






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