A.Vogel Talks Menopause: Is menopause worse in the summer?


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


11 July 2016

Read the full video transcript below

Today's topic

Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog A.Vogel Talks Menopause. Now I’ve had quite a lot of women contacting me asking me why their menopause symptoms tend to get worse in the summer or when they’re actually on holidays. So I thought I would go into that in a little bit more detail today, because here in the UK, anyway, it’s coming up to holiday season and a lot of you will be preparing for holidays either here or abroad. So the tips I’m going to give you will cover both stay at home holidays and going where the weather is going to be a lot hotter and nicer probably.

Flushes and sweats

So one of the main symptoms that’s actually affected by heat is flushes and sweat. And this is actually quite logical because the majority of hot flushes are caused by a little gland in the brain called the hypothalamus going a bit wonky.

And the hypothalamus controls and regulates your temperature. So if the weather outside is getting warmer, this little gland is going to have a lot more trouble in trying to keep your heat actually balanced as well. And what happens is you end up getting more hot flushes or they get more severe compared to normal. Now the really simple tip for this is, guess what, more water. And a lot of you don’t actually remember to up your water when the weather gets warmer. And more flushes will dehydrate you more which in turn will trigger more flushes as well. So really important and really, really simple for that particular one. We’ve also got night sweats as well. And if it’s hot at night, if you can’t sleep because you’re really, really too hot, that can trigger your night sweats.

Sleep

If you’re not sleeping well, you’re going to be more tired the next day and there’s nothing worse than feeling grumpy when you’re actually on holiday. We’ve also got the fact that sometimes it’s difficult to sleep in a strange bed or in a strange place because you’re not quite sure where you are half the time. So look at remedies such as Dormeasan just to help you to get off to sleep a bit better. And this remedy is great if you’re going long haul and you find that you’re getting a little bit of jetlag at the start of your holiday.

Diet

Now, what do we do when we’re on holiday or when the weather is really nice? We eat more and we drink more. And unfortunately, it tends not to be so much of the healthy foods.

We’re on holiday, we’re all inclusive, we’re probably eating ourselves silly, extra cakes, extra alcohol, different foods. And if we’re at home well, we’ve got barbecues. We’ve got all those processed foods, we’ve got the really high salty foods, fizzy drinks, and again the alcohol. And maybe in the afternoon there’s all those lovely little street cafes so we’re more inclined to sit outside, have an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon and a piece of cake, and that’s going to disrupt our sleep and maybe trigger more hot flushes as well. So it’s really important to watch what you’re eating and drinking during the summer. Be just a little bit more vigilant as well.

Sweat

We tend to sweat more which is obviously when it’s hot. And remember, when I talked about using antiperspirants, they can actually block your pores. They can stop you sweating and that can contribute to symptoms such as hot flushes. So use one of the really lovely natural deodorants and that will keep you nice and fresh, and it will allow you to sweat naturally which will be better for you all around as well.

Anxiety

Now, we’ve got anxiety, especially we’re travelling. I love travelling. You know, put me on a plane and then I’ll quite happily go anywhere, but it can still be quite a time of anxiety.

You’re going to the airport. You hope you’re not gonna be late. You don’t want to miss the flight, and there’s all these people queuing and pushing and wanting to get into the plane in front of you. So your anxiety level can actually go up a little bit as well. And during the menopause, our perception of things can change and what once upon a time wouldn’t have bothered us can actually sometimes gives us feelings of panic and anxiety too. So you might suddenly find that you are getting more anxious because you’ve got to fly. It might not have bothered you before. And as I said, you know, the fact that all these people milling about can actually give rise to panic attacks.

What can you do?

So you can look at remedies such as Passiflora and the flower essences are lovely: the Emergency Essence, if you feel that you are actually panicking a little bit as well. And remember too, when you’re on plane, especially if you’re going a distance, you can actually pick up a lot of bugs as well. And I know for me, I can guarantee if I don’t take my Echinacea that I end up with some kind of throat infection. So you can look at remedies such as Echinacea throat spray, that can be taken on board with you and you can just have a few squirts to help to protect you from picking up anything nasty that’s going around in the plane.

Digestive problems

We’ve also got digestive problems and a lot of women have digestive problems to start with. And obviously, if you’re eating all these different foods, if you’re eating strange foods that you’ve maybe never had before and you might actually worry as well that you can end up with a little bit of diarrhoea or holiday tummy. So again, just be a little bit more aware of what you’re eating and how you’re eating. And remember to chew everything really properly and to actually relax while you’re eating as well. One of the good things to take with you on holiday is a probiotic supplement. We also have our lovely Molkosan fruit which can be taken along as well. And it’s a good idea maybe to start these a couple of weeks before you go just so that your digestion is in tip top condition before you actually start abusing it as well.

Remember your liver!

And remember about your liver, and I have talked about how important the liver is in the menopause to keep you nice and balanced and healthy. And if we’re on these lovely cruises, if we’re going all inclusive, and we’re eating and drinking a lot more, we can come back of our holiday and wonder why we don’t feel rested and energised. And it’s purely because your liver has actually been really overtasked in this particular time. So taking milk thistle on a holiday with you and having a dose or two every day is just going to help to support your liver that little bit more as well.

Skin problems

Now, we can also get skin problems during the summer as well. The menopause can make our skin a lot more sensitive to everything so you might find you’re suddenly getting rashes with your suntan cream. It can also make your skin thinner and that will affect the way that you actually tan. And it’s amazing how many women have got in touch with me and said, “I don’t understand. My skin has actually started burning this year, and I’m using exactly the same suntan lotion.” So you might find that you have to actually up your suntan factor just a little bit to make sure that you don’t burn. So be really careful if you’re doing a lot of sunbathing.

We can also get prickly heat or urticaria on holiday. And very often you will just come up in a rash and it can be really lumpy and bumpy and hot and feel very, very uncomfortable and it can spoil your whole holiday. Nettle is a fantastic remedy for prickly heat. And again maybe start off a week or two before you actually go on holiday just to get everything nice and calm. And take some nettle tea bags with you on holiday because then you can have a cup or two every day and that can help to prevent the prickly heat. This can also be caused by dehydration so remember the extra water for your skin as well.

Recap

So just to recap, whether you’re holidaying in the UK or abroad and you want to just prepare yourself for this. Lots of water, just drink plenty. Watch what you’re eating and drinking especially alcohol, high salt, and high sugar foods as well. Care for your skin, make sure that you are well protected if you’re out in the sun or doing a lot of sunbathing. Try and get some daily exercise. Now I know when we’re on holiday the last thing we want to be doing is running a marathon or going for a jog. But if we are lying about a lot more, if we are eating more and drinking more, then that weight can actually pile on in the holiday time as well. So just, you know, just even the half hour brisk walk at some point during the day can be enough to keep your metabolism running over.

Watch how you sleep as well. Make sure that you’re drinking a little bit of extra water before you go to bed and try and keep yourself cool if you can. Watch your anxiety levels as well, whether you’re traveling or maybe you’re just extra busy during the summer looking after your grandkids which sometimes can be fun but can be forlorn as well.

And remember to take any herbs and supplements that you normally take on holiday with you because you could end up somewhere halfway through the holiday and think, “Oh, no, I forgot my sage tablets and I’m getting the hot flushes.” So those are an absolute must to go into your case as well. Although, I must admit it’s amazing where you can actually find our products. I was actually in Tenerife a couple of years ago and I needed some Echinacea. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to take mine with me, and I actually managed to find a little pharmacy in Costa Adeje that sold some of our products. So you might be lucky but just best to be prepared in any case.

Have a lovely summer holiday!

So I want you all to have a lovely summer, have an amazing holiday if you are going in the near future, and I will look forward to seeing you next on A. Vogel Talks Menopause.

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