Joint and body pain are one of the least spoken about symptoms that can be associated with menopause but for some women the pain can be debilitating. I was one of those women. For about 2 years I lived in constant pain. It was so bad that I don’t think that I had a proper night’s sleep in that entire time. I am not someone who takes painkillers but on a couple of occasions I had to take some panadeine just so that I could get some sleep.
So let’s talk about why this happens and what you can do about it.
Joint and body hasn’t been a well known symptom associated with menopause in the past and this is probably because this generation of women live more active lives than our Mothers and Grandmothers. Women today are more likely to be doing regular exercise and they want to stay active as they get older.
There are a few things at play here, one is the decrease in oestrogen levels, another thing is the diet that many of us have and then there is general wear and tear on our joints.
Let’s start with the drop in oestrogen levels. Oestrogen plays other roles in our body apart from being a reproductive hormone. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and it help to keep our joints, muscles and tendons working properly.
As oestrogen levels drop any underlying inflammation will be exposed and where there is inflammation there will be pain and heat. The most common cause of inflammation is our diet but there other factors at play including exposure to toxins and stress.
A drop in oestrogen also causes a drop in our collagen levels, collagen is what keeps our skin looking young and supple. Collagen also keeps our ligaments and tendons working well and as our levels drop we can become stiffer and less flexible.
Oestrogen also plays a role in the stabilisation and protection of our muscle tissue and joint membranes. It plays a role in the turnover of cells and is helps with the healing of our joints.
The next thing that we need to consider is general wear and tear on the joints. As we age our ability to repair tissue slows down, women who have done regular exercise in their younger years are at a greater risk to wear and tear on their joints, causing conditions such as osteo-arthritis and other pain conditions.
While it would be expected that we would blame all of this pain on menopause, it is not actually menopause which is the problem. Menopause is a naturally occurring stage of life. The issue comes with the way we have treated our body up to this stage. Many women have diets which are high in sugar and other inflammatory foods, drink too much alcohol and don’t get enough sleep and given that all of these factors can be changed you can also get rid of the pain that your body is experiencing.
How to reduce pain
Start by reducing inflammation:
- reduce inflammatory foods from your diet
- eliminate alcohol
- reduce caffeine
- reduce stress
- get more good quality sleep
Increase collagen based foods
- bone broth
- chicken, fish
- egg whites
- fruit, leafy greens
- Fish Oils
- Vit C & Vit E
As with all symptoms associated with menopause, the key to reducing or eliminating your symptoms are:
- eating the correct foods for your body
- moving your body regularly
- getting a good night’s sleep
- reducing your stress
- having a positive mindset around ageing and menopause
If you are ready to take control of your health, to reduce your symptoms and learn the tools that will help you to look and feel great. Then check out the embrace Program a health and lifestyle program created for women who want to thrive. Click HERE to learn more.