October is Menopause Awareness Month - a month for us all to be more open and raise awareness of the stage in a woman’s life that has often been overlooked. As a predominately female led brand, we wanted to learn more about this stage of our lives and what signs we should look out for. So, we were delighted to catch up with MPowder founder and menopause expert Rebekah Brown to find out how menopause affects women and the specific three bio-chemical stages millions of women experience.
MPowder is the world’s first plant-based supplement powder range crafted to target the three distinct biochemical stages of the menopause.
Q. What are the three bio-chemical stages of menopause?
A. Perimenopause is the time leading to menopause and is often the volatile period for our hormones. Most of us will begin to actively feel symptoms from around the age of 43 - and as a transition, it can last 8-10 years. Menopause itself is then simply a date - the 12 month anniversary of your last period. Post-menopause occurs at that point - and is effectively the rest of your life.
Q. What is the impact of menopause on our bodies and minds?
A. Few of us are taught about hormones at school. And even fewer of us learn that every single cell in our body is impacted by hormones - which is why menopause has to be viewed as a whole body and mind experience. It can affect how we think and feel as significantly as the physical symptoms of hormonal change that we're more familiar with. It is important to recognise that this lifestage happens when many of us are at our most stretched. We're more likely to be in senior positions at work. If we've been lucky enough or chosen to have children, they're likely to be in their teenage years or transitioning to leave home. We may have parents and relatives that require greater support. External stress is at its height. And as a generation, we've simply not been prepared for menopause. We didn't learn about it at school. So few of us have been to preemptively educate ourselves or nourish our bodies and minds.
Q. What can you do to stay well during menopause?
This period often requires a rethinking of all aspects of life. But it begins with addressing how you digest stress. Anxiety can exacerbate hormone fluctuations. Not only does this deplete our body and organs - it makes it harder for us to extract nutrients from our food, to get rest, and to deal with all that life throws at us. Start by looking at external stressors. Consider triggers that make you anxious. What can you do to limit exposure? How can you build up a toolkit of practices that can support you? Consider meditation as a practice. Try introducing a morning window for gratitude journaling. Learn about yoga nidra. Explore the benefit of aromatherapy on our senses. Look at your plate. How can you ensure you're fuelling your body and mind with the nutrients it needs in midlife and beyond? Look at smart supplementation to provide the foundational layer we can struggle to achieve with life commitments and pressures on whole food today as a result of soil depletion and farming practices.
Then, make your doctor your friend. HRT can be incredibly helpful. And menopause can also bring with it early indication of other conditions that may need medical intervention. Make sure you're talking regularly to your GP. And incorporating the best in western medicine alongside taking agency for yourself.
Q. What is your number 1 tip for a healthy menopause?
The cultivation of a curious mind. Every woman's experience of menopause will be different. But, if managed well, this life stage can be a stepping up point, rather than a fading away. Try new things. Let go of practices, people and commitments that no longer serve you. Push yourself up the priority list. Get your nutrition foundation layer set. And know you are capable of absolutely anything.