There is so much freedom once you go through the menopause – I don’t see it as something negative, says Angie Best
FORMER model Angie Best, 69, took an alternative route through the change.
"Living in California for most of my adult life, I always considered myself very much a health queen – I ate fresh foods, exercised daily, meditated and got plenty of sun.
Yet suddenly, in 1998, at the age of 46, I began to feel constantly tired and noticed my skin was dry and wrinkly.
And my period became erratic – it would be very heavy and then stop. After doing some research at my local library, I realised I was perimenopausal.
Until that point, I knew absolutely nothing about the menopause. Growing up, I never talked to my mum Mimi, who died in 2013 aged 86, about it because she probably wouldn’t have known what it was.
It was a taboo subject back then – so much so, I didn’t speak to anybody about it until I wrote my book Change For The Best in 1999 – a year after I started experiencing symptoms.
I discovered a fabulous doctor in LA, who explained everything to me, and I opted for the alternative medicine route rather than HRT.
I used all kinds of Chinese herbs and wild yam cream. The herbs eased my irritability, and I believe the cream helped with balancing out my hormones.
Nowadays, there are many oestrogen levellers to choose from in health food shops.
I didn’t have any support during my menopause, because I didn’t feel like I needed any. Nobody knew I was going through it – not even my partner Mark [Miller, 59, former professional ice-hockey player], who I’d just started seeing at the time.
He didn’t have any idea what was going on until I decided to write my book.
I didn’t experience any physical changes, and thankfully no loss of libido, which I think is down to the fact I’ve been an exercise fanatic since I was young.
However, I am starting to see changes now and I’ve noticed a difference in my body shape – I’ve acquired the dreaded middle-age spread.
As a result, I’ve changed my exercise regime, introducing more weight-bearing exercises to keep my muscles toned.
I also eat blueberries, which are good for the brain, and flaxseed, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep my cholesterol and blood pressure in check.
The supplements I take daily are numerous, but I swear by them. They include astragalus root, minerals, amino acids, vitamin D/K2, liposomal B vitamins and vitamin C, to name a few.
Fabulous Menopause Matters
An estimated one in five of the UK’s population are currently experiencing it.
Yet the menopause is still whispered in hush tones like it’s something to be embarrassed about.
The stigma attached to the transition means women have been suffering in silence for centuries.
The Sun are determined to change that, launching the Fabulous Menopause Matters campaign to give the taboo a long-awaited kick, and get women the support they need.
The campaign has three aims:
- To make HRT free in England
- To get every workplace to have a menopause policy to provide support
- To bust taboos around the menopause
The campaign has been backed by a host of influential figures including Baroness Karren Brady CBE, celebrities Lisa Snowdon, Jane Moore, Michelle Heaton, Zoe Hardman, Saira Khan, Trisha Goddard, as well as Dr Louise Newson, Carolyn Harris MP, Jess Phillips MP, Caroline Nokes MP and Rachel Maclean MP.
Exclusive research commissioned by Fabulous, which surveyed 2,000 British women aged 45-65 who are going through or have been through the menopause, found that 49% of women suffered feelings of depression, while 7% felt suicidal while going through the menopause.
50% of respondents said there is not enough support out there for menopausal women, which is simply not good enough. It’s time to change that.
They must be working for me, as I still teach at my gym and hang out with 50 year olds because I feel like one of them!
There is so much freedom once you go through the menopause – I don’t see it as something negative.
I used to spend two days in bed miserable as sin when it was my time of month, because I suffered from endometriosis.
So it’s an absolute godsend that I no longer have to deal with periods any more, or the emotions they bring.
There isn’t really a solution to the menopause – it is just a fact of life, and the healthier you are, the easier it is to go through.
I think we create so many of the problems related to menopause ourselves, such as too much alcohol and acidic foods, for example.
I never grieved during my menopause, because I felt complete as a mum to my son Calum, now 40, who is my pride and joy.
And I feel more confident than ever. At my age, you suddenly realise that you don’t care what anyone else thinks of you, or what they’re doing.
You know who you are, what your job is, and you’re good at what you do.
You’ve grown into this life and are content. I consider myself to be happy, healthy and able to move around pain-free, so that to me is a blessing. "
Follow Angie on Instagram for more updates @angiebestofficial.
What is the menopause and what age does it usually start?
Menopause is a natural part of ageing, which usually happens when a woman is between the age of 45 and 55.
In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.
It occurs when oestrogen levels in the body start to decline.
During this time periods become less frequent or they can suddenly stop, and after menopause occurs women will be unable to become pregnant naturally.
Around one in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40, and this is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause.
Many celebrities have spoken out about their own experiences, including Lisa Snowdon, Davina McCall, Michelle Heaton and Zoe Hardman.
What are the symptoms?
Menopausal symptoms can start months or years before your periods stop, and can last until four years or longer after your last period.
- Hot flushes
- Changing or irregular periods
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Anxiety and loss of confidence
- Low mood, irritability and depression
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
- Reduced libido (sex drive)
- Problems with concentration or memory
- Weight gain
- Bladder control
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