woman holding a placard saving menopause

Menopause 101: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

As we mark World Menopause Day, today.

When it comes to menopause, some would say that women have been dealt a bad hand. And while I’m not here to disagree, this isn’t about debating the pros and cons of menopause or making peace with it. This is about grabbing menopause by the horns and owning it.

Remember that you will never be alone during menopause. Approximately 13 million women in the UK alone are either peri- or post-menopausal as of 2021. So, if you’re feeling lost, confused, or just plain fed up, know that you are not alone. It’s time to break the silence around menopause. For too long, women have been suffering quietly as they go through this challenging time in their lives. 

Menopause can be a very tough transition, with over 60% of women experiencing symptoms that result in behaviour changes. And it’s not just a case of a few hot flashes here and there – one in four women will experience severe debilitating symptoms, almost half of menopausal women say they feel depressed, and a third suffer from anxiety. 

Women commonly complain of feeling as though they are going mad. All of these symptoms can make it difficult for women to function both at home and work. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of understanding and support for menopausal women, with approximately two-thirds of women saying there is a general lack of support and understanding at home and in the workplace.

A 2019 survey by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that three in five menopausal women, usually aged between 45 and 55, were negatively affected at work. The survey also revealed that almost 900,000 women in the UK had left their jobs because of menopausal symptoms.

clock with a word menopause

The Basics of Menopause

As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. For women, one of the most significant changes is menopause, the natural stage of life when a woman has clocked 12 consecutive months since her last period. You could be 40 or even 60 when you enter menopause, but most women experience it at 51.

Menopause can affect women differently, though some may experience more symptoms than others. Many women dread the onset of menopause, thinking of it as a single, dramatic event. In reality, menopause is a gradual process that can span several years. There are three phases in menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Stage #1: Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the first phase of menopause, when hormone levels start to fluctuate and symptoms first appear. It can start up to 10 years before menopause, sometimes striking women in their 30s. During this stage, you’ll experience menopause symptoms and fluctuations in estrogen. 

Some women say that this stage is where the symptoms are at their worst. Symptoms of perimenopause include irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, issues in the bedroom, vaginal discomfort, and incontinence. If you’re trying for a baby, you don’t need to hit the brakes during perimenopause. Women who are menstruating during this period can still get pregnant.

Stage #2: Menopause

Menopause is a natural stage in which a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen like they once did. Once you have reached menopause, you will no longer have periods for a full 12 months. After this point, you are considered to be in post-menopause. While the two effects of menopause can be fit into a sentence, the internal process is much more complex.

During menopause, your body enters its third stage of life. Much more is going on, and menopause is not just about our reproductive hormones. For years, our bodies have been governed by our reproductive hormones. But during menopause, these hormones begin to retire, leaving our other hormones to try and pick up the slack. This can lead to a number of changes in our appetite, mood, sleep patterns, and body temperature. 

women's health

What Menopause Really Feels Like

Most women experience some changes during menopause, but not all women have the same symptoms or experience them to the same degree. In fact, there are over 50 different symptoms that have been associated with menopause. 

Menstrual Changes

As women move into their late reproductive years, their menstrual cycles generally become shorter. This means that the intervals between periods grow smaller, and periods themselves may become lighter. During the menopausal transition, cycles may initially become shorter and then grow longer before becoming very irregular and eventually ceasing altogether.  

Vasomotor Symptoms

Many women experience vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, during menopause. Hot flashes is the most common symptom, experienced by more than 80% of menopausal women. They usually last for one to five minutes, but can sometimes last up to 45 minutes. Night sweats can also be disruptive, causing sleep loss and chronic fatigue. 

Emotional Symptoms

Many women experience emotional symptoms during menopause. One of the most common is mood swings. Many women report feeling more irritable or even angry during menopause; these mood swings can be unpredictable and tough to manage. Other common emotional symptoms include stress and anxiety. The hormonal changes of menopause can lead to feelings of stress and worry, and some women may also experience a loss of confidence. 

Symptoms Related to Sexual Function

As women enter menopause, they may experience changes in their sexual function. One of the most common problems is the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), which is caused by decreased estrogen production. This can lead to vulvovaginal atrophy or the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls. Other symptoms include vaginal dryness, itching, and dyspareunia or pain during intercourse.

woman with palm on her head

Why Do We Have So Many Symptoms?

It all comes down to hormones. Women have estrogen receptors all over their bodies and, when levels of this hormone start to decline during menopause, we can experience a whole host of physical and mental symptoms. Other hormones like testosterone, progesterone, and cortisol can also become out of balance during menopause, further exacerbating symptoms.

One of the best places to start is tracking your symptoms. When we do this, we can identify the category they fall into: psychological, physical, or vasomotor. From there, you can then look at the different solutions and options you have to help abate the symptoms.  

Stage #3: Postmenopause 

As women, our hormones constantly change, impacting our bodies in various ways. For example, during our 40s and 50s, our hormone levels start to decline, leading to changes in our cardiovascular system, bones, and metabolism. This can make us more susceptible to osteoporosis, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. 

Additionally, these changes can also cause psychological effects that have an impact on how we feel and take care of ourselves. Some symptoms can result from long-term estrogen deficiency and unhealthy lifestyle choices. One example is bone loss, which is a common symptom of menopause. Estrogen helps keep our bones strong, so we risk developing osteoporosis and fragility fractures when levels start to decline.

Cardiovascular disease is another potential complication of menopause. Lipid profiles worsen, weight increases, as does the risk for myocardial infarction and thromboembolic events. Hair, muscle, and skin issues are also common during menopause. The hair thins, and the skin becomes drier and rougher. We also lose lean mass and muscle tone, increasing fat mass. At the same time, the genitourinary syndrome of menopause can also cause dryness, dyspareunia, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence issues, and UTIs.

women dining together

Top Tips on Owning Your Menopause

Now that you understand what menopause is, here are a few tips to start owning your menopause. One word of wisdom from someone who is going through it and specialises in menopause wellness: don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is not for you, or that you are too young to think about it. The earlier you can get yourself into healthy lifestyle habits, the easier it is to change as you enter perimenopause. I have taken small snippets of each category, just to give you an insight into the small changes you can start making today. 


Food is the key to everything. Certain things may not agree with you anymore, may make you feel bloated, or cause digestive issues and energy levels to drop. There may be unexplained weight gain, too. So, to keep your body from throwing tantrums, try the elimination process. Swap acidic foods for alkaline foods – this really helps with inflammation. 

Trying to limit dairy and spicy foods is a good start. In my experience working with clients, there is no quick fix for this, and it is a very individual process, so give yourself time to explore new habits and monitor symptoms. Protein is essential, although eating it at the right time is equally important. Save protein for breakfast and lunch instead of dinner. Protein creates heat inside your body to be digested, so having it at dinner will create internal digestive heat, leading to hot flashes at bedtime. Not fun for anyone.


Exercising is fantastic, although it’s essential to be mindful of how and when you exercise during menopause. Hitting the gym at night can cause a bad night’s sleep. Focus on strength training and aerobic exercise to boost your heart, lungs, and physical stability. Heart palpitations are also a symptom of menopause, which you can manage with supplements and lifestyle changes. 

Mental Health

The inner hurricane of hormones may leave you feeling anxious, agitated, irritated, depressed, or a ghoulish cocktail of all these emotions. You can combat this by identifying the triggers and learning what solutions are out there to help you put a new menopause action plan together. For example, did you know that serotonin, called ‘the happy hormone’, can be stocked up on by exposing yourself to morning sunlight? This can help you with your sleep and improve your mood.


Menopause can cause cracks in social and workplace relationships. It’s essential to allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. You may consider having an intimate conversation with your loved ones about how they can be present for you and support you. Consider requesting special arrangements to be made at the office, should you need them.

Education and Talking Is Key

If you’re experiencing symptoms that are making your life unbearable, and you’ve tried changing your lifestyle habits without any relief, it might be time to look into hormone replacement therapy. This is a topic that definitely warrants its own discussion, but I want to briefly touch on it here. We’ve come a long way since the Women’s Health Initiative published its study on hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer in 2002 – that study caused millions of women to stop taking their hormone therapy overnight. 

woman holding an apple

Top Tips on Preparing for Menopause in Advance

Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is a woman’s resilience against menopause. This challenging journey can be made easier with preparation. The lifestyle you follow and the possibly unhealthy habits you maintain today can determine how severe your menopause symptoms are in the future. Here’s how you can prepare your mind and body for menopause.

Mental Flexibility

Equip your mind with the mental toughness that menopause can demand. Take another look at how you perceive changes in your life and how much you value your current habits and lifestyle. Start making small steps to introduce healthier lifestyle habits. Give yourself a break, take time out to explore the new changes that are happening, embrace them, and learn how to work with them. 

Adopting Healthy Habits

The body is a fine-tuned machine that becomes even more sensitive to what’s put in it and what’s done with it as it ages. If you love a drink, try reducing how often you treat yourself to one – your liver will thank you. Sweet-toothed readers will want to start weaning themselves off processed foods and sugars, reducing inflammatory markers – your joints will love you for it. 

Your late 20s and 30s are the perfect time to turn new habits into lifelong ones. Be kind to your future self by incorporating fitness and healthy eating into your lifestyle. Of course, you can still have fun, but think about the near future as well.

well-being coach

Make Space for Menopause in Society

Menopause is a natural but often misunderstood process that all women will go through at some point in their lives. For too long, menopause has been shrouded in secrecy, causing many women to feel isolated during this difficult time. However, it does not have to be a taboo topic. By talking openly about menopause with those around you, you can help to break down the barriers of silence and misunderstanding. In addition, sharing information and tips can make it easier for your support system to handle menopausal symptoms.

Sharon James is a women’s health and well-being coach specialising in menopause wellness. Visit www.sharonjamescoaching.com for more information or connect with her via Instagram and Facebook. You can also get on the waitlist for her Menopause Mastery workshops here


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Everything You’ve Wanted to Know About Crystal Water Bottles

Positively energised.

Crystal-infused water bottles have been gaining popularity among wellness enthusiasts in recent years. These bottles, designed to infuse water with the healing properties of crystals, enhance the energy and benefits of the water. Read more to learn how to use these unique bottles.

Different crystals are associated with different properties and energies. For example, amethyst is believed to promote peace and relaxation, while rose quartz, is with love and compassion. Research or consult with a crystal healer to determine which crystal would be most beneficial for you. It’s important to choose the right crystal for your needs.

All of us at Gaggler are obsessed with wellness, water, and the wonderful healing properties of crystals. Joining the club with the likes of Miranda Kerr and Victoria Beckham, we believe that crystals hold energy and are the gateway to physical and emotional benefits. While it is not scientifically proven, crystal-infused water may just be the placebo effect we are looking to incorporate into our healing.

Why Use Healing Crystals?

Healing crystals have been used for centuries by different cultures as a form of alternative healing. They are believed to have unique properties that can assist in the healing of physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments. In recent years, there has been a surge in popularity for these crystals, with people turning to them as a form of self-care and holistic healing. But what exactly are healing crystals made of, how do you select the best one for you, and how do you care for them?

What Are Healing Crystals Made Of?

Healing crystals are made of minerals that are found in the earth’s crust. These minerals are believed to have specific energetic properties that can affect our own energy fields. Crystals are formed from the cooling of molten rock (magma) or the evaporation of mineral-rich water. The minerals form into a crystalline structure, which is what gives each crystal its unique qualities. 

For example, amethyst is said to help with anxiety and stress, while rose quartz is believed to promote love and emotional healing. Some crystals, such as clear quartz, are said to have universal healing properties and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Selecting the Best Crystal for You

Selecting the right crystal for you is a personal and intuitive process. You may be drawn to a particular crystal based on its appearance or the way it makes you feel. Here are some tips to help you select the best crystal for you:

Research: Do some research on the different types of crystals and their properties. This can help you narrow your choices and find a crystal that aligns with your specific needs.

Trust your intuition: When selecting a crystal, trust your intuition. You may be drawn to a certain color or shape or feel a strong connection to a particular crystal. Listen to your instincts and choose the crystal that feels right for you.

Hold the crystal: Hold the crystal in your hand and feel its energy. Does it feel warm or cold? Heavy or light? Pay attention to the way the crystal makes you feel.

Ask for guidance: If you’re having trouble selecting a crystal, ask for guidance. Close your eyes and ask the universe to guide you to the crystal that is best for you.

Once you’ve chosen your crystal, start by cleansing it to remove any negative energy. You can do this by holding it under running water, smudging it, or placing it on a bed of salt. Next, fill your crystal-infused water bottle with fresh, filtered water for several hours or overnight. The longer the crystal is in the water, the more potent the infusion will be. Take a moment to set an intention for your water. This can be a simple affirmation or a specific goal you wish to focus on. In this way, you will direct the energy of the crystal-infused water toward a particular outcome.

To care for your crystal-infused water bottle, be sure to clean it with hot, soapy water. Avoid exposing the bottle to extreme temperatures or dropping it, as this can damage the crystal inside.

Benefits of Drinking Crystal-Infused Water

Water is a powerful cleanser and purifier. When a crystal is placed in water, the water molecules absorb the energy from the crystal, creating a vibrational imprint of the crystal’s energy in the water. This is because water is a highly receptive element that can absorb and transmit energy.

It has been scientifically proven that water has memory and can hold information in the form of vibrational frequencies. When a crystal is placed in water, its vibrational frequency is transferred to the water molecules, creating crystal-infused water that can be used for consumption. It is a simple and effective way to access the healing properties of the crystals and promote overall well-being.

Wellness in a Bottle

Crystal-infused water bottles are designed to help harness the power of crystals. Each crystal has its unique properties, and the water bottles are specifically designed to match the properties to the corresponding centers, also known as chakras, in the body. For example, the Rose Quartz crystal is known to promote self-love, compassion, and healing of the heart chakra, while the Amethyst crystal is known to enhance intuition and calmness.

Crystal-infused water bottles also provide physical benefits. For instance, many crystals are believed to have detoxifying properties and aid in removing toxins from your body. Some crystals are also believed to enhance the immune system or improve digestion.

A good quality crystal-infused water bottle is made from lead-free borosilicate glass, ensuring the water remains safe for consumption. The crystals are placed in the bottle, and the stainless steel and silicone seal keeps them securely in place. Fascinated by crystal-infused water bottles as much as we are? We have recommended a few below if you’re interested in incorporating crystal-infused water into your daily routine.


Aventurine Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00


Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00


Rose Quartz Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00

Crystal-Infused water bottles are a recent trend that has rapidly gained popularity in the wellness community. While the scientific evidence supporting the claims made regarding their benefits is limited, many people who have used crystals, swear by them. Gaggler founder, Monica, started using crystals 2 years ago and is always seen with a stack of crystals on her wrist. Using a crystal-infused water bottle is a stylish and convenient way to stay hydrated throughout the day and explore the power of crystal healing, if wearing crystals isn’t for you.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians, medical practitioners, or industry experts, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Gaggler.


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