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Want To Know Why Your Joints Hurt So Much?

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Getting older can be surprisingly hard.

Once you hit your mid-thirties, it’s as if someone has a flicked an invisible switch and you’re no longer the youthful and energetic person you used to be.

You start noticing aches and pains. Clicking joints. Even shooting pains that make you wonder what on earth is going on.

You can’t go dancing, can’t walk up the stairs and certainly can’t play with the kids or grandkids anymore. It’s as if you’ve aged twenty years in the last five and you’re starting to feel concerned.

Because it’s not like you’re actually old.

At your tender age, you should be living your life to the full, and planning your next adventure.

Not groaning when you stand up from your chair, or grimacing as your walk uphill, and more certainly feeling young and energetic, not old and frail.

So you visit your doctor and you’re told that it’s probably just signs of growing older. That you just need to get used to the idea that you’re aren’t a spring chicken anymore. That all you can do is rest and do less than you used to.

But here’s the thing- your joint pain might not be signs of growing ‘older’ at all.

It’s more likely to be a normal part of the hormonal shift associated with the menopause. and with a few simple lifestyle shifts, you can absolutely do something about it.

Let me explain.

How the menopause could be causing your joint pain

Despite the fact that the menopause is usually associated with cliched symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, increased hair growth, and weight gain, there are other symptoms which can wreak just as much havoc on your life.

A large number of women also suffer from a degree of joint and bone pain that severely affects the quality of their lives and leaves them feeling crippled and depressed as they transition through the peri-menopause and menopause.

This is because our hormone levels begin to fluctuate wildly as we enter these years of our lives. More specifically, the production of vital sex hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Let me explain some more about the role that each of these hormones play when it comes to your joint health, plus the importance of your thyroid and your adrenal health too.

What oestrogen does for your joints

Oestrogen tends to be one of the primary hormones when it comes to menopausal symptoms and joint pain. This is because it plays many roles when it comes to bone and joint health.

  • Oestrogen helps to protect your joints from injury and damage.

  • Oestrogen regulates the fluid levels in your joints. Low levels of this hormone can ‘dry out’ your joints and prevent them from being nourished.

What progesterone does for your joints

During the menopause, your progesterone levels will also start to decline. This reduces your pain tolerance levels and makes all of those symptoms feel so much worse.

What testosterone does for your joints

A deficiency in testosterone can also lead to you feeling fatigued, low in energy and suffering from aching joints too.

But it’s not just about these sex hormones. The health of your thyroid gland and your adrenal glands also play a role.

How your thyroid gland affects your joint health

Although the thyroid gland doesn’t produce any of the sex hormones which start to shift during the peri-menopause and menopause, it does play an important role in your overall health and wellness.

That’s why we also have to consider this gland when we look at the female body holistically.

Your thyroid gland produces hormones which help regulate many functions in your body, including your metabolic rate, muscle control, your mood, your digestive function and even helps keeps your bones healthy.

Sometimes the thyroid gland can stop working efficiently and lead to hypothyroidism (low activity) or hyperthyroidism (excessive activity). Any problems here can disrupt the production and balance of other hormones within the body, including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

If you are suffering from hypothyroidism (low thyroid activity) and your thyroid isn’t producing the thyroid hormones called T3 and T4 (or both), you’ll notice more stiffness, joint pain or even fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

How your adrenal glands affect your joints

Your adrenal glands also play a role in the health of your joints and muscles. These glands are just over your kidneys and produce sex hormones and cortisol, a hormone which helps you respond to stress.

If they’re damaged, overworked or not working as efficiently as they should be, your body won’t be able to produce sex hormones like oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone efficiently and your thyroid gland will also be affected.

This equals more aches and pains in your joints, and greater fatigue too.

As you can see, all of these hormones and glands; oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormones and your adrenal glands work together to keep your joints healthy. If any one of them falls out of balance, the whole system falls apart and you start suffering.

BUT it is reversible.

So, here are a few holistic healing tips that will help you stop your joints hurting so much so you can feel younger, more energetic and start moving around with greater ease.

How to stop your joints hurting so much

1) Drink plenty of liquids

Drinking plenty of water helps to produce more of the fluid that surrounds your joints (synovial fluid), reduces inflammation within your joints and encourages your body to produce more cartilage.

So grab yourself a refillable water bottle, fill it up and drink plenty throughout the day. I recommend you aim for around 2 litres if you can.

Avoid drinks like fizzy pop, juices, shop-bought flavoured waters and cordials and stick with pure water and fruit and herbal teas.

2) Reduce your alcohol intake

Alcohol also impacts upon your hormone health as a whole as it disrupts your entire endocrine system and can cause inflammation. That’s why I always advise my clients to reduce or even eliminate their consumption of alcohol altogether.

You see, when you drink that glass of wine (or whatever else you’re drinking) and it enters your bloodstream, your liver kicks into action and starts to metabolise the alcohol in your system.

This reduces the amount of an essential coenzyme (chemical helper) called NAD+ in your body. This coenzyme is used when your body creates the sex hormone testosterone, so clearly ‘just one glass of wine’ isn’t doing your hormonal health any favours!

3) Pay attention to your digestive health

Optimal hormonal health starts right there in your digestive system.

If this part of your body isn’t working effectively, you’ll find it much harder to absorb the nutrition you need from your food, you won’t be able to eliminate toxins and excess hormones effectively and you’re more likely to suffer from inflammation which will affect your joints.

That’s why I’d advise you to work hard at boosting your digestive health.

Here’s what I recommend that you do:

  • Chew your food thoroughly

  • Manage your stress on a daily basis

  • Eat plenty of root veggies

  • Include plenty of prebiotic foods in your diet such as onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes

4) Eat foods rich in antioxidants

Antioxidants can help ease that stiffness caused by inflammation and also help combat pain, so they also make a wonderful addition to your diet.

Include plenty of Swiss chard, cinnamon, coriander, basil, oregano, coconut, turmeric and ginger to your diet for the best natural anti-inflammatory results.

5) Increase your intake of omega 3s

Omega 3 fatty acids help your body produce essential hormones and help boost your joint health, so I’d recommend you include as much of them in your diet as you can. It’s always better to get it directly from food.

Great sources include oily fish, egg yolks, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

I can get hold of a really good Omega 3 supplement – so please just ask.

6) Manage your stress daily!

Stress puts huge pressure on your body, affects your hormone production and balance, worsens your joint pain and makes you feel absolutely awful.

That’s why you should take steps to manage your stress every single day before it becomes too much of a problem.

If you’re under stress, doing this will also help lighten your psychological load and help ease your symptoms too.

So make sure you do something that helps you feel calm and in control every single day, whether that’s listening relaxing recording, taking a walk outside in the fresh air, practicing yoga, enjoying some quiet time, writing in your journal, or something else that helps you feel good.

7) Get a stool test

A stool test is a very effective, non-intrusive way you can identify any inflammation or pathogens present in your body as well as highlight any vitamin and mineral deficiencies which could be causing internal stress and therefore making your health issues worse.

I recommend the comprehensive test by Regenerus Labs.

8) Test your hormones

Every woman is different. So although we can usually make a relatively accurate assessment of your hormone status by reviewing your symptoms together, we can’t make an effective plan of action.

We need to understand exactly what is going on. That’s why hormone testing is so important.

I recommend you have your adrenal glands and your thyroid tested (THS, T4 and T3) to see how they’re holding up.

Visit your GP and they should be able to help you to make an appointment for testing.

10) Move your body

Our bodies were designed to move, yet we spend far too much time sitting at our desks, in front of the telly or in our cars.

All that sedentary time has a negative effect on our bodies as a whole. We’re more likely to gain weight, suffer from hormonal problems, suffer from anxiety and depression, develop cardiovascular disease, suffer from high blood pressure and experience a decrease in bone density.

So get moving!

  1. Add activity to your day. Walk to the shop instead of driving there. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Stand up to turn over the television instead of using the remote. Go for a walk with your friends instead of just going to a cafe for lunch.

  2. Enjoy a maximum of 30 minutes of high-intensity activity such as weight training three times a week. This is the type that gets your heart rate up and gets you sweating.

So as you can see, those aches and pains in your joints aren’t just a sign of getting old. They’re common menopause symptoms that are likely connected to the fluctuating levels of various hormones in your body, and you absolutely can do something about them.

Follow the tips I’ve included here and you could ease your joints and start feeling young again!

Which of these tips will you start doing today to ease your joint pain? Let me know in the comments section.

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