As we age our bodies go through natural changes that we usually do not like but cannot do anything about. One of those changes is menopause, happening to every woman, usually after the age of 40. Since nature is not always kind to its creatures, menopause and premenopause can have very unpleasant symptoms. They are caused by the drop (in some cases dramatic, in other gradual) in the production of estrogen, which creates an imbalance in hormones. The majority of women go through this important life period feeling only mild symptoms, some do not feel any change at all while others experience very intense disturbances caused by these hormonal changes. Let us see what we can do to make this delicate life stage easier for them.
Know the Symptoms
Knowledge truly is power, and first of all, it will help you to be prepared for what is coming, but it will also help you understand the difference between common symptoms and the severe ones and menopause symptoms and others.
- Common symptoms: The usual menopause symptoms are the ones that you have heard about a million times and they hit almost any woman going through this stage (in different intensity, though). The most common indicators of menopause and premenopause are hot flashes. Sudden feelings of unbearable warmth are caused by body’s weakened ability to control the temperature, because of the drop in estrogen. Other frequent symptoms are headaches, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia, panic attacks, fatigue, hair thinning, skin changes, vaginal dryness, changes in libido, bladder control issues and pain during sex.
- Severe symptoms: Although menopause is completely natural stage in life, it can have some extremely unpleasant symptoms, which can have serious consequences. Intense mood changes, sleep deprivation, fatigue and insomnia can lead to exhaustion and in some cases even heavy depression. Additionally, similar indicators can weaken the immune system and leave the door opened for different health threats that come with age. Also, some studies have tried to find proof of the link between menopause and severe diseases, such as breast cancer and cardiovascular issues, but there is still no concrete evidence for such claims.
Treating the Symptoms
Medicine has given no worthy solution for the menopause symptoms, and the most commonly used treatment is hormone replacement therapy, which consequences are not still clear. Some women turn to alternative treatments such as herbal teas, acupuncture, and massages, but the most certain way to go is making lifestyle changes.
- A balanced diet with sufficient fiber (white beans, corn, avocado, brown rice, artichoke, lentils, pears, edamame, whole-wheat bread, etc.) should help you prevent bowel movements and constipation. You should also increase the intake of phytoestrogen foods (e.g. broccoli and soya) and reduce the intake of carbohydrates. Consider visiting some spiritual retreats where you’ll have the opportunity to receive individual assessment about the best diet and exercise plan.
- Physical activities are the key to successful coping with menopause. Exercising during this period can reduce the risk of breast cancer, prevent weight gain, improve mood, strengthen the bones and avert other diseases which come with age.
- Staying outdoors is essential for improving the mood, preventing depression and reducing stress. Combine that with physical activities you can perform outside and you will get the perfect formula for improved life quality.
- Drink plenty of fluids during this period (at least 1l of water + teas with a small amount of caffeine and natural juices) to avoid fatigue and dehydration and reduce symptoms.
- Talking about the symptoms and all the other changes following this life stage can be of actual help, especially for reducing the psychological indicators of menopause. You should try to explain to your family what you are going through and that you need understanding, but also, you can discuss your problems with other women going through similar situation.
The best way to cope with menopause is to embrace the natural aging process while using the mentioned methods to alleviate the intense symptoms.