Menopause is a natural part of life that happens to every woman. However, the symptoms and lifestyle changes that accompany menopause can be uncomfortable at best and debilitating at worst. Dr. Nadine Haddad suggests, fortunately, there are ways to manage menopause symptoms and make the transition as smooth as possible. This guide will walk you through some common symptoms of menopause, treatments for them (if needed), and lifestyle changes you may want to consider making during this time in your life:
Menopause is a normal part of aging that occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and may include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems (including waking up in the middle of the night), mood changes (such as irritability), vaginal dryness and painful sex.
There’s no way to know how long menopause will last for any given woman. But if you’re going through it now — or think you might be — here are some things you need to know about this stage in life:
- Hormone therapy. Hormone therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), uses synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone to relieve symptoms and prevent osteoporosis. It’s most commonly prescribed for women who have had a hysterectomy or are going through menopause naturally.
- Natural remedies. Natural remedies include dietary changes such as eating more soy products or adding flaxseed oil to your diet; supplements like evening primrose oil, black cohosh root extract, and vitamin E; aromatherapy massage oils made with lavender essential oil; relaxation exercises like yoga or meditation; acupuncture treatments; homeopathy pills that contain plant extracts such as chasteberry fruit (Vitex agnus-castus)
Lifestyle changes can help you manage menopause symptoms, especially those that are caused by stress. Here are some tips for managing your stress and making healthy lifestyle choices:
- Exercise regularly. Exercise can improve your mood, sleep quality, and energy levels–all of which may be affected by menopause. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days (for example: brisk walking). You should talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program if you haven’t been active recently or have health concerns related to exercise or poor physical condition.
- Get enough sleep every night; try not to nap during the day if possible.* Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.* Manage stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.* Massage therapy may help ease hot flashes; ask your doctor if this might be right for you.* Consider taking medication only when absolutely necessary because they can have side effects such as weight gain
Understanding your options is the first step to finding relief.
Understanding your options is the first step to finding relief. It’s important to know that you are not alone, and there are many different treatment options available.
To find relief from symptoms, it may be helpful for some women to make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Menopause is a natural process that every woman goes through, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult or uncomfortable as it can be. There are many different treatment options available that can help you feel better during this time of your life, including hormone therapy and lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise. It’s important to remember that no two women are alike and what works well for one may not help another at all. Don’t give up hope though! Take time researching all of your options before making any decisions about how best handle menopause symptoms because there’s always something new coming out on the market (and trust me when I say there is no shortage of products out there).