Menopause refers to that time in every woman’s life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Most commonly it happens between ages 45 and 55. Due to hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body, she may experience various visible and invisible symptoms and signs bothering her in day to day life. This makes it imperative to understand as to how one can deal with menopause symptoms with a few simple and locally available solutions related to lifestyle change. Also here are some ‘Do’s and Don’ts during menopause’:
Do’s and Don’ts – Menopause Symptoms
Hot flushes and night sweats
Try to recognise the triggering factors to hot flushes. Many women have shared their triggers which include spicy food, tea or coffee, alcohol, smoking, wearing nylon clothing, staying at a hot place for a long time. Lifestyle modification by avoiding these factors goes a long way. One can also adopt the following tips:
|· Wear loose cotton clothing. Dress in loose layers. Immediately remove some when flushes start||· Avoid nylon, polyester clothing|
|· Chose your lingerie wisely, opt for pure cotton light coloured lingerie||· Avoid satin, body fit lingerie|
|· Consume Cold water, fresh juices with antioxidants, soy milk, Flax seeds,||· Avoid spicy food, alcohol, caffeine|
|· Take deep breaths slowly , do yoga every day, stretching exercise, 5 minutes of treadmill, walking early morning||· Stop running or exerting yourself|
|· Use fan , fresh air can also help||· Avoid being at hot place|
Longer or shorter cycles are complained by many women who are approaching menopause. This is caused by erratic behaviour of hormones during perimenipause. At this time, periods may last for 4 days to 2 weeks. Also there might be spotting in between after no periods for 2 months. Most women are also diagnosed with menorrhagia meaning heavy bleeding.
- Seek medical opinion. After a firm diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe a low dose oral contraceptive hormonal treatment.
- Eat Iron and calcium rich food. Also ask for supplements from your doctor.
- Keep yourself hydrated as heavy bleeding may lower your blood pressure.
- Do not avoid these symptoms.
- Avoid smoking
- Do not start any medication without doctors opinion
- Do not take stress and go through it alone. Talk it out with friends and family. Stress can also cause irregular bleeding.
Loss of libido, vaginal dryness Urinary Incontinence
Loss of libido is mainly loss of desire to be physically intimate with the partner. They can be various psychological, hormonal and physical factors leading to this. Anaemia, fatigue, vaginal dryness, ageing concerns, diabetes may also be the causative factors. One may also turn negative about body image and self esteem.
Coughing , laughing and sneezing may cause loss of bladder control which is known as incontinence.
- That’s true. It’s all natural. Talk about it with your partner.
- Make an exercise regime, add kegel exercise (pelvic floor muscle tightening for 5 seconds and releasing), join a laughter club, Yoga
- Consume lots and lots of fluids
- Read light hearted books, keep your mood light
- Use Vitamin E oil to combat vaginal dryness and pain during sexual activity
- Consume green leafy vegetables, soy milk, soy tofu which is said to be estrogenic
- Do not panic and don’t blame yourself.
- Avoid stress and smoking and alcohol
Headaches, Anxiety, irritability, sleep disorder, loss of concentration
Fluctuation in mood is experienced by almost 50% of women during menopause. Yet again lifestyle modification and healthy diet with exercise go a long way in reducing mood swings. Right amont of exercise also helps to sleep.
Stiffness, swelling around joints, Osteoporosis can all lead too bone pains .Calcium rich food, supplements with Vitamin D is recommended. One should also consult a doctor or physical therapist for right techniques of joint massages.
Brittle nails, erratic hair growth/loss
Loss of scalp hair and increased facial hair are due to estrogen deficiency. Brittle nails are due to calcium and iron loss. Right food and supplements and also hormonal replacement therapy can help with these symptoms.
Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT)
In simple words, it is a regime of hormonal medication staken to mitigate the symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency. It is to be initiated under proper guidance of a qualified physician. Usually HRT is given when menopause occurs due to surgical removal or ovaries or when it occurs prematurely. It is highly recommended to take a medical opinion regarding HRT.
Alternative medicine for Menopause
A few researches suggest that few plants have estrogenic properties that may help women with some relief during menopausal bothering Black cohosh, is one such herb that is rich in plant compounds that resemble estrogen and can function like the hormone in the body. But it acts best when taken a short duration.
It is said that one can find bigger happiness in small things. So, these small changes made in lifestyle will invigorate any woman going through the transitional phase of menopause and bring smile to her face always!!