by Emily Hodges
A little overview on menopausal symptoms and how to live with them.
According to the Office on Women’s Health, the average age for entering menopause is 52 years old. Menopause begins when a woman goes a year without menstruating and, thus, loses the ability to naturally get pregnant due to decreased hormone production. Menopause symptoms include hot flushes, mood swings, dry skin or hair, sleep problems, bone loss, and trouble focusing or concentrating. While these symptoms can be major inconveniences and take a stranglehold on your life, there are several ways to keep them at bay. Managing your menopause symptoms allows you to live a healthy and uninhibited life. Read below to learn more.
During menopause, production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone decreases, which causes various changes or problems throughout the body. Hormone therapy is a popular way to keep menopause symptoms related to decreased hormone production at bay. Hormone therapy involves replacing lost hormones through medications, creams, or patches. Hormone therapy also decreases your risk of diabetes, tooth loss, and cataracts. However, hormone therapy can cause complications, so consult with a doctor if you are interested. They will recommend the proper dosage and course of action, based on your specific situation. Even with potential risks, it is one of the most effective ways to treat and manage menopause symptoms.
Low-Dose Antidepressants and Other Supplements
Hormone therapy is not the only medical treatment used to manage menopausal symptoms, as many doctors prescribe antidepressants in low dosages. Studies have shown that low doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) combat hot flushes or night sweats. Therefore, this improves the sleep quality of women undergoing menopause. Other medications provide comfort or relief from menopause symptoms as well.
For example, sleeping medications will combat hot flushes by increasing your sleep quality. There are also natural supplements that can be used to potentially treat menopause symptoms. Phytoestrogens, which are found in red clover, black cohosh, and various other probiotics or supplements may alleviate hot flash symptoms.
Essential oils can also help manage symptoms. For example, clary sage has been shown to deter osteoporosis and peppermint oil helps with hot flashes. Other oils help with hormone imbalance as well. However, be cautious that more research is needed behind the effectiveness of some natural supplements, oils, or herbs. Consult with a doctor if you are interested in these methods.
There are many simple yet effective dietary changes one can make to lessen menopause symptoms. Eating a well-balanced diet not only helps deter menopause symptoms, but combats ageing in general by keeping you younger and more vibrant. Foods rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D have been shown to prevent menopause symptoms like osteoporosis by strengthening your bones.
Since it is key to keep a healthy weight during menopause, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Doctors also recommend eating foods high in phytoestrogen, a plant compound that imitates the effects of estrogen. Foods high in phytoestrogen include soy products, tofu, flaxseeds, and more. You may also find that certain foods lead to hot flushes, so take note to avoid any potential triggers. Common triggers include spicy or hot foods, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. In general, it is best to avoid processed foods and refined sugars as well. These may weaken your bones and lead to rising blood pressure. You can also combat menopause symptoms through your fluid intake. Drinking lots of water and limiting caffeine or alcohol lessens the effects of many symptoms. You can also drink chamomile tea or a cold glass of water right before bed to combat hot flushes.
Exercise and Physical Routines
You can also exercise and alter your physical routines to combat symptoms of menopause. For starters, do not smoke and avoid secondhand cigarette smoke. Cigarettes cause countless health problems, many of which lead to directly worsening your menopause symptoms. Regular exercise also helps keep a healthy weight, which naturally deters menopause symptoms. Relaxation and breathing exercises such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, and box breathing also help with menopause symptoms. All of these will strengthen your bones, increase your mood, prevent weight gain, and reduce your risk of other diseases. As we already discussed, vitamin D helps deter negative menopause symptoms. Sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, so spend plenty of time outside! Therefore, exercising outside will really help with your menopause symptoms.
Skin and Hair Care Routines
One symptom of menopause is skin and hair dryness. Moisturizers, lotions, night creams, and shampoos will keep your hair and skin looking young and healthy. There are also estrogen-based vaginal lubricants or non-hormonal moisturizers to help fight vaginal dryness, which is another prevalent symptom of menopause.
Keep Your Home Cool
Keeping your home cool goes a long way toward improving your menopause symptoms. This will help with hot flushes, night sweats, and other menopause-related sleeping issues. Window air conditioners and ceiling fans work great for keeping your home cool, but ductless mini splits are the best way to feel comfortable indoors. They are known for their high levels of efficiency, easy installation, maintenance process, and air filtering capabilities.
Ductless mini splits also have single and multi-zone capabilities. Multi-zone systems allow you to control the temperature in certain rooms without altering the other rooms or “zones”. This means you can decrease the temperature of your room when you feel a hot flush coming on. This allows you to sleep in a cooler bedroom, which is a sure-fire way to combat night sweats and hot flushes.
Wearing layers help combat hot flushes. Since hot flushes come on without notice, wearing layers allows you to peel off articles of clothing to lower your body temperature. You can also wear lighter, breathable fabrics to keep your body temperature down. For those suffering from night sweats, sleeping in lighter clothing will minimize night sweats.
Menopause symptoms don’t have to control your life. With these healthy tips, you can decrease your symptoms and live the life you want to live! For any other questions concerning treatments or symptoms, contact a doctor.
Author Bio: Emily Hodges is a Marketing Communications Specialist for Comfort Up, a provider of indoor and outdoor heating and cooling systems. Emily oversees all marketing- related functions from their Miami, FL office. In her spare time, she loves all things interior design and has helped many friends completely renovate their homes.