Menopause is that stage in a woman’s life when her menstrual period stops. It is a natural process, and it generally occurs after the age of 45. During menopause, the woman’s ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. One of the signs of menopause is that the woman has not had her period for one year.
During menopause, a woman will undergo many changes in her body. The changes can be subtle, while for some, they can be drastic. Visit your nearby women’s health clinic. A clinic that specializes in women’s health can help you deal with these confusing yet natural changes.
Symptoms of Menopause
A woman will also experience the following symptoms during menopause. The symptoms and signs can begin years earlier.
- Irregular menstrual period
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Difficulty focusing
Natural Ways to Make Menopause Symptoms Manageable
Menopause is a natural process, but the symptoms can cause extreme discomfort. Here are some natural ways that can help make menopause easier to manage.
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
Weight gain is normal during menopause. About 30% of women from age 50 to 59 years are obese. It’s easier to gain after menopause because of the following reasons:
- A drop in estrogen levels
- Most adults don’t exercise enough
- Lower resting metabolism
- You need more time and intensity than before to lose weight
Weight gain comes with many health risks such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes.
2. Increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D.
During menopause, hormonal changes take place, which can weaken your bones and increase your risks of osteoporosis. Both Calcium and Vitamin D are known to maintain bone health. Increase your intake of these nutrients to strengthen your bones during menopause.
Eat foods that are rich in calcium, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk. Kale and spinach are also loaded with calcium, as well as beans and tofu.
Vitamin D aids the body in calcium absorption. Soak up some ray of morning sunshine for your daily dose of Vitamin D. Additional sources of Vitamin D are fish, eggs, and cod liver oil. However, these might not be enough sometime. People over 51 to 70 years old should get 600 IU of Vitamin D every day. Those who are 70 years old should get 800 IU every day. However, you must talk to your doctor first before you take any Vitamin D supplements.
3. Load up on fruits and vegetables.
Include at least 1 1/2 cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables in your daily diet. Vegetables provide you with lots of fiber, and some can give you servings of iron. Fruits and vegetables contain lesser calories, which can help you maintain a healthy weight. They also help reduce the risks of heart diseases.
4. Exercise regularly.
Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid obesity. Perform aerobic activities for at least 10 minutes a day. You can do strength training two to three times a week to improve your metabolism. Gardening, yoga, and dumbbells are good examples of strength training.
Low-impact aerobics such as swimming, walking, aerobics, dancing, and cycling is good for the heart and lungs. At least 30 minutes of low-impact aerobics daily is good for you.
It is important to discuss things with your doctor before you start any exercise regimen.
5. Drink water.
Even women who are not in menopause should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. During menopause, drinking 8-12 glasses of water can help with the following:
- Dryness due to low estrogen levels
- Bloating which becomes prevalent due to hormonal changes the body experiences
- Weight gain
6. Do not smoke.
Smoking increases the risks of many health problems, such as heart diseases, osteoporosis, stroke, and cancer. A study shows that smoking also increases the risk of hot flashes.
7. Avoid refined sugar and processed foods.
Processed foods and refined sugar contribute to the rise of your blood sugar, which can affect your temperament. The more processed the food is, the worse its effect on your blood sugar. To limit added sugar and processed carbohydrates, avoid white bread, baked goods, and crackers. They can increase your chances of hot flashes as well.
8. Skip alcohol and coffee.
Alcohol and caffeine are also known to increase your risk of hot flashes. They do not increase the frequency of hot flashes. Instead, they make it worse and more severe.
Alcohol and coffee intake can also disrupt your sleep patterns. You need to get enough sleep to get the rest that your body needs.
You do not have to suffer through your menopausal period. Stay healthy, watch what you’re eating, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. If your symptoms become severe, talk to your doctor immediately.