Menopause, which typically begins for most women in their late 40s or early 50s can affect a woman mentally, physically and socially. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability and tiredness as well as weakened bones and an increased difficulty to enjoy sex are all part of the package that is menopause for millions of women.
However, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of menopause so that most symptoms are a mere irritation rather than a life-changing nightmare. Here are some good tips to make menopause reasonable and under your general control.
#1. Reduce the impact of hot flashes
Estrogen or low dose antidepressants are the number one way women deal with hot flashes, but there are risks you’ll need to talk to your doctor about.
The natural way is to keep cool, lower the temperature down in your home, dress in layers so you can control your bodies temperature by using a fan or air conditioner. If you feel a hot flash coming on, try sipping on a cold glass of water.
#2. Be sure to drink a lot of water
Menopause, with its loss of estrogen, often gives women a greater thirst. Try drinking a minimum of 8-12 glasses of water, and be a water sipper throughout the day. Note we are talking water here. Coffee’s teas and colars are diuretics which just drains your body further from the needed hydration. And the best way to drink water?
Not in spurts but continuously throughout the day.
#3. Keep your weight down?
Women face a double-edged sword trying to lose weight during menopause. Women trying to shed their weight during menopause becomes more difficult because women have less estrogen in their body. At the same time, women’s metabolism naturally slows down as they age.
And the major problem for most women is that not only do they tend to put on pounds during menopause but that the pounds are primarily distributed in their belly rather than on their hips and thigs during earlier periods of their life. The tendency to put on belly fat around the middle if you gain a few pounds is similar to the problem men tend to experience, and it can be extremely frustrating for women.
In addition, adding weight in your middle greatly increases a woman’s chances of having a heart attack, stroke or high blood pressure. As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds women continually, heart disease is the number one killer of women (men too.) Are there solutions? Yes, to a point. One solution is for women experiencing menopause to be particularly rigorous about their diet.
This means less pizza, less sugary snacks and drinks, perhaps less red meat, and more fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein like fish. In addition, engaging in physical activities that make you sweat as well as adding strength and conditioning activities may help control menopause spread.
#4. Eat foods rich in Calcium, Vitamin D and possibly those foods High in Phytoestrogens
The hormonal changes experienced with menopause can definitely weaken bones increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Later on, this can lead to hip fractures in women as they get into their 70s and 80s, and hip fractures are no laughing matter.
Calcium is found in foods containing milk such as cheese and yogurt. Vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach. Sardines, beans and tofu also have a decent amount of calcium. If you don’t any of those, then definitely consider supplementation. As far as vitamin D is concerned, the best source is around 10 minutes of sun in the early morning, although vitamin D can be obtained from oily fish and eggs.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds in some foods. Japanese women rarely experience hot flashes and its thought to be from their high diet in tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, linseeds, sesame seeds and beans. Phytoestrogens tend to mimic the effects of estrogen.
#5. Take a supplement
As you can see, getting the right vitamins can be exceedingly important during menopause but it’s not always easy. Therefore, consider adding natural menopause supplements to your diet.
#6. Get better sleep
Getting great sleep is extremely helpful to those going through menopause. Extremely helpful are Yoga, Tai Chi and Meditation which can do wonders to promote good sleep. Also earlier in the day, get some decent exercise that gets the blood pumping.
At night be sure not to take alcohol as a nightcap or a cup of coffee tends to stimulate you rather than to induce sleep. Try a cup of warm milk with perhaps a spoonful of honey.
#7. Don’t forget about sex
Sex can be lovely during and after menopause, but most women need to make adjustments. As the natural vaginal fluids tend to become drier, they may need products that help replace some of the lost natural lubricants. In addition, more foreplay, as well as massage, tend to be your friends when it comes to sex during menopause.