Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It’s diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.
Menopause is a natural biological process. But the physical symptoms, and emotional symptoms of menopause may disrupt your sleep, lower your energy or affect emotional health. There are many effective lifestyle changes you can make.
In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:
Symptoms, are different for every woman. Most likely, you’ll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies:
Fortunately, many of the signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. Take these steps to help reduce symptoms.
Cool hot flashes. Dress in light clothing, have a cold glass of water next to you,. Try to pinpoint what triggers your hot flashes. Triggers may include hot beverages, caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol etc..
Get enough sleep. Avoid caffeine, which can make it hard to get to sleep, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can interrupt sleep. Exercise during the day, although not right before bedtime. Practice relaxation techniques. You can find a number of books, CDs and online offerings on different exercises.
Eat a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit saturated fats, oils and sugars. Ask your provider if you need calcium or vitamin D supplements to help meet daily requirements.
Exercise regularly. Get regular physical activity or exercise on most days..
Plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). These estrogens occur naturally in certain foods. There are two main types of phytoestrogens — isoflavones and lignans. Isoflavones are found in soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes. Lignans occur in flaxseed, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables.
Sage. Sage is thought to contain compounds with estrogen-like effects, and there’s good evidence that it can effectively manage menopause symptoms. .
Black Cohosh. Black cohosh has been popular among many women with menopausal symptoms such as mood changes and night sweats.
Yoga. Yoga is great for reducing menopausal symptoms. Consider taking a class to learn how to perform postures and proper breathing techniques.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture may have some temporary benefit in helping to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms.
Hypnosis. Hypnotherapy may decrease hot flashes for some menopausal women, Hypnotherapy also helped improve sleep.
Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each.
Preparing for your appointment..
Your first appointment will likely be with your primary care provider or a gynecologist.
What you can do
Before your appointment:
Keep track of your symptoms, For instance, make a list of how many hot flashes you experience in a day or week and note how severe they are.
Make a list of any medications, herbs and vitamin supplements you take. Include the doses and how often you take them.
Take a notebook or notepad with you, Use it to record important information during your visit.
Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor, List your most important questions first.
Some basic questions to ask include:
What kind of tests might I need, if any?
Is there anything I can do to relieve my symptoms?
Are there any alternative therapies I might try?
Is there a test that will tell if this is menopause?
In addition, don’t hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment. It’s your body you know it best!