How often have you heard women saying that until their 30s, they were in good health? Things started changing after that. “I don’t know why my body has started behaving weirdly after my 40th birthday”. This was precisely what a middle-aged woman told her friend at the grocery store last week.
This isn’t just the story of one. Instead, every woman goes through this phase when they are transitioning into menopause. They could experience myriad symptoms that vary in intensity and severity from one woman to the other. While some could be coping with more hot flashes, for a few, vaginal dryness could be a little challenging to handle. Some women might even battle it out with sleep issues.
Before we get into a detailed conversation about menopausal symptoms and how to cope with them, I’d like to give a quick introduction of myself. I’m Sabrina Johnson, and I would call myself a medical writer.
My knowledge of obstetrics and gynaecology prompted me to create my website. It is indeed a privilege to share my knowledge about menopause with women going through the condition. I hope it will be of use and help women in their menopause journey. You can visit my website to know more about me and read my writings.
Know About the Symptoms of Menopause
A lot has been spoken about the menopausal symptoms – some are real, while few are myths. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the symptoms most women go through during menopause.
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Perimenopausal cramps
- Sleep disturbances
- Vaginal dryness
- Slow metabolism
- Weight gain
- Sore breasts
- Increased stress levels, which could trigger low confidence and low self-esteem
- Brain fog – manifested through mental fatigue, feelings of confusion, low concentration, forgetfulness, and fatigue
- Dry skin
- Thin hair
There are some less common symptoms that only a handful of women may experience. Here they go:
- Burning tongue
- Changes in body odor
- Hearing changes
- Voice change
- Increased allergic reactions
How to Cope with the Menopause-Related Issues?
How to Cope with Menopause
Before knowing about the coping strategies, it is essential to understand why the different symptoms occur in menopause. It’s all because of the hormonal imbalances, which keep fluctuating when you transition into perimenopause. Once you’ve entered menopause, the hormones (estrogen, progesterone) reduce in number. Their rise and fall trigger the various physical symptoms women go through.
The challenge lies in coping with these symptoms and continuing your day-to-day life in a hassle-free way. Here are some tips to manage menopausal issues with ease and take care of your overall well-being.
- Eat well. When you follow a healthy diet and cut off all the unhealthy and trigger foods from your food list, you’ll be able to manage most of the menopausal symptoms, from hot flashes to mood issues and much more. Add fresh fruits and veggies to your diet.
Do not miss out on whole grains like brown rice, barley, quinoa, and rye. Including a sufficient amount of whole grains in your diet will benefit you by lessening the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
You should also add quality protein to your diet to foster bone health that gets affected in perimenopause and menopause. Fish, dairy products, legumes, meat, and eggs are good protein sources.
Omit triggers of hot flashes like spicy foods and caffeine. You should also limit your alcohol intake to no more than a drink a day. When you suffer from hot flashes too often, add cooling foods to your diet, like eggs, legumes, dairy products, fish, and meat, to feel better.
- Exercise regularly to manage your weight and keep yourself physically and mentally fit. Include activities like jogging, walking, swimming, gardening, etc. Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques will be beneficial in relieving stress and calming your mind. When you exercise every day, it’ll help to lessen the intensity of most of the menopausal symptoms.
- Perimenopausal cramps are pretty common in menopause transition due to the highs and lows of the hormones. Here are some of the tips if you are on the lookout for treatment for menopause cramps.
- Exercising regularly often helps to ease cramps to a greater extent. When you are on the move, even in the form of gentle exercises, your muscles get relaxed, and the pain eventually lessens.
- Soak in a warm bath. You can even take a warm compress for relief.
- You can resort to OTCs when the pain gets unbearable and can’t be managed through home remedies.
- When troubled with hot flashes, experienced by about 75% of women, here are some measures to cope with it.
- Be it at bedtime or even during the day, you should consider dressing in layers. You can remove some of them during a hot flash to cool yourself. Cold chills mostly follow hot flashes. So, you could put something warm on to feel comfortable.
- Stay hydrated, and keep a cold water bottle handy to help you whenever you have hot flashes, whether at work or during bedtime.
- Keep a fan by your bedside or carry a portable one when you go out to cool yourself during sudden hot flashes.
- Avoid spicy foods, which could trigger your hot flashes and worsen matters.
- Quit smoking and lessen caffeine and alcohol intake, or it may aggravate the symptoms of hot flashes.
- The hormonal fluctuations and several menopausal symptoms are responsible for sleep deprivation in most women during menopause. Here are some valuable tips that will help you, especially if you are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
- Adhere to a regular sleep time.
- Refrain from taking a nap later in the afternoon or evening. It may affect your night’s sleep.
- Soothe yourself before bedtime. You could take a warm bath, read your favorite book, or play soft music.
- Avoid triggers like caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
- Prevent from using electronic gadgets like mobiles or tabs before going to bed. The rays from these devices may hamper your sleep.
As the estrogen levels decline, the vaginal tissues get thinner and inflamed, causing the vagina to become dry. Here are some remedies to find relief from vaginal dryness.
- Moisturizing your vagina by using lubricants will help to keep your vagina healthy.
- Pelvic floor exercises or Kegels help to increase the blood circulation of the vagina and the pelvic floor. When the blood flow to the vagina improves, it helps to enhance lubrication.
Your Questions Please
Q. Do the symptoms of menopause last forever?
No, the symptoms don’t last forever. They persist for 4-5 years on average after you’ve had menopause. With time, they lessen in intensity and severity.
Q. When should I see a doctor regarding my menopausal symptoms?
If you face some of the symptoms regularly, and if they make it difficult for you to pursue your daily activities, you need to see a doctor. It must be ensured that the reason is menopause and not anything else.
The above symptoms aren’t the only symptoms of menopause to manage. The list is umpteen. The management technique may differ for each one of them. However, when you maintain a healthy diet, give sufficient time for exercise, and remain stress-free. When you have a healthy and fit mind, your body will respond automatically.