Menopause: Symptoms & Solutions

Posted by GPWHC on 27 March 2017

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?  If you’re one of the millions of women going through menopause you’ll agree it’s probably hot! Menopause, or ‘the change’ as it’s often referred as, is a totally normal condition that a woman goes through as she gets older, marking the end of her reproductive period. A woman is born with a certain number of eggs stored in her ovaries. The time frame varies, but sometime between the ages of 40-50, the ovaries no longer have any eggs to release, and a woman will no longer menstruate.  Menopause is the 12 months after your last period and marks the end of your menstrual cycles.

Menopause means no more worrying about getting pregnant, and no more monthly periods or the cramps that come with it. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, not so fast. Though menopause does mark a new kind of freedom in a woman’s life, it can pose some challenges.

There are many symptoms associated with menopause. Some can be downright annoying, but understanding what is happening, and learning ways to deal with menopause symptoms will make it much easier to live with. Let’s start with hot flashes. Suddenly you feel the sensation of heat rising up from your chest to your face, and you’re sweating as though you’re in the tropics. Welcome to your first hot flash!  Not to be outdone, night sweats are typically caused by hot flashes that occur as you sleep. And this in turn, can also lead to difficulties in sleeping.

There are some easy ways to combat hot flashes and night sweats. Keeping a small portable fan with you and dressing in layers can be beneficial. Take note of any triggers that may contribute to your hot flashes (alcohol, spicy food or being in a very warm place), and try to avoid them. When sleeping, be sure to keep your bedroom temperature on the cool side, and wear light breathable fabrics to bed. Your doctor may recommend HRT (hormone replacement therapy), which has been found to be effective at treating hot flashes.

Other symptoms of menopause may include irregular periods and the dreaded mood swings. Irregular periods and spotting are fairly common during menopause. Frequent mood swings and weight gain are due to the hormone imbalance your body is going through. This imbalance is caused by the lack of the hormone estrogen, which also contributes to thinning hair and skin which become more noticeable during menopause.

Making simple changes in your lifestyle can help symptoms. Many women find that changing their diet, exercising, taking herbal supplements and reducing stress in their life can be great natural menopause treatments. Try eating foods that boost estrogen levels like apples, soy, cherries and wheat. Sign up for yoga classes or practice mediation. Small changes can go a long way, and exercising and eating well will also help you sleep better at night.

Overall, many women don’t find the symptoms of menopause uncomfortable, and even find they go away by themselves. If, however, you are bothered by your symptoms, contact the caring physicians at Great Plains Women’s Health Center to discuss the best way to treat your menopausal symptoms. Remember, you’re not getting older, you’re getting better!

 





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Involving Your Partner in Your Pregnancy
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