As women start to age, their ovarian functions naturally start to slow down and egg supply begins to decrease. This triggers the start of the perimenopause stage (or the menopause transitional phase) in which menstrual periods gradually become irregular. Once a woman stops having her period for one year, she is said to have entered menopause.
Many horror stories have been told about menopause. Probably because it entails a host of unpleasant (to put it mildly) symptoms that can cause physical, mental, and emotional misery. Hormonal levels in a woman’s body fluctuate throughout perimenopause and menopause and these fluctuations are expected to cause compounded discomfort as the ovaries struggle with hormonal production. These fluctuations result in tormenting symptoms that can be greatly challenging if left unchecked. However, the good news is that these symptoms can be managed.
Here are the most common changes that women undergoing menopause can expect to go through and how they can alleviate the symptoms:
Menopausal women undergophysical changes such as:
During menopause, hot flashes occur as women experience a sudden rise in body temperature. This can cause side effects such as sweating, dizziness, and heart palpitations. To manage hot flashes, it is advisable to dress in layers, use a fan, drink lots of water, and avoid staying in the heat. Women should also avoid hot flash triggers such as eating spicy food or consuming alcohol. Soy based foods such as tofu, edamame, and miso, which are high in phytoestrogens, are also said to have beneficial results for managing hot flashes.
Decreased estrogen levels result to massive bone loss and make menopausal women more susceptible to osteoporosis. To keep bones healthy, women should drink calcium supplements and eat food with a lot of calcium. Some examples are dairy products and dark leafy vegetables. It is also advisable to take vitamin D supplements and include regular (gentle) exercises to strengthen the bones.
Decreased estrogen levels also make the arteries less flexible and can result to an increased risk of heart disease so make sure to maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise, and stop/avoid smoking.
Menopausal women also undergoemotional changes that can result to:
Imagine having to undergo monumental body changes at a time in your life when you are juggling responsibilities such as raising teenage kids, caring for ageing parents, and maintaining a career. During menopause, women not only tend to worry about how it will affect their bodies physically, they worry about how these changes can impact their mental and emotional health as well. All this worrying can affect her over-all disposition and can result to sleep problems, stress, anxiety, and mood swings.
Not only do hormonal fluctuations result to sleep disorder, the physical symptoms like hot flashes can keep a woman up at night as well, and she may feel tired and cranky the next day. No wonder mood swings are an ever present symptom of menopause. Again, regular exercise can help alleviate this problem. As a general rule, fit people can get better quality of sleep. Be sure to stick with gentle exercises such as light stretches, Pilates, or yoga but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
Some form of meditation can help calm the mind and ease stress and anxiety. Supplements containing the ayurvedic herb called Ashwagandha can bring tremendous benefits for women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause. Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic properties stimulate the central nervous system and help fight stress by reducing cortisol levels. It is also a fabulous mood elevator and can help alleviate those mood swings. Kulture's Latte Liberate contains Ashwagandha and is designed help to alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Finally, creating a self care regimen can do wonders for managing stress, anxiety, and mood swings. Taking time to relax with a cup of tea, getting a massage, having yourself pampered during a spa day, doing some gardening, or just reconnecting and talking to a friend are some ways women can lavish on self love.
Menopause should not be a dreaded time in a woman’s life. With proper diet, daily exercise, and regular health check ups, women can make the most out of this natural and beautiful time in their lives and make this time about taking care of themselves.
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