Struggling With Menopause Symptoms? Here are 7 simple remedies to manage it
As women, we experience various stages in life from puberty through womanhood, our bodies develop and evolve. The transition to menopause is a difficult time for many women.
With age, hormonal fluctuations occur during perimenopause, which causes menstrual changes such as shorter, longer, or irregular cycles. In the same way, 12 consecutive months without a period marks menopause. Hormonal functions differ and changes according to the age of menopause.
Is it menopause? - Don’t pause your life!
Here’s how we can make it easier to go through with simple remedies.
Let’s Understand Menopause:
Menopause is a natural biological process and part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 - 55 years of age. In simple terms, Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility.
It happens, when your ovaries no longer make estrogen and progesterone, two hormones necessary for fertility.
In some cases, menopause is induced or caused by injury or surgical (removal of the ovaries)menopause, or primary ovarian insufficiency depending on the cause.
Stages of Menopause:
For better guidance, we need to know about the three stages involved in the menopause process.
- Perimenopause begins several years before menopause. It is the time when the ovaries show a gradual decline in the production of estrogen. This stage usually starts in women in their 40’s and in some women, it may start in their 30’s too.
Most importantly - you can notice irregular cycles. Your periods may be late, or you may completely skip one or more periods. Menstrual flow may also become heavier or lighter.
- Menopause is defined as a lack of menstruation for one full year. It’s a natural process that occurs as the ovaries age and produces less reproductive hormones.
- Post menopause refers to the years after menopause has occurred.
What are the indications?
The signs and symptoms, including changes in menstruation varies among women. Most likely, you'll experience some irregularity in your periods before they end.
The following symptoms are the indicators, that you maybe transitioning into menopause;
- Irregular periods (skipping of periods)
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes(a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body)
- Night sweats
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Emotional changes(irritability, mood swings, mild depression)
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Racing heart
- Worsening of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Joint and muscle pains
These are the signs that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or increased fluctuation in hormone levels.
However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should consult a doctor for better clarity regarding their health condition.
How to Manage or Cope up?
Regular physical activity enhances the quality of sleep and reduces menopause symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings and fatigue.
Schedule your exercise routine in the mornings for better benefits than late evenings during menopause period.
Practice proper sleep pattern (7-8 hrs) to prevent insomnia. Studies also has shown that certain activities, such as yoga and stretching, may help improve hot flashes.
Yoga, meditation, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques are helpful ways to reduce the stress of menopause, and provides better relief.
2. Lifestyle Changes
Limit alcohol, lower stress, depression and mood swings with balanced diet and restrict foods which causes excessive bleeding.
Look for positive ways to unwind and ease daily stress. Proper nutrition and nourishing foods aids in healthy weight loss.
Lifestyle change will go a long way towards minimizing the symptoms of menopause and helps to maintain overall good health.
3. Professional Care and Support
Talk to your doctor/nurse about your menopause signs and symptoms, make sure there are no other reasons for your missed periods, like pregnancy or a health problem.
Also, if you have not had a period for a year and start bleeding or spotting, medicines and other treatments can help relieve your symptoms.
4. Restrict trigger foods:
Certain foods trigger some of the symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.
For example: Caffeinated beverages, alcohol, spicy and sugary foods. Maintain a food diary.
If you feel that particular foods initiate your menopause symptoms, try to reduce your consumption or restrict completely.
5. Consume more phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
Therefore, they help in hormonal balance and sources include – Soy and soy products, sesame seeds, flaxseeds and beans.
Recent research shows that diets high in soy were associated with reduced cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reduced severity of hot flashes and night sweats among women who were starting to enter menopause.
6. Say no to refined foods!
Foods rich in refined carbs and sugar cause sharp spikes in blood sugar, making you feel tired and irritable. In fact, study shows that diets high in refined carbs may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women.
An observational study found that among postmenopausal women aged 50–59 years, diets high in processed and snack foods were associated with poor bone quality.
7. Are you skipping meals?
Irregular eating worsens menopausal symptoms and skipping meals may also hinder weight loss in postmenopausal women.
Therefore, eating regular meals when you’re going through menopause is important during this phase.
Menopause is not an illness. It’s a natural part of life. Though its symptoms can be difficult to deal with, eating the right food and exercising regularly may help alleviate the symptoms.
Experiment with the above remedies to make your menopause time beyond easier and take your expert advice whenever required.
Share with us, your natural remedies to tackle menopause symptoms in the comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Indu Vaishnavi R, Dietician