While the average age for menopause is 51 in the United States, you can experience this stage of life in your 40s or even earlier. Defined as a lack of menstrual cycles for 12 months, menopause involves more than an end to your reproductive abilities. When it occurs, menopause can bring symptoms that range from inconvenient to debilitating and impact the way you live daily.
Adjusting to life with menopause involves working to reduce the symptoms that affect your daily life. Knowing what to expect and how to reduce or even avoid some of the most bothersome menopausal symptoms can help you succeed during this stage of life.
Working with a medical professional is the best way to determine whether your symptoms are related to menopause or another condition. The women’s health specialists at Ovation Wellness in Madison, Mississippi, provide caring, professional diagnosis and treatment for women experiencing menopause.
Based on the results of a comprehensive examination and medical history, we provide recommendations on ways to regulate bothersome symptoms and improve your quality of life. While symptoms vary among women, here are some recommendations that can help you thrive during this natural transition.
Know what to expect
It’s possible to experience symptoms of menopause before you notice a change in your periods. Menopausal symptoms can occur as early as four years before your last period, during a stage called perimenopause, and continue until four years or longer after your last period. About 10% of women continue to have symptoms as long as 12 years after their last period.
In addition to changes in the duration, flow, and timing of your period, some common symptoms associated with menopause include:
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Weight gain that settles around your abdomen
- Joint pain
- Changes in the color and/or texture of your sin
- Problems with memory and/or concentration
- Difficulty losing weight
Follow a healthy diet
Menopause is a great time to reconsider your eating habits and make dietary changes to support your well-being now and into the future.
Consuming dairy products, which contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K, can help promote bone health as decreasing estrogen levels make you more vulnerable to fractures. You may also achieve improved sleep when you add these minerals and vitamins to your diet.
Foods that contain phytoestrogens, such as soybeans, peanuts, and chickpeas, can help to replace depleted estrogen naturally. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, quality protein and healthy fats is important to reducing your risk of heart disease and maintaining a healthy weight.
Work to avoid certain foods, like caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, which are associated with menopausal symptoms such as irritability and hot flashes. Keeping a food diary can help you identify foods that irritate your symptoms so you can adjust your diet accordingly.
Drink plenty of water
The sweating that accompanies hot flashes can deplete your body of water and cause dryness. A decrease in estrogen levels can also increase your need for more hydration.
Drink 8-12 glasses of water daily to help alleviate dryness. Doing so also helps you feel full, which can help you control your food intake during the day.
Get adequate sleep
Menopause is often accompanied by poor sleep quality, along with sleep disturbances from symptoms such as night sweats. Getting less than adequate amounts of sleep can also worsen other menopausal symptoms, such as irritability and mood swings.
To promote quality sleep, maintain a daily bedtime routine and keep your bedroom at a cool temperature. Learn relaxation techniques to help calm your mind and body before you try to sleep.
Establish an exercise routine
Regular exercise can promote healthy bones and joints, decrease stress, and improve the amount and quality of sleep you achieve.
Selecting an exercise routine that you enjoy will help you stay consistent. If you prefer variety, mix it up by blending a combination of programs, such as aerobics, strength training, tai chi, and yoga.
Consider hormone replacement therapy
While menopause isn’t avoidable, you don’t have to suffer when symptoms don’t improve with lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy that restores levels of estrogen and progesterone can typically improve symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes while also fighting bone loss.
Our staff specializes in the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which uses natural compounds that have the same chemical makeup as your body’s natural hormones.
BHRT can include gels, patches, injections, creams, and lozenges. The staff at Ovation Wellness specializes in the use of bioidentical hormone pellets, which are embedded under your skin. While they are in place, the pellets deliver a constant dose of bioidentical hormones to provide the benefits of normal levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Find out more about ways to manage menopause symptoms and adjust to this new stage of life. Call Ovation Wellness today to schedule a medical consultation.