Most of us have heard menopause horror stories, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Although the majority of women do experience some of the symptoms associated with the change of life, they’re not always extreme.
At Ovation Wellness, our team of highly trained and experienced providers help women approaching menopause manage their symptoms. We even try to point out the positives — like no longer needing to worry about an unplanned pregnancy, or the hormonal shifts menstrual periods can cause.
In this post, we discuss several steps you can take now that will likely help alleviate or at least lessen the symptoms you’re likely to have as you approach menopause. As a bonus, many of these actions can improve your overall health now, too.
1. Develop an exercise habit
Along with menopause, your risk of several serious conditions rises. For example, post-menopausal women are more likely to have cardiovascular issues, osteoporosis, and to gain weight. By getting active now, you can mitigate those risks later.
Plus, if you develop a habit of exercise before the symptoms associated with menopause start, you won’t have to try to build a new routine then, when things are less comfortable. It’ll already be part of your life.
2. Check your nutrition
A healthy diet can have far-reaching positive impacts on your health. Aim to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein, low fat dairy, and whole grains. Limit or avoid alcohol, trans fats, highly processed foods, and sugary foods.
You may also want to look for a multivitamin, and discuss whether or not you should take a calcium supplement with your doctor.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
If you need to lose weight, it’s better to work on that goal before menopause. During menopause your hormones are changing and that can make weight loss more difficult. Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce your risk of other health issues like heart disease, as well.
4. Manage your stress levels
Some stress can’t be avoided, like traffic or an annoying co-worker. But, learning to meditate, taking a yoga class, practicing calming breathing techniques, and other stress-reducers, can go a long way toward helping you manage your stress levels.
During menopause, you may experience sudden mood changes due to fluctuating hormones. If you’re already practicing stress reduction techniques, you have tools ready to use when that happens. You may also have fewer hot flashes and night sweats if your stress levels are lower.
5. Work on sleep hygiene
Sleep disturbances are a well-documented symptom of menopause. When you don’t sleep well, you have more stress and all of your other symptoms are exacerbated. Poor sleep or lack of sleep is also associated with numerous chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
By building a soothing bedtime routine and implementing some elements of good sleep hygiene you can optimize your sleep and reap the benefits now and during menopause.
6. Know what to expect
Menopause is technically one day — the 365th day since your last period. The average age of menopause in the United States is 52. However, perimenopause, the years leading up to that one day, can begin as early as your 30s or 40s.
When you understand what to expect, those symptoms aren’t surprising or alarming.
7. Talk to us
Our team can often offer effective solutions for the symptoms of menopause, from hormone replacement therapy to support groups, there are tools to help you cope. Schedule your appointment today to talk to us about what might work for you.