When you enter your menopausal years, you may not realize at first what is happening to you. You wonder if the room is getting warm. You wonder why you are irritated with your kids or your spouse.
When you hit menopause, sometimes, you wake in the middle of the night, and can’t go back to sleep. It can be a little unnerving at times, but you must have it at the back of your mind that you will survive this and live to tell the tale.
There are women who have very few symptoms or problems as they pass through menopause. But most have at least some temporary symptoms, and some struggle with problems that really disrupt their lives. Menopause begins in the late 40s or early 50s for most women. It usually lasts for a few years. During this time, at least two-thirds of women experience symptoms of menopause.
Some of these symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability and tiredness. In addition, menopausal women are at a higher risk of several diseases including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Some of them turn to natural supplements and remedies for relief.
Here are some natural ways to reduce the symptoms of menopause women need to embrace:
Eat foods rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
Hormonal changes during menopause can cause bones to weaken, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are linked to good bone health, so it’s important to get enough of these nutrients in your diet.
Adequate vitamin D intake in postmenopausal women is also associated with a lower risk of hip fractures due to weak bones.
Food rich in calcium include dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese. Green, leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach have lots of calcium too.
Sunlight is your main source of vitamin D, since your skin produces it when exposed to the sun. However, as you get older, your skin gets less efficient at making it.
If you aren’t out in the sun much or if you cover up your skin, either taking a supplement or increasing food sources of vitamin D may be important. Rich dietary sources include oily fish, eggs, cod liver oil and foods fortified with vitamin D.
Hot flash cool down
Keep a diary to track what sets off your hot flashes. Find out if caffeine, alcohol, a hot room or stress causes your hot flashes. These are common causes. When a flash starts, take slow, deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth. For tough cases, see your doctor.
Freeze out night sweats
At night, hot flashes can go on for 3 minutes or more, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. But there are ways to keep your cool. Put a bag of frozen peas under your pillow. Flip the pillow through the night and put your face on the cool side. Choose layers of light blankets over one thick quilt. Use a bedside fan to keep air moving.
Boost the odds of sleep
Yoga and meditation can help you sleep according to research. Any exercise can make a difference but just stop three hours before bedtime. Skip alcohol as it will wake you up later. Sip warm milk at night instead. It has a substance in it that can help you relax. If you are still up with this tip, get out of bed and read until you are sleepy. If you still have trouble, talk to your doctor about short-term sleep aids.
Give your body help
Hormone changes leave the vagina thinner and dryer, which can make sex painful. There are lots of products that can help. Try water-based vaginal lubricants or vaginal moisturizer. You can also ask your doctor about prescription vaginal creams, or pills for dryness and painful sex. The more sex you are able to have, the better for blood flow, which keeps things healthy down there.
Nurture that lost desire
Make more time for sex. Try massage and foreplay, too. Use erotica sex routines as ways to build desire. Hormone changes are a main cause of reduced sex drive, but other things that zap your sex drive can strike at the same time. Talk to your doctor about poor sleep, bladder trouble, or depression and stress.
Mood highs and lows
The hormonal changes that happen during menopause may cause even bigger mood swings. Yoga can help here too, so can doing fun things with friends or family. Your doctor may suggest a low-dose birth control pill, antidepressants, and alternative treatments for mood changes.
Head off headaches
Migraines can get worse at or around the time of menopause, or show up for the first time. Keep a diary to see what seems to trigger them and if they show up along with hot flashes. That way you can take steps to lessen them.
Eating small meals through the day can help if hunger is a headache trigger. Lack of sleep is another one, so nap if your nights are messed up. Treatments vary. Some can prevent migraines. Others may make them less frequent or severe. Talk with your doctor.
When hair goes down the drain
Hair can thin or shed faster around the time of menopause. At the same time, it may show up where you don’t want it such as on your chin and cheeks. To save what you have, switch to coloring products that don’t have harsh chemicals. Avoid the sun, which is drying. If you have unwanted facial hair, see a skin doctor for to help wax, bleach, or zap it away.
Blast through mental fog
Use it or lose it. That simple phrase can help you fight fuzzy thinking and stay focused during menopause. Challenge your brain in new ways. Learn something new, like a hobby or language. Lower your stress level. Women with more hot flashes which can be linked to stress have more memory troubles.