There are many transitions in a person’s life—some may be personal, professional and even physical. Menopause is one such example. Often, women have to make difficult adjustments to their habits and lifestyle to manage the shift. Menopause is a normal stage in a women’s life, but can be quite disruptive. Taking measures in advance can help someone prepare both physically and emotionally to help minimize the nuisance.
Typically, menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles. It occurs usually for women in their 40s or 50s, but can vary based on a number of factors. The following symptoms may be experienced during pre-menopause:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Problems sleeping
- Mood changes
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning of hair and dry skin
Even though menopause may be an inevitable part of a women’s life, introducing a few new habits or lifestyle changes can help minimize its impact. Consider the following:
- Cool Your Hot Flashes: Dress in easy-to-remove layers, have a cold glass of water handy or temporarily relocate to someplace cooler.
- Sleep Comfortably: Avoid caffeine, which can make it difficult to fall asleep, and avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can interrupt sleep.
- Relax (or Try to): Techniques such as deep breathing, paced breathing, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation can help relieve symptoms.
- Strengthen Your Pelvic Muscles: Pelvic floor muscle exercises, or commonly called Kegel exercises, can improve some forms of urinary incontinence.
- Eat Better: Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet. Limit saturated fats, oils and sugars. If osteoporosis or bone health is a concern, consult with your family physician to determine your calcium and vitamin D needs.
- Break Bad Habits: Smoking may increase hot flashes and bring on earlier menopause. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change that has the added benefit of relieving hot flashes and regulating the mechanisms that lead to menopause.
- Get Moving: Regular physical activity or exercise on most days can help protect against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with aging.
To learn more about your health, menopause and how to best manage symptoms, meet with your family physician or healthcare provider such as a chiropractor and discuss other options that may be best for you and your needs.
1 Mayo Clinic. Menopause: Diseases and Conditions. 2016. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics