Menopause is the time of life when a woman’s period of fertility comes to an end.
Unfortunately our bodies don’t simply turn off efficiently and quickly. It can take years for the menopause to finally bring menstruation to an end, and before that we have to deal with the perimenopause.
Some women are badly affected. In fact the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published new recommendations to the NHS that help women dealing with the menopause.
Perimenopause is everything that happens up until periods end. It covers an enormous range of symptoms, including some that you wouldn’t believe are related to menopause, such as heavier periods.
What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause?
- Loss of sex drive
- Dry vagina
- Hot flushes
- Emotional changes – anger, depression, crying
- Lighter periods
- Heavier periods
- Weight gain
- Skin breakouts
These are just a few of the wide-ranging effects that menopause can present us with.
So how best to deal with this rite of passage? The infographic below shows the recommended methods for easing menopausal symptoms. Such methods include:
Hormone replacement therapy is popular. This treatment replaces the hormones lost by the body’s reduction of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. HRT is a useful treatment and can make life easier for some women.
There are some natural methods that are recommended to help manage menopausal symptoms. You may have your own tried and tested method. If so, please share!
- Drink Water
Lots of us are dehydrated and have no idea. Often drinking water is the last thing on our minds as we rush about trying to fit everything into our schedules, but it’s worth the effort, because when you’re dehydrated your body can’t manage properly and menopausal symptoms worsen.
Your body needs water, so drink until your urine is a light colour. The NHS still recommends 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day. Keep water in the fridge; buy a cordial you enjoy and bottoms up.
- Go To Bed Early
Night sweats and hot flushes plague some women when they ought to be enjoying some shut-eye.
Bodies repair themselves at night, and when they are struggling with fluctuating hormones they need even more. To counteract grumpiness, aching limbs, headaches and feeling completely rubbish, head to bed early. Don’t take your iPad or watch TV as the light will stimulate your brain.
If you find it hard to fall asleep, try some mindfulness techniques or lavender scent.
- The Right Food Choices
Food choices have always been important, but if you are experiencing perimenopause they’re more important than ever. Cut out sugar and salt to improve your overall health. Here are a few more tips:
- Eat your veggies and take a multivitamin to ensure you’re up to scratch with all trace minerals and vitamins. Even a small deficiency can leave you feeling low.
- Avoid spicy foods such as curry and chilli pasta as they can trigger hot flushes. Caffeine is also guilty of setting off a Sahara-like sweat.
- Menopause can cause osteoporosis and bone-thinning problems. Up your intake of magnesium, calcium and vitamins D and K.
- Plants contain oestrogens of their own, and they may help women. Eat up your soya, seeds, rhubarb and green beans for a plant-oestrogen boost. Even if they don’t boost your oestrogen they’re still great food choices!
Exercise is one of those activities that benefit everyone. At all stages of life exercise is good for us, but that doesn’t make doing it any easier!
Menopausal ladies should get their hearts pumping to ease symptoms. You don’t need to take up sweaty jogging because you’re probably sweating enough already. Try walking, speed-hoovering, lifting shopping bags and stretching.
A post-exercise buzz is real mood lifter and it’ll help burn off any extra unwanted menopausal pounds.
- ‘Me Time’
Whether you call it ‘me time’, mindfulness, yoga, or meditation, some time to yourself is crucial.
De-stressing, lowering blood pressure and simply resting to promote body recovery is an essential part of surviving the menopause.
An end-of-the-day hot bath, reading, listening to music, walking, or looking at opals on eBay – do whatever makes you feel good, and then do it some more. Explain to family and friends that you need some space and don’t feel guilty about it.
A study by the University of North Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry recently found links with menopause and depression, so it’s important to look after all aspects of your physical and your mental health.
According to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton who led the study, ‘these results provide tremendous insight for practitioners. Clinicians need to understand the impact of perimenopausal hormonal fluctuations and the degree of stressful events that a woman is experiencing to determine the best treatment options when a middle-aged woman complains of depression or exaggerated irritability.’
It’s important to note that if you are struggling with perimenopause symptoms, you can try some natural remedies and see if they work for you. However, if you feel unable to cope with the symptoms of menopause, then it’s advised that you visit your GP.
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