“Ah, I would be free from this irritating menstrual cycle. It will never happen to me again. I wouldn’t have to worry about the discomfort, running out of sanitary napkins, and sleeping carefully.” This is what Nora had perceived menopause to be- which she was fast approaching.
She woke up one night, drenched in sweat, irritable, and mentally fuzzy. She wondered what was happening to her. The next day she talked to her doctor who explained that she had reached menopause and that these were its symptoms.
Confused and troubled, she thought her so-called freedom was asking for its price. She was relieved to learn that these symptoms of menopause don’t last forever and that she can find relief for them in the meantime.
Menopausal women may feel that they are not in control of their own bodies. If you are one of them, or are soon going to join the brigade, learn some tips to relieve menopausal problems.
The feeling of heat that makes your face and neck flush, causing impermanent red blotches on the chest, back, and arms are called hot flashes/flushes. They vary in intensity and may last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes.
Try to stay cool at night. Wear light fabrics, use a fan, manage stress, and avoid heat to deal with such hot flushes or night sweats. Limit or avoid taking sleeping pills. You could also Take a warm bath or shower at bedtime or after waking up at night.
Your doctor may prescribe multivitamins with B and C complex and zinc; they are natural sources of estrogen to help decrease hot flashes. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Spices like cinnamon or cayenne, alcohol, and caffeinated foods such as chocolate, coffee, tea, and soft drinks are foods that trigger hot flashes. Avoid them as much as possible.
Consume a soy-rich diet to reduce the intensity of hot flashes and vaginal dryness. You can eat 200 to 250gm of tofu every day. Soy milk is another option. Flaxseeds are another source of phytoestrogens. Grind some in a spice grinder and add 1 to 2 tablespoons to cereal or yogurt.
Make sure you get 1500-2000mg of calcium per day to prevent accelerating bone loss. It doesn’t take much chicken, fish, or meat to supply your daily requirement for protein. Low-fat dairy products are good sources. A cup of skim milk, for instance, provides 300 mg of calcium, as well as supplemental vitamin D.
MSG (monosodium glutamate) (a common ingredient in fast food and some processed meats), smoked or pickled food, milk, nuts, artificial sweeteners, and chocolate have all been linked to headaches and migraines. These foods are common triggers of headaches during menopause; avoid them.
Try walking, bike riding, swimming, aerobics or yoga to find relief from stress. These weight-bearing activities also help keep your bones sturdy along with giving you a feeling of well being.
Do aerobic exercises for at least 20 minutes a day. Studies show that daily vigorous physical activity decreases hot flashes and night sweats, helps improve mood and sleep, and improves the balance of hormone levels.
Some of the psychological symptoms of menopause include feeling down, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, tiredness and lack of energy. Along with regular exercise, one must get plenty of rest to relieve anxiety. Regular and restful sleep will make you feel fresh and energetic and will help you fight mood swings.
You can also go for massage therapy. Massages help relieve stress, relaxing the body and mind and loosening up the muscles so the stress levels diminish. Also, practise hobbies that you enjoy to feel better naturally.
Dehydration can reduce blood flow to organs, drastically slowing down your brain and you along with it. One of the most important diet changes to prevent anxiety is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Remember, menopause is a perfectly normal part of every woman’s life and happens to all women. If the symptoms are bothering you more than your bearing level, talk to your doctor about the treatment options for the changes in your body.
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