Menopause isn’t something that anyone looks forward to. But it doesn’t have to slow you to a crawl! While the symptoms can be discomforting, there’s plenty that can be done to improve how you handle it. You don’t need to suffer in complete silence. Speak with your VA provider about how to better manage your symptoms right now.
You are defined as going through menopause when you’ve gone a year without your period. However, that’s not generally when you start to experience symptoms of it. A lot of women report experiencing symptoms years before it. This is typically known as perimenopause. The age at which a woman experiences menopause can differ. However, the average age that a woman experiences menopause is 51. The overall intensity at which a woman experiences symptoms can differ as much as her age. Some women may go through menopause and not feel or notice any symptoms at all. However, some women can experience symptoms that drastically decrease their quality of life. The transitional phase for women typically lasts anywhere from four to eight years. One of the more common symptoms that a woman experiences during menopause is hot flashes. These are one of the most common symptoms and it affects as many as 80% of women. There are other common symptoms that women experience. Here are some of them:
– Sweating at night
– Having difficulty sleeping
– Having severe mood swings
– Having vaginal dryness
– Having thinning and dry skin and hair
– A slow metabolism (weight gain)
There are different ways to treat the symptoms of menopause. Such as Bioidentical HRT (BHRT) for menopause. The optimal methods will differ based on the symptoms you are experiencing. There are different ways to manage menopause symptoms. Certain lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For instance, wearing more breathable fabrics can do wonders. So can avoiding hot and spicy foods. Another could be limiting or eliminating caffeine and alcohol intake. You also want to avoid smoking. Using fans at night and even maintaining a healthy weight can do wonders for your hot flashes.
Many women seek out alternative solutions to help deal with their symptoms. Some are interested in herbal supplements specifically. There are dietary and herbal supplements that can potentially help. These include primrose, vitamin E, ginseng, and black cohosh. Those that have gone through menopause are at an increased risk of developing a loss in bone density or osteoporosis. Because of this, adding calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 is typically a good idea. Those that suffer from an inability to sleep may want to add melatonin to their nighttime routine. However, before starting any supplement, you want to discuss your options with your medical provider. They can tell you what may help and whether a supplement is safe to add to your routine or if it’s going to interfere with your current medications.
You can also find medications that can help you manage your symptoms better. Some of the medications available will help with hot flashes in particular. One that can help minimise hot flashes would be gabapentin. Also, lower-dosage antidepressants can be an effective way to counteract the mood swings you may be experiencing. Some of these include citalopram and paroxetine. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness and you want medication to help, there are vaginal moisturizers that could potentially help. You can also get prescribed sleep medications if needed. As with any medication, you want to be aware of potential side effects and interactions it can have.
You can also look towards alternative therapies. There is plenty that has been shown to help minimise the symptoms of menopause. These include but aren’t limited to acupuncture, yoga, and mindfulness meditation.