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. These include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, and tiredness. Also, menopausal women are at a higher risk of several diseases including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Many women turn to natural supplements and remedies for relief.
Menopause is a completely natural biological process, and therefore not a problem to solve. And although it concludes the time in a woman’s life for fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual through your 50s and well beyond. That being said, there is a hormonal shift that occurs in women during menopause that may lead to mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and other common symptoms.
Here are 8 ways for women to deal with menopause:
1. 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.
Many foods are calcium-rich, including dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese. Green, leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach have lots of calcium too. It's also plentiful in tofu, beans, sardines and other foods. Additionally, calcium-fortified foods are also good sources, including certain cereals, fruit juice or milk alternatives.
2. Reduce And Manage Stress
Many women experience increased anxiety, moodiness and even episodes of depression during the menopause years. Managing stress in your life is one significant way to reduce behaviors or symptoms like emotional eating and weight gain, fatigue, getting poor sleep and low libido. Different stress-reducing complimentary and alternative medicines work for different people. Some effective ways to relieve stress include exercise, meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy, spending time in nature, fostering close relationships, volunteering and dedicating time to spiritual practices.
Exercise is vital throughout a woman's lifetime and mainly as she gets older. Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones helps regulate weight, and contributes to a sense of overall well-being and improvement in mood.
Exercise is also thought to have a positive effect on mood. During exercise, hormones called endorphins are released in the brain. They are "feel good" hormones involved in the body's positive response to stress. The mood-heightening effect can last for several hours, according to some endocrinologists.
4. Breathe Slowly And Deeply
Paced breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, involves breathing in slowly through your nose for at least 5 seconds and out slowly through your mouth for at least 5 seconds. You'll know you're doing it right if you see your abdomen rise with each breath in and feel your lungs inflate. You'll find it quite a contrast to your normal tight, tense, shallow breathing.
Like other mind-body therapies, paced breathing calms the sympathetic nervous system and enhances circulation. Women doing the breathing exercises had half as many hot flashes as those doing biofeedback. They also breathed more slowly overall. The key to getting benefits from paced breathing is practice.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Studies show that both excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain, and depression. To allow your body to recover from stress, control your appetite and improve energy, aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
6. Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods may trigger hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. They may be even more likely to trigger you when you eat them at night. Common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, and foods that are sugary or spicy. Keep a symptom diary. If you feel that particular foods trigger your menopause symptoms, try to reduce your consumption or avoid them all together.
7. Drink Enough Water
During menopause, women often experience dryness. This is likely caused by the decrease in estrogen levels. Drinking 8–12 glasses of water a day can help with these symptoms. Drinking water can also reduce the bloating that can occur with hormonal changes.
Also, water can help prevent weight gain and aid in weight loss by helping you feel full and increasing metabolism slightly. Drinking 17 oz (500 ml) of water, 30 minutes before a meal may lead you to consume 13% fewer calories during the meal.
8. Turn to Social Support And Relationships
Comprehensive clinical trials have shown that lifestyle habits including regular exercise, sleep management, optimal nutrition, healthy relationships, social support, and relaxation can be useful as a “whole system approach” to treating menopause symptoms and other effects of aging.
Menopause is a natural phenomenon for women and having positive help from other people can lessen depression and other stress a woman feels. In this post, I shared with you 8 ways for women to deal with menopause.
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