For some women, menopause can be intimidating. Stories from friends and family members about persistent night sweats, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings can make anyone nervous.
“There are women who find themselves especially uncomfortable during menopause,” admits Gregory C. Bolton, MD, gynecologist at Main Line HealthCare Gynecology at Lankenau Medical Center. “But it’s not every woman. Some women don’t find the symptoms to be uncomfortable at all, and sometimes simple lifestyle changes are enough to ease or alleviate your symptoms.”Below, Dr. Bolton offers tips for helping to combat the symptoms of menopause and maintain good health as your body goes through these hormonal and physical changes.
No surprise here. One of the best ways to stay healthy, no matter what your age or ailment, is regular physical activity. For menopause sufferers especially, exercise can prevent memory loss, promote a good night’s sleep, and lessen the likelihood of a mood swings. Weight loss as a result of exercise can sometimes lead to less severe hot flashes, too.
Get some sleep
Many women complain of hot flashes and night sweats keeping them awake during menopause, but sleep is important in helping combat memory loss and mood swings. Get your best night’s sleep by avoiding napping during the day, keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, and doing something relaxing like reading before you go to bed.
Avoid certain foods
Spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine can be triggers to hot flashes, and prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Try to avoid foods like these, especially before bed, and any other foods that you notice cause your symptoms to worsen.
Reduce your stress levels by finding an activity that you enjoy doing and that relaxes you, whether it’s reading, listening to music, taking a walk, or another hobby. If you’re still feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed, talk to your doctor. Mood changes are a common symptom of menopause, and they can discuss solutions with you.
Despite your best efforts, the symptoms of menopause can still be overwhelming. If your symptoms are severe or interfering with your daily life, make an appointment with your gynecologist to talk to them about alternative treatments, including medication or hormone therapy.
For more information on dealing with menopause or to learn about additional upcoming women’s health events, visit the Women’s Health Source website.