Friday, April 17, 2009
Do you have hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia? It could be menopausemenopause.
Don’t worry ladies, it isn’t a disease but rather an important transition in our lives. The most important way to diminish the symptoms is to have a good attitude and to learn how to nurture and take care of ourselves.
For most women, menopause usually lasts a year after the final period. It's the perimenopause phase, just before the postmenopause phase, that can go on for quite a few years. The peri and post menopause phases can sometimes go on up to 25 years.
The average age for menopause is 50-51, but it varies for all women. The best predictor is your family history, so it’s important to find out when your mother went through menopause. Most women begin by getting warm at night or by having hot flashes. How, and when a woman goes through menopause is different for each individual. Some women have just a few symptoms, while others are so miserable that their sleeping and work are impaired.
There are many simple and natural preventative measures a women can take to help manage this phase of life. Start with daily exercise along with a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables low fat protein such as fish, turkey, chicken, soy and beans.
Squash and yams, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, may minimize hot flashes, since yams are said to help with estrogen imbalance
A combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium and omega 3 fish oils can help replenish the body's levels of serotonin which is great for mood management.
Aerobic activity such as biking, hiking, running, strength yoga and other weight-bearing exercises release endorphins which naturally boost our mood and build bone mass. This is especially important as a women gets older and is more susceptible to osteoporosis which causes bone deterioration.
All women should be sure to consume lots of calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones strong, however it is especially important to menopausal women. There seems to be a rapid decline in bone density after menopause for a few years before it stabilizes again.
Calcium is found in dairy products, soy products, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli and asparagus.
If the natural diet and exercise remedies don't offer enough benefits, there are both pharmaceutical and natural remedies available to help women get through menopause.
Doctors may prescribe estrogen, progesterone and sometimes a bit of testosterone to help with symptoms. Antidepressants are sometimes also prescribed.
Black cohash, Red Clover and St. John’s Wort are common herbs taken for menopause symptoms. Black cohash works to relieve hot flashes and sleep interruptions. Red clover is recommended for general menopause symptoms and St. John's wort is known for its benefits in relieving mild depression.
There is no single menopause remedy or treatment for all women. Unfortunately it isn't that simple because every women has a unique menopausal experience. Review the options, speak to your doctor, then determine what is right for you.