OK, so menopause might not be your favourite subject to discuss, but talking about it sure beats going through it alone! So we’re chatting about some simple solutions that can help make the frustrating symptoms of menopause a little easier to handle.
Dealing with hot flashes
Hot flashes are a common part of menopause. Dr. Elissa Tepperman, an obstetrics and gynecology resident at McMaster University, explains that the decrease in estrogen women experience during menopause leads to an increase in the hormones FSH and LH, which interfere with the body’s temperature control mechanisms. And that can cause you to feel unexpectedly overheated and sweaty on and off throughout the day. SIGMA, the Canadian Menopause Society, suggests that mild flashes can often be managed by keeping yourself cool, partaking in regular exercise, focusing on weight control, quitting smoking and avoiding triggers such as alcohol and spicy foods. If you need some extra help cooling down, check out Poise’s roll-on cooling gel. It offers a cooling sensation that lasts up to 10 minutes, which will help keep you feeling comfortable and refreshed. The company’s body-cooling towelettes are also great because they provide the instant comfort of a cold washcloth no matter where you are.
Taking care of mood swings
Although moodiness and irritability may not be directly caused by menopause, the many challenging symptoms, such as hot flashes, incontinence and general discomfort, can easily cause you to feel tired, frustrated and grumpy. That’s why it’s so important that you take care of yourself as your body moves through this big change. Although you may not be able to control when menopausal symptoms flare up, you can take care of your mental health so you’ll be better equipped to deal with them. That’s why carving out time for yourself is so important. Set aside 20–30 minutes each day to do something just for you, and treat yourself to something luxurious, such as a massage, at least once a month. Your body may be changing, but you’re still you — and you deserve a break!
As with all health concerns, the importance of a healthy diet can never be underestimated. Proper nutrition can ease many symptoms of menopause, such as bloating, fatigue and irritability. To get a handle on bloating, keep salts and processed carbohydrates to a minimum. It’s also wise to include essential fats in your diet and to consume foods high in dietary fibre, such as fruits and vegetables. And to always be prepared for surprise hot flashes, keep plenty of ice in the freezer and a pitcher of iced tea or lemon water in the fridge so you can grab a glass the moment you need it.
Many women may be hesitant to talk about the symptoms of menopause at first, but the fact is that every woman has either been through it or will go through it eventually. So do everyone — including yourself — a service by opening up and making it a subject you aren’t afraid to talk about. If a certain symptom is really getting to you, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor about what treatments are available. Never be afraid to ask for guidance — because you truly aren’t alone.