13 Subtle Signs Of Menopause Every Woman Should Know About
Been a bit moody lately? How about fatigued? We don’t mean to freak you out, but these could be signs of menopause…
For most women, symptoms occur gradually over several years leading up to the last menstrual period. It’s during this time that some or all of these symptoms may creep up.
Signs of menopause
• Hot flushes and night sweats
• Loss of libido
• Weight gain
• Hair loss
• Muscle and joint pain
• Irregular menstruation
• Breast pain
• Mood swings
Watch this video to find out how women experiencing menopause, describe the change…
Don’t stress though – there are so many things you can do to manage and alleviate menopausal symptoms, including a few simple lifestyle tweaks…
Make sex more comfy
Life is less colourful when sex isn’t sexy anymore – we know. If dryness and thinning of the vaginal lining has made sex uncomfortable, a water-based lubricant may be helpful. Local hormone replacement (in the form of a cream or pessary placed in the vagina) can also help and may be recommended by your doc.
Follow a healthy diet
A healthy diet rich in nutrients is important for the menopausal transition, and can also help with reducing hot flushes, improving mood, preventing osteoporosis and lowering blood pressure. FYI: Metabolism slows with age, which means you’ll also need to up your physical activity to avoid weight gain.
Include plenty of fresh seasonal fruit and veg, cereals and whole-grains in your daily diet, plus good sources of protein, like lean meats and fish. Calcium-rich foods are also important, as are those rich in phytoestrogens such as legumes, soybeans and whole-grains.
Then stay hydrated! Drink water throughout the day, cut down on caffeine (it can trigger flushes in some women) and aim for regular alcohol-free days. Because alcohol can also trigger hot flushes, limit your boozy intake to a max of two standard glasses per day.
Try hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
HRT can help relieve the symptoms of menopause, but the decision to use HRT should be guided by a health professional and based on your individual needs, taking consideration of your medical history, risks and benefits. It’s important that all women using HRT be reviewed once a year by their doc.
Use complementary medicines
Complementary medicines commonly used by women during menopause include phytoestrogen supplements, black cohosh, natural progesterone, wild yam creams and other herbal meds. Due to the great variations in products and limited evidence for the use of some of these remedies, it’s important to discuss your options with a qualified health practitioner.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
Regular exercise plays an important role in bone health, muscle tone, cardiovascular health, energy, mood and overall wellbeing. Ideally, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise every day. Vigorous weight-bearing exercise (think: weights, walking, jogging) is associated with reduced bone loss. Aerobic exercise, which raises the heart rate, is beneficial for heart health; and flexibility exercises are useful in maintaining muscle tone and keeping joints mobile.
Manage your stress
Managing stress levels is great for your general health, but it’s also critical for handling the psychological and cognitive symptoms of menopause. Good examples of stress management strategies: yoga, relaxation, mindfulness and regular exercise.
Quit the smokes
Smoking is not only super-bad for you (and everyone in your immediate vicinity!) – it can also exacerbate menopausal symptoms, particularly flushes and night sweats. So ditch the smokes stat.