Friday, January 11, 2008

Menopause Symptoms And Solutions

You?ve recently noticed some changes in your physical appearance, your level of energy and/or your overall mood. Could it be that these changes are associated with menopause? If you?re a woman approaching middle age, yes, the symptoms you?re experiencing could very well be associated with menopause, even if you?re still having regular periods. You see, as you approach menopause, your hormone levels begin to decline, which can result in many of the symptoms you?re currently experiencing.

Obviously, the onset of menopause affects every woman differently, and symptoms can range from being very mild and hardly noticeable, to extremely severe and uncomfortable. Common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes or night sweats, difficulty sleeping through the night, weight gain (especially around the mid-section), vaginal dryness, mood swings or depression, feelings of confusion and hair thinning on your head. You?ll not necessarily experience all symptoms associated with menopause, but it?s quite likely that you?ll notice at least some changes occurring as you approach this time in your life.

Fortunately, there are remedies available to lessen these symptoms and make life much more comfortable and even enjoyable as the menopausal years approach. If you?re like many women, there?s a strong possibility that you?ll want to do all you can to reduce the severity of your symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes. For instance, if you?re experiencing hot flashes, try to avoid triggers that can contribute to the frequency and/or severity of this annoying and uncomfortable symptom. Many women have reported that consuming hot or spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine can bring on hot flashes. Additionally, feeling stressed or simply putting yourself in a situation where you?ll be in a hot place can contribute to the onset of hot flashes. If you?ve noticed that this is the case for you, do what you can to avoid these triggers. If you can, try to get into a regular exercise routine, as physical activity and exercise have been shown to reduce the incidence of hot flashes.

If you find that your sleep patterns are no longer patterns at all, but instead broken and interrupted periods of restless sleep, there?s a good chance this can be blamed on your declining hormone levels as well. If you want a good night?s sleep (and who doesn?t?) it?s a good idea to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Don?t, however, do so near your bedtime. Similarly, you?ll want to avoid smoking, consuming large meals and working right before you turn in for the night. It?s recommended that you keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool so that you?re more likely to stay asleep once you?ve gone to bed. If you should happen to wake during the night, it?s a good idea to get up and read until you?re sleepy enough to fall back to sleep.

If you?ve experienced mood swings associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), there?s a greater likelihood that you?re sensitive to hormone changes and will, therefore, probably notice some moodiness and memory problems as you approach and experience menopause. Staying active and getting a sufficient amount of sleep will certainly help to alleviate these symptoms. Not only has exercise been proven to reduce or eliminate several symptoms associated with menopause, but it has been my own personal savior as I began gaining weight, experiencing night sweats and becoming moody and lethargic. When I began a regular exercise routine, one which included weight bearing exercises, the overall improvement in my physical and emotional states was absolutely astonishing.

Of course, some women will simply need to turn to other solutions to eliminate or lessen the severity of menopause symptoms. Vitamin E and some herbs have been known to reduce the incidence and severity of hot flashes. If you should choose to consider vitamins and herbs to assist with your menopausal symptoms, it?s a good idea to work closely with someone who is quite familiar with herbs and vitamins to ensure that you adjust your dosages as needed.

Hormone replacement therapy can help women who are experiencing more severe and difficult symptoms of menopause. As with many treatments, hormone therapy poses some risks, in addition to the possible benefits. It?s best to discuss the pros and cons of hormone therapy with your doctor so that you?re better able to make a well-informed decision regarding this treatment. If you should decide to use hormone therapy, try to use the lowest dose that helps you, and for the shortest period of time needed.

Remember, this can be the start of a wonderful period in your life. Treat your body well and the results will be extremely beneficial now and in the future.

Susan Megge is the founder of, a website designed to assist mature women as they approach and experience menopause. She is a grandmother, who started experiencing symptoms of menopause several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery of the significant role that exercise plays in making menopause a very manageable, and even wonderful time in a woman's life.

Labels: , , , ,