Menopause symptoms and ways to alleviate them… naturally
Let’s face it, being a woman is great but it does come with a whole host of hormonal ups and down as we saunter through this thing called life. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with menopause and some sure fire ways to relieve them naturally.
HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
Feeling flushed? Having night sweats? Feeling overheated on a cool spring day? You are not alone. This unavoidable symptom of menopause is not fun in the least and while some factors can influence the intensity, all women go through some form of this.
If you are overweight, African American or Latina, if you smoke or if you’re not an avid exerciser, chances are you’ll have a tougher time than most with this one. Don’t despair. There are several natural options you can integrate to help you with this.
Practice mindfulness by introducing yoga, deep breathing and meditation into your daily routine. These practices are natural stress relievers which are essential to controlling those unpredictable hot flashes.
Exercising and losing some weight can prove beneficial. Exercise naturally increases endorphins which gets you feeling better almost instantly and as mentioned above, excess weight can make menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, more intense.
Eat soy-based foods as these contain powerful estrogen-like compounds called phytoestrogens. A needed addition since natural estrogen lowers during menopause. The result? Fewer night sweats.
With fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone come fluctuating moods. Not fun for us and not fun for those around us. About half of all menopausal women experience this less-than-desirable symptom.
Yoga, meditation and exercise can all prove beneficial for reducing the intensity and frequency or menopausal mood swings but a few other areas can be tackled to naturally alleviate this symptom.
Diet changes can go a long way to help here. Cut down your caffeine intake as it’s a known stimulant and can make you jittery. Avoid sweets as much as possible as they often result in crashes that can amplify low moods. Eat more protein and complex carbs, such as fish, meat, wheat and potatoes as they are rich in amino acids and help boost serotonin levels.
Meeting up with family and friends is a natural mood booster. Isolation can lead to extreme low moods and socializing boosts oxytocin (good mood hormone) levels. This balances mood levels.
Alternative approaches can go a long way to reducing mood swings. Herbal supplements, aromatherapy and massages are a few ways mood balancing can be achieved.
Although insomnia and other sleep-related issues can be a reality of life at any age, it can often be more intense during menopause.
Here are a few tips to getting that much-deserved, qualitative sleep.
Follow a sleep schedule: Sounds simple but, if you stick with it, it really works. It may take several nights to get your internal clock on board but with consistency, your body will follow this newly imposed sleep rhythm. Aim for 7-8 hours a night and again, be consistent. For example, go to bed at 10:00 and get out of bed at 6:00, every day.
Go device free: Many of us have become accustomed to looking at our devices and watching TV before getting some shuteye. Try to cut out all such exposure a half hour before slumber. Pick up a book instead.
Be cool: At bedtime, lower the temperature throughout the house and especially in your bedroom. You can even set your thermostat to do this automatically every night.
This phase is inevitable and can definitely prove challenging, but as women, we’re all in this together. Implementing just a few of the tips above can make this thing called menopause more manageable. Let’s all take one collective breath and say, “this too shall pass”.