Many women who have reached menopausal age have a love-hate relationship with this new phrase of their lives.
While they enjoy the newfound freedom from not having monthly periods, the joy is often marred by menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, breast tenderness, poor concentration and mood swings.
There are also added concerns about increased risks of health conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer and others. Many women also moan the loss of their femininity, as menopause means their bodies are no longer producing estrogen, the female hormone that provides feminine characteristics such as smooth skin, body curves and sexuality.
Although menopause was considered to be ‘just a passing phrase’ for women in the past, post-menopausal issues have now become more relevant considering the increased life expectancies of women. With an average lifespan of 78 for women today, it is important to know how care for the body after menopause.
Firstly, it helps to recognize and acknowledge that menopause is a phrase in life and is not a disease despite its sometimes distressing symptoms. Remember not very woman will experience the same symptoms, hence your menopausal experience is uniquely yours.
Mood swings are often the result of poor sleep due to night sweats. Some women with severe symptoms wake up in the night drenched in sweat or toss around in bed unable to sleep.
As menopause causes the vagina to lose its natural mucus, intimacy with the spouse may be affected, which affects relationships and peace of mind. Knowing that the psychological effects of menopause have its roots in physical discomfort is the first step towards finding a solution or relief.
Various treatments have been recommended for the control of menopausal symptoms, the most common being hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT basically replaces the missing estrogen in your body to provide the imbalance created by menopause.
Other medications include antidepressants and selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERMs), which are aimed at relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.
In the recent years, there has been rising anxiety over side effects caused by the use of menopausal medications. More women are finding relief through natural remedies such as phytoestrogens from plant sources.
Studies have shown that phytoestrogens derived from soya, black cohosh, wild yam and chaste tree berry can help manage menopausal symptoms and balance the unpleasant symptoms naturally without the fear of side effects.
Apart from lifestyle changes such as taking less meat, sugar, salt and fats, exercise is more important than ever after menopause to keep the body flexible.
Low impact exercises help to increase endorphins, the good hormones, at the same time strengthen muscle and prevent injuries. Exercise also helps prevent depression and reduce the mood swings associated with menopause.
Menopause used to symbolize when a woman should slow down and behave like an ‘old lady’. But this is no longer true in this day and age.
Women in their fifties today are at the height of their careers, travelling the world and doing the things previously the domain of men. As they say, 50s is the new 30. Don’t let menopause stop you from living your life to the fullest!
Article contributed by Swiss Natural Women’s Choice