Menopause isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but it doesn’t have to be a Pandora’s Box of discomforts either. Manage menopause better with the right information and make your journey easier!
Menopause can be overwhelming. I myself wasn’t prepared for it. Sometimes, I felt lost, lonely and not myself. One day I decided to take matters into my own hands by going on a menopause-reading Spree, and this is how My Menopause Journey came to be. 🙂
Ladies, I’d like to share this article to help you manage menopause the best way you can!Menopause is the perfect time to embrace yourself, focus on your health and love your body!Click To Tweet
What is Menopause?
The first step to manage menopause better is to know what it means.
Menopause is a natural biological change in women’s lives. It’s a time when our body functions and organs, like the ovaries, start to slow down. Your hormone levels also decrease during this time, and as a result, you may experience discomfort.
In contrast to what many of us believe, menopause doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s a journey that has three stages: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
- The first stage of menopause starts 8 to 10 years before our monthly periods stop.
- The average age of women experiencing this stage is 43.
- The hallmark symptom is a change in the frequency and flow of our periods.
- At this stage, estrogen levels remain normal, but progesterone levels start to decline. As a result, you experience an imbalance known as estrogen dominance (ED). This condition causes symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, headaches and weight gain.
- Since ovulation still happens from time to time, pregnancy is still possible.
- The second stage starts after our last menstruation.
- Menopause is the continuous 12 months without periods.
- The average age a woman reaches the menopause stage is at 51.
- During this stage, the ovaries produce scant amounts of estrogen and progesterone. As a result, your body activates the adrenal glands, taking on the role of the primary hormone giver. It produces the prohormone, DHEA, which converts itself into estrogen and progesterone.
- The last stage starts 12 months after our last menstruation.
- We are postmenopausal for the rest of our lives.
- Estrogen and progesterone levels remain low throughout life.
- Postmenopause marks the permanent end of our reproductive years.
- Hormone fluctuations settle and menopause symptoms stop.
- Many women feel a sense of relief during the postmenopausal stage. Hormone fluctuations gradually and slowly settle. While menopause symptoms can ease for some women, others can experience discomforts for many, many years.
Although menopause happens to all women, when and how we experience it differs. Genetics, exposure to environmental toxins, radiation, chemotherapy and some surgeries affect our experience. Other factors that play a huge role in our menopause include our lifestyle, diet, movement and psychological health.
To manage menopause symptoms better, watch this fun and interesting video by Dr. Barbara Taylor better known as Menopause Barbie as she explains the stages of menopause (25:32)!
Manage Menopause by Knowing What to Expect!
We are all unique and that includes you!
Having said this, we may experience menopause in different ways. Some women have menopause earlier. Others have it later in life.
Our mother’s menopause experience might be manageable, but it may not be the same for us. To manage menopause better, it’s important to know that it isn’t all about genes. Our “modern” way of living is stressful and unhealthy, and it also affects menopause.
One study shows that women from the U.S., U.K., France and Canada had more symptoms among other countries. However, in Japan and other Asian countries, many women rarely have symptoms. because of their plant-based diet and active lifestyle.
How we experience symptoms and manage them are also different. I put together different ways to handle menopause here, but it’s best to follow the links for more information.
Some women go for a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and herbal supplementation. Others go for alternative therapies such as meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy and more.
For those women who want to get immediate symptoms relief go for HRT and BHRT. I’m sure you’ve heard about hormone replacement’s bad reputation, but experts say it’s safe when done right. When choosing menopause remedies, it’s good to consider your needs and health preferences!
Help! How Will I know if it’s Menopause?
The menopause journey can be tricky. If you think about it, this life change doesn’t have a clear starting or ending point. It’s definitely a trip with many diversions!
The symptoms of menopause are general and broad. They are similar to symptoms of adrenal fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and thyroid problems.
Menopause is a challenge, but we have our body, which sends us significant clues. It’s important that we listen and feel what it’s saying to us. Irregular periods, hot flashes and night sweats are classic signs of menopause. They are uncommon in other conditions.
A helpful habit we can do to manage menopause is to keep a journal of our monthly symptoms and periods. A trip to the doctor and going through lab tests will also help determine if we’re in menopause. In addition, it’s also helpful if you check your hormone levels at home, using self-test kits and menopause quizzes.
Menopause is The Perfect Time to Focus on YOU!
Prepare your body for menopause by taking care of your health as early as possible!
Stress can make our menopause experience unpleasant. When menopause and stress collide, they make menopause symptoms worse.
Stress is not a bad thing at all, as it activates hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones increase blood flow and optimize body functions, and as a result, keeps your body active.
But when we’re stressed 24/7, we may overload stress hormones, which can wear out our body functions. Besides, cortisol and adrenaline suppress the production of our female hormones.
Chronic stress may also cause early menopause. This condition happens to younger women who are in their 20s and 30s. When you have early menopause, you experience a sudden drop in your hormone levels. As a result, getting pregnant will no longer be possible. This is why fertility is a challenge in women with early menopause. Stress management is important at any age, so slow down and give your body a break!
Midlife is the best time to re-evaluate and refocus. It’s also good to let go of tasks and relationships that are not important. Equally important is to delegate and slow down as it makes everything easier. Above all, spend more time with your loved ones!
13 Wonderful Ways To Manage Menopause Symptoms!
- Go organic! Ditch everything processed and store-bought. Consume more plant-based, natural and whole foods. And oh, make sure they’re pesticide, antibiotic and chemical-free!
- More hormone-balancing foods. Make superfoods, adaptogenic and phytoestrogenic herbs part of your diet. They are rich in nutrients and possess hormone-balancing properties to curb your symptoms!
- Ditch symptom triggers. Ingredients such as gluten, dairy, caffeine, soy, cigarettes and alcohol are culprits to many food sensitivities. They also trigger menopause symptoms.
- Get quality, uninterrupted sleep. Our glands produce hormones when we’re sleeping, so 7 to 8 hours of a good night’s sleep is best!
- Exercise daily. Have fun with varied activities! It can be light exercises such as going for walks, yoga and Pilates. For women who already exercise, advanced routines such as strength training and HIIT are good to do. These exercises entail you to go all in and exert effort doing quick and intense bursts of movements. This follows short and active recovery time. Strength training and HIIT pump up your heart rate and burn fats faster in less time.
- Get rid of environmental toxins! Lessen toxin exposure by choosing natural and organic products. Stop buying products that have BPA, phthalates, radon, lead and mercury! These chemicals hide in many home products and even in our food, so it’s best to be careful.
- Keep insulin and glucose levels at bay. Hormonal imbalance offsets how our cells respond to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that serves as the vehicle of glucose to our cells. When glucose isn’t transported inside our cells, it flows freely in our blood. This puts us at risk for insulin resistance and diabetes. Check your insulin and glucose levels on a regular basis!
- Maintain thyroid health. Hypothyroidism is common in perimenopause. Check your thyroid and make sure you get thyroid nutrients in your diet.
- Grow a healthy gut microbiome. Friendly bacteria are vital workers in metabolizing our hormones. They also balance our blood sugar and keep our mood in check. Maintain a healthy gut with probiotics, prebiotics, spirulina and chlorella in your diet. Make sure to watch out for candida overgrowth because it may ruin your stomach’s normal flora.
- Back up your adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands are our lifesavers when our ovaries start faltering. We can support our adrenals by managing stress better and lowering our sugar intake. Consuming vitamin C, vitamin B5 and chromium-rich foods can also help! Licorice also helps regulate adrenal function, but take it in moderation, because it causes puffy eyes and swelling! It raises blood pressure too!
- Make deep breathing a habit. Deep breathing is a great way to calm down and settle our stress response. Breathe in, expand your diaphragm and use your stomach muscles to breathe out. Deep breathing is best done slowly and for at least one minute or more daily.
- Take charge of your thoughts. Our mind is a powerful source of strength and it can change the whole course of our life. Try to be positive as much as you can, think good thoughts and release emotional burdens. A positive mindset makes a big difference in how you manage menopause.
- Seek support from loved ones. A warm hug and a soft pat on the shoulder can go a long way. Let family, friends, colleagues and your spouse understand what you’re going through. It’s okay not to share the nitty-gritty details, just let them understand the big picture. We’re never alone on this road called menopause! 🙂
All these tips can help balance your hormones naturally, give you the power to manage menopause better and turn it into a positive experience!
Imagine talking about menopause in the open, sounds wonderful, right? Start the conversation by sharing your experience with us in the comment box below! Let’s celebrate menopause and our newfound freedom.
BEFORE YOU GO!
Go to our facts page for more insights about menopause!
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Gita is the founder of My Menopause Journey. Since 2014, she has been supporting midlife women by sharing hard-earned learnings from her own experience. To advance her knowledge, Gita puts a lot of her time and effort into understanding the broad spectrum of women’s health. She immerses in extensive research about the physical, mental and emotional aspects of menopause. Gita believes in the life-changing power of healthy, holistic living — this is where she anchors her message to all women. Learn more about her marvelous mission in About us - My Menopause Journey.