Getting Through Menopause: 7 Things Women Must Know
Most women start experiencing menopause during their late 40s or early 50s. This stage often lasts for a few years. When in menopause, you may experience some symptoms. They include irritability, night sweats, mood swings, hot flashes, and tiredness. You may be at risk of several illnesses like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and obesity. When you hit 40, you will feel you have achieved a significant milestone. Therefore, you should not allow health hazards and body changes to put you down.
Leading a healthy lifestyle at this age is necessary. This is because, at this stage, your fertility begins to decline, and you enter perimenopause, then after you begin experiencing menopausal symptoms. There will be a fluctuation in your estrogen levels that will trigger changes in your menstrual cycle. As a result, changes between the intervals of your periods will be experienced. Hence, getting pregnant will be challenging.
The hormonal shifts are also the cause of the menopause-related symptoms mentioned earlier. A drop in estrogen levels will mean less vaginal lubrication. You will thus be more vulnerable to vaginal and urinary infection. You will also experience bone loss due to the dropping levels of estrogen. During menopause, fat will accumulate in your belly, increasing your risk of heart disease. Living healthy after 40 is vital because you will avoid all the risks that come with menopause. There are ways to help reduce menopause symptoms. Here are some of the tips.
1. Eat Foods High In Calcium and Vitamin D
Due to hormonal changes, you will be at risk of osteoporosis because of the weakening of bones. Getting enough of these nutrients will help to strengthen your bones. Adequate vitamin D will ensure you prevent hip fractures. Some of the calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk and cheese and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. You can also include calcium-fortified foods such as certain cereals in your diet. Beans and sardines also have plenty of calcium. Vitamin D’s main source is sunlight. If you often cover your skin or do not go out in the sun, you should take foods rich in vitamin D.
2. Drink Enough Water
The decrease in your estrogen levels when in menopause will cause you to experience dryness. You are advised to drink eight to twelve glasses of water each day to reduce the dryness. Bloating caused by hormonal changes will also be reduced if you drink water. Apart from that, water will help you feel full, and it will increase metabolism. This will enable you to lose weight and prevent weight gain.
3. Take Natural Supplements
You may find many articles encouraging you to take natural products and remedies to reduce menopause-related symptoms. Although the evidence behind most of them is weak, they are a great choice. Some of the natural products are menopause probiotics supplements, phytoestrogens, and black cohosh. However, studies have not found more evidence about their effectiveness and safety.
Phytoestrogens can be consumed from natural food sources or supplements such as red clover extract. Some studies have shown that black cohosh can effectively relieve hot flashes. Additionally, there is a lack of long-term data on the safety of this supplement.
4. Eat Foods Rich In Proteins
The loss of mean muscle mass is associated with age. Taking protein-rich foods throughout the day will help prevent this. High-protein diets increase the number of calories burned by the body and enhance fullness, resulting in weight loss. A list of healthy high protein foods that you should include in your meals is meat, nuts, eggs, and fish.
5. Reduce Processed Foods and Refined Sugar
When you are going through menopause, you should avoid diets that are rich in refined carbs and sugar. The reason is that they cause sharp rises and drops in blood sugar, making you feel irritable and tired. According to studies conducted, taking refined carbs diet increased the risk of postmenopausal women getting depression. Besides, your bone health may also be affected by processed foods.
6. Exercise Regularly
Although there is no enough evidence to verify that regular exercise treats hot flashes and night sweats effectively, they have other benefits. The benefits include promoting healthier bones and joints, improving energy and metabolism, decreasing stress, and promoting better sleep. Exercising on a regular will protect you against certain diseases and conditions. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis are diseases.
7. Avoid Trigger Foods
Specific foods such as caffeine, alcohol, and sugary and spicy foods are believed to trigger menopause symptoms. You should reduce their consumption or avoid them entirely if you feel they trigger your symptoms.
Menopause is a phase of life that is natural, and every woman has to go through it. Its symptoms may be hard to deal with. However, doing regular exercise and eating the right diet will help reduce and prevent the symptoms. To make your time during menopause more comfortable and enjoyable, you should follow the tips outlined in this article.