How To Manage The Menopause
When a woman reaches the menopause it heralds the end of the fertile period of her life, freedom from monthly periods and relief from period pain or PMS symptoms. Periods do not disappear just like that though. They may become heavier or less regular before stopping altogether. Some women sail through the menopause while for others, menopause can trigger unwanted symptoms, the most common of which are hot flushes accompanied by menopausal sweats.
It is believed that the changes in hormone levels and the drop in oestrogen levels are responsible for affecting the normal functions of the hypothalamus; the body's thermostat. The hypothalamus thinks that the body is overheating and the body responds with excessive sweating and hot flushes. This may mean a frequent change of clothes due to the hot flushes and frequent change of bedding due to night sweats. These symptoms not only cause discomfort and embarrassment in a woman's day to day life, they can disrupt the sleeping patterns of both the woman and her partner. Moodiness, lack of energy and concentration follow.
75% of women experience hot flushes during the menopause, the hot flushes appearing most commonly as reddening of the face and neck. They can occur on their own or together with excessive sweating in the daytime or night sweats. Other symptoms include feeling dizzy, nauseous or generally unwell. Hot flushes can be experienced at any time of day and can vary in number. They can last for a few seconds or up to few minutes.
However, all is not lost. There are things you can do to help reduce both hot flushes and night sweats:
- Try to avoid sudden changes in temperature as these can make symptoms worse Turn off the central heating in the bedroom and open the window if possible to help keep the room cool;
- Make sure your bedding is as light as possible
- Replace coffee with a coffee substitute such as Bambu and tea with one of the many herbal teas available
- Cut down on the amount of sugar and chocolate you eat
- Smoking only makes night sweats worse so it makes sense to give up
- To avoid dehydration, drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water every day and keep a glass of water at your bedside to avoid getting up during the night
- Constipation can lead to an increase in hot flushes so its important to ensure your bowels move regularly
- Using an extract of sage can help with excessive sweating and night sweats. Sage has been used as a sweat regulator for centuries. It is easy to take and can be taken for as long as required. It will help alleviate problems that prevent a good night's sleep and in turn increase energy levels and confidence.
- Take steps to reduce your level of stress. Increased levels of adrenaline due to stress make your sweat glands work harder. One of the simplest ways to relieve stress is to go for a walk. It not only gives you time to think, it provides you with exercise too. Try to incorporate at least 15 minutes of walking into your daily routine. Why not take up yoga? It is known to reduce stress levels and may help with the symptoms of menopause.
- Try to include a variety of foods in your diet. Include lots of fruit and vegetables and phyto-oestrogenic foods e.g. broccoli, oats and soya. Foods with chemical additives should be avoided. Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and sardines are particularly good for your heart and can help reduce symptoms of menopause. Cut down on your intake of red meat and dairy products too.
This content was provided by one of our users, nick247