The symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. Menopause also brings about other changes to a woman’s body, such as weight gain and thinning hair.
The severity of menopausal symptoms varies from one woman to another, but they can be managed with HRT or more naturally with lifestyle changes such as exercise and dieting.
How To Manage Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. The exact cause isn’t known, but they’re thought to be triggered by hormonal changes.
But what are hot flashes? They’re a sudden feeling of heat, usually in the chest or head, that lasts from a few minutes to more than an hour. They can occur at any time and without warning, often at the most inconvenient time! And they can be triggered by stress, anxiety, emotional upset, or drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Hot flashes affect about 75% of women who have gone through menopause and start around age 50, but they don’t always last for years. Some women have them for just a few months, while others experience them for years before they stop. And not all women experience hot flashes: some only get them occasionally. However, hot flashes can be very uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing.
There is no cure for hot flashes, but you can do things to help manage their symptoms. The best way to manage them is to avoid triggers that cause them. You can also try to:
- Drink plenty of fluids, preferably tap water
- Wear layers of clothing so that you can take some off and stay cool in the summer
- Use a fan to keep cool, or use a cooling pad when you need to work on your computer for long periods
- Open windows to allow cool air to circulate
- Get enough sleep and be physically active to reduce stress and increase your energy levels
- Try eating foods high in fibre: fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as oats and brown rice.
How To Manage Night Sweats
Along with hot flashes, it’s also common to experience night sweats as these are among the most common symptoms of menopause. In common with hot flashes, night sweats are usually triggered by changes in hormone levels.
Some women may need to change their sleep habits to manage night sweats. For example, they can use a cool or cold washcloth on their neck, underarms, and groin area before bedtime. They can also use a fan or air conditioner in the bedroom at night.
People experiencing night sweats may need to change their clothes and sheets after waking up because they are soaked with sweat. Night sweats can also lead to sleep deprivation, which causes daytime fatigue and drowsiness.
To manage night sweats, try to:
- Drink plenty of fluids and have a glass of water beside your bed
- Wear loose night clothing and less/lighter bed covers
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine during the day
- Use cool or cold compresses on your forehead and chest
- Take a hot bath before bedtime. You’ll gradually cool down, helping to keep you to sleep better
How To Manage Mood Swings
Mood swings are often one of the symptoms of menopause. But, of course, we all have mood swings from time to time, and it is not something to be ashamed of. But you do need to know how to manage your mood swings so that they don’t interfere with your daily life or cause others to ostracise you!
It’s helpful to keep track of your moods and note what triggers them. Then, work out how you can handle things differently in future.
Many people with anxiety also experience mood swings that come and go quickly. These changes in emotions happen quickly and without warning. They’re unpredictable and can be intense.
Mood swings can make it challenging to stay focused on your work. They may also cause problems in relationships with family members or friends because moods change quickly. Mood swings may even interfere with your sleep schedule, causing insomnia or oversleeping.
How To Manage Menopause Anxiety
Another of the symptoms of menopause is anxiety, and it is essential to learn how to manage it.
Some of the natural remedies for menopause anxiety include:
- Staying active – try walking or yoga
- Taking care of your physical and mental health – try hypnotherapy or meditation
- Trying other alternative therapies such as flower remedies or acupuncture
- Maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family
Menopause anxiety is a common condition that many women experience, and, again, it’s not something to be ashamed of.
How To Manage Brain Fog
What is brain fog? Brain fog is the feeling of confusion or forgetfulness that can often occur as one of the symptoms of menopause. With brain fog, one might experience forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, together with a lack of focus. The most common causes of brain fog are chronic stress, sleep deprivation, or menopause itself.
When you have brain fog, you may find yourself:
- Forgetting things
- Not being able to focus or concentrate
- Feeling overwhelmed
There are a few things that you can do to manage your brain fog more effectively:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats
- Drink water – water helps regulate your body temperature, which is one of the causes of brain fog
- Take supplements – Omega 3 fatty acids or B vitamins can help with brain fog
- Get enough sleep and reduce stress – if you’re not getting enough sleep or dealing with chronic stress, your body may be producing too much cortisol, which can negatively affect the brain (and increase fat around your middle!)
- Practice self-hypnosis, mindfulness or meditation to reduce stress or anxiety.
The symptoms of menopause can be uncomfortable and, at times, embarrassing, so it’s helpful to find the best ways to manage them. The best ways that work for you.
If you’ve been struggling with the symptoms of menopause, life’s been getting the better of you, and you sometimes think, “There’s got to be more to life than this!” then join me on my presentation, which will show you how you can to take back control of your life.