Suddenly, you can't stop sweating, you now have a muffin top that seems to have appeared overnight, and your emotions are all over the place. What is happening?! 🆘
Well, you could be entering a new stage of your life called "menopause," which, unfortunately, all women must go through.
Menopause is a physiological period conditioned by a change in your hormones. The ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, both sex hormones, which change the hormonal balance within your body. Once a year passes since your last menstruation, menopause has officially begun. Its arrival welcomes a series of physical and emotional changes. 😟
Although it might feel discouraging, this stage of your life does not have to be as bad as it seems. Your symptoms and how you experience this new phase are up to you. You just have to be ready to step up to the plate.
Since 2000, "World Menopause Day" has been commemorated every October 18 📍. The International Menopause Society (SIM) and the World Health Organization (WHO) chose this day to raise awareness and shed light on how menopause affects women. By acknowledging menopause and making it a topic of discussion, everyone (including men!) will know what lifestyle changes are necessary when menopause occurs, the symptoms that indicate the arrival of menopause, and the most frequent complications that arise due to this hormonal change.
By educating yourself on menopause, you'll be better equipped to take care of yourself and lessen the side effects. Keep reading to learn how to navigate this new stage of your life.
Tips for taking care of yourself during menopause
Go to your gynecologist.
This first step is necessary, as your doctor will need to do an extensive check-up. Some of the standard tests they will perform will check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. They will also assess whether you need treatment, such as additional resources to combat the emotional and physical effects that sometimes come with menopause. Your gyno is there to guide you and help you choose the most appropriate course of action.
Practice moderate exercise.
Exercise can help you feel better, relieve hot flashes, and control your weight. Simply walking half an hour to an hour a day, or doing some aerobic exercise, will provide great cardiovascular benefits.
Take care of your pelvic floor.
Performing pelvic floor exercises helps prevent urinary incontinence, a relatively common problem during menopause.
Control your diet.
A healthy diet is essential to keep hot flashes at bay, as certain foods can increase or decrease symptoms.
Increase the amount of fruit, vegetables, cereals (whole grains, if possible), fish (rich in omega-3), and dairy products. Save the sweets for special occasions.
Moderate your salt intake.
By reducing the amount of salt you consume, your body will retain less fluid, and your heart health will improve.
Minimize the consumption of alcohol and coffee.
Especially if you have insomnia, drinking more than two or three cups of coffee and two glasses of wine a day is not advisable.
Avoid tobacco at all costs.
Women who smoke are at increased risk of osteoporosis and heart and lung disease.
Pamper your skin.
These hormonal changes cause your skin to become less elastic, drier, and more wrinkly. Always protect your face and neck from the sun, and nourish your entire body with lotion.
Do not self-medicate.
Always consult with your gynecologist before taking any medication. Even though a girlfriend might swear a supplement or pill works great for her, it's important to receive a professional opinion before adding anything new to your medicine cabinet.
Love yourself a lot!
And we mean it! During this stage of your life, learn to put yourself first. You are embarking on a new journey where you can enjoy different experiences and develop new hobbies. The symptoms will pass; be patient. Eventually, you will feel like your old self, and the more you focus on the good, the better the experience will be.
Previously, menopause was deemed a taboo subject. Women were ashamed to acknowledge or speak up about the changes they were going through, even though, in some cases, it severely affected their daily lives. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a positive shift towards more people sharing their experiences with menopause. Everyone (including men) needs to be aware of and understand the impact menopause can have on women's lives.
Try to see menopause as an exciting new chapter in your life. Now is the perfect time to 'tune in' to your body and enjoy the journey!