Menopause is a time of change.
Medically speaking, it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. After 12 months without a period a woman is considered to have gone through menopause.Your path through menopause might be very different to another woman’s, but one thing remains the same for everyone – a proactive approach can help relieve the symptoms and make the journey easier.
Common symptoms of menopause include unpredictable periods, mood changes, hot flushes, and poor sleep. Some women gain weight, while others experience vaginal dryness or reduced libido. Long-term consequences of menopause are osteoporosis (reduced density of the bones), and increased risk of heart disease.
How does being proactive help? The specialist practitioners at The Menopause Centre in Greenslopes, Brisbane offer the following advice…
Managing hot flushes
Hot flushes are the most common symptom of menopause and can significantly reduce a woman’s quality of life. That rising wave of heat that travels from your body, up your neck to your head can be mild or severe. Hot flushes might occur for a few months, or they can continue for 10 or more years.
Medications such as menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) are extremely effective in alleviating the frequency and severity of hot flushes. Lifestyle changes, including avoiding stressful situations, have proven successful for some, as has mindfulness-based stress reduction, which keeps your mind calm and your body in the current moment.
Building strong bones
The incidence of osteoporosis after menopause increases because of age and estrogen deficiency. Diet and physical activity build strong and healthy bones through every stage of life, including during menopause.
A diet including calcium-rich foods, such as dairy and cheese amongst other things, helps improve bone density, as does taking calcium supplements. Vitamin D supports the absorption of calcium, so a supplement is an option along with safe sun exposure.
Regular exercise not only improves your general health, it helps improve bone density. Find 30 minutes to exercise at least three days per week and include two strength or weight-bearing sessions. Exercise also improves your balance, and this helps prevent falls and minimises the risk of breaking bones.
Managing the moods
A diet rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids has proven beneficial in the management of menopausal mood swings. Physical activity – whether it is a lunchtime stroll, a yoga class, or weights session at the gym – releases good endorphins to enhance your sense of wellbeing and improve your outlook on life.
For more information on how to take a proactive approach to menopause, visit themenopausecentre.com.au or make an appointment to see a specialist practitioner or professional.