Lifestyle Changes That Impact Menopause

lifestyle changes that impact menopause

Lifestyle changes that impact menopause examine how lifestyle changes can help women fend off menopause symptoms. As well as related health issues that hinder women’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Understanding The Change

Menopause is the end of menstruation. This is when you have gone a full year without a period. Hence, menopause can only be diagnosed after that occurrence. So, the cessation of the menstrual cycle is the most notable sign of advancing age for women.   The hormonal changes that flood in at the end of menstruation affect the entire body. From the texture of your skin to your heart’s condition and bones.  However, women in their late 30’s, may equally notice the first signs of bodily changes in menstrual patterns, skin, hair texture, and body shape.

Major Menopausal Symptoms

lifestyle changes that affect menopause

Hot flushes

Some women experience a simple warming sensation throughout the body.  Others feel serious flushes that start with a sensation of pressure in the head, like a headache.  This then leads to a feeling of heat or burning in the face, neck, and chest, followed by an outbreak of sweating. 

Short term memory loss

Although this is not a phenomenon linked with menopause, short term memory loss is often cited as a problem by women in midlife.  Forgetfulness may be related to stress or lack of proper sleep.

Emotional issues

Minor emotional distress may be a natural response to the changes a woman faces during this period.  For instance, hot flushes may keep you awake all night. This leads to serious sleep deprivation which may reduce your mental and coping abilities.  Vaginal changes may also result in painful intercourse. This may then interfere with your sexual pleasure and mental health.

Weight Gain

lifestyle changes that impact menopause

Weight gain is most likely to result from reduced muscle tone, reduced physical activity, increased appetite, and other effects of the ageing process.

Healthy Heart

The risk of cardiovascular disease rises after menopause.  In cases where ovaries have been surgically removed, the risk of heart disease is high.

Bladder Control

You may experience incontinence. This is the need to urinate with great urgency even though the bladder may be empty. If incontinence goes beyond the mild form associated with menopause, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Formication

Some women experience a prickling, itching sensation on the skin. This is known as formication.  It is often referred to as ‘crawling skin’ because it feels as though tiny insects are marching along your body.  This symptom eventually disappears on its own.

Lifestyle Changes That Impact Menopause

Eating soy-based foods

The evidence for soy products heart healthiness claims that 25grams per day of soy protein may lower the risk of heart disease. This is as long as it is part of a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat.  In addition, moderate consumption of soy foods is considered safer, than taking refined soy extracts in pill or powder form.

Boosting Calcium Intake

lifestyle changes that affect menopause

Bone-maintaining levels of estrogens diminish at menopause. Therefore, a boost in calcium intake, along with some exercise, is essential.  The ideal way to get calcium is through foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, and other dairy products. Similarly beneficial are canned salmon or sardines with bones, and dark-green leafy vegetables.  Calcium supplement with vitamin D in 1000 milligrams once a day is best when taken with food.  Good food sources of vitamin D are tuna, liver, and fortified milk. 

Limiting red meat consumption

Some nutritionists suggest limiting your intake of red meat to 3 or fewer servings per week to ward off osteoporosis.   They also advise you to avoid carbonated drinks, which contain high levels of phosphorous.  While your body needs this mineral to make proper use of calcium, too much of it can lead to loss of bone

Adopting a healthy diet

The risk of heart disease begins to rise at menopause.  In view of this risk, it is important to adopt a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, but high in complex unprocessed carbohydrates. 

Cancer is another high-risk disease at menopause. A diet high in fruits and vegetables may provide some protective effect. 

Using supplements to fight symptoms

During menopause, your body may need a temporary boost to help you cope with some of the stresses that so often occur. Some women find that vitamins and herbal remedies serve as therapy for hot flushes.  However, check with your doctor before taking supplements or herbal remedies.

Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and smoking

Caffeine has been implicated in hot flushes, breast changes, osteoporosis, and a rise in cholesterol.  Also, too much alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure.  While eliminating smoking reduces your risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers.  

Last Word

In recent times older women have been truthful and objective about menopause experiences. This is helping to eliminate fear and worry amongst younger women.  Likewise, menopause is no longer anticipated with trepidation. This is because female life expectancy is increasing steadily across the ages, while medicine is impacting positively on menopausal health risks and symptoms.  Moreover, awareness and attitudinal change are promoting a better understanding of the change. In all of these, lifestyle changes that impact menopause have helped many women to manage menopause better than ever. In sum,

Many women are sliding through menopause less conscious of any changes. Thanks to medicine, awareness, and a better understanding of the ‘change’…we are gradually altering our attitude on menopause for better health.

Bisi Abiola, Indulge Publisher

https://theconversation.com/world-menopause-day-how-cultural-representations-of-the-change-are-empowering-women-148026

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-0614-7_21

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