How To Cope With Menopause Symptoms
You may be feeling overwhelmed, but menopause does pass and in the meantime here are a few suggestions on dealing with the worse of the symptoms.
Keeping on top of hot flushes
Keep a diary to track what sets them off as it can vary from woman to woman.
Caffeine? Alcohol? A hot room? Stress? All are common cause and although hormone balance is your best friend, when a flush When a flush starts, take slow, deep breaths, in your nose and out your mouth.
Applying progesterone cream to the thin skin on your wrist can often bring immediate relief if you feel a flush coming on.
Cooling down night sweats.
At night these are really debilitating, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep. But there are ways to keep your cool.
Keep it light, no heavy duvets or flannel sheets. Stick with cotton for your nightwear and use a bedside fan to keep air moving.
You can buy ‘chill’ pads for either under your bottom sheet or your pillow and you can also put a bag of frozen peas under your pillow and flip it over during the night and put your face on the cool side.
A combination cream such as 20-1 with both progesterone and oestrogen can also help.
Maximise your sleep
There are two things that help your sleep: having some exercise and reducing anxiety or stress. Research shows that yoga, tai chi, and meditation can help you and any exercise can make a difference — just stop 3 hours before bedtime.
Skip a nightcap, since alcohol will wake you up later. Sip warm milk instead as it contains Tryptophan, an amino acid that can help the human body produce serotonin, a brain chemical that can induce deeper and more restful sleep by creating melatonin which is responsible for our sleep-wake cycle.
Still not sleeping? Get out of bed and read or do some relaxing ativity until sleepy. If you still have trouble, you may benefit from a specific herbal combination such as Wellsprings Sleep Capsules can help as they contain L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine, Lemon Balm and Magnesium all of which can help sleep patterns.
Sex and libido
Hormone changes leave the vagina thinner and dryer, which can make sex painful, and libido can also decline too. The more sex you’re able to have, the better for blood flow, which keeps things healthy so don’t just put with it.
Progesterone is the hormone behind libido in women and oestrogen. helps with lubrication so again a combination cream such as 20-1 applied vaginally can be beneficial.
It’s like PMS but can be even more so in terms of weeping one minute, happy the next and just plain cranky sometimes. These sadly are common for women around the time of menopause but try calming therapies such as yoga and tai chi as they can definitely help.
Deal with any underlying stress or anxiety and make time for friends and family with relaxing activities.
Migraines can get worse at or around the time of menopause, or show up for the first time. Keep a diary to see what seems to trigger them as that way you can take steps to lessen them.
Eating small meals through the day can help if hunger is a headache trigger and lack of sleep is another one, so nap if this is your issue. For some women oestrogen is a trigger so check you are not oestrogen dominant.
Hair loss, gain or thinning
Hair can thin or shed faster around the time of menopause. At the same time, it may show up where you don’t want it — on your chin and cheeks.
This is often due to low progesterone levels in hair loss and higher testosterone levels in facial hair but in both cases supplementing with progesterone can be helpful.
If you colour your hair, check for harsh chemicals, and cover your hair in the sun as it can make it dryer.
Spots and acne
You expect to have acne in your teens but not in your 50s but alas it is common around menopause, too. Make sure your moisturiser, sunscreen, cleanser and other facial products are gentle. Look for the words ‘oil free’, ‘won’t clog pores’, ‘noncomedogenic’ and ‘non acnegenic’.
The late John Lee, Md – who was the first use bioidentical progesterone cream with his patients recommended applying it thinly to the affected area.
Brain fog and freeze
We are all forgetful sometimes but at menopause it can seem worse. “Use it or lose it” can help you fight fuzzy thinking and stay focused during menopause.
Challenge your brain in new ways by learning something new, like a hobby or language. Lower your stress level as there is a link between increased hot flushes and stress which means you can have more memory issues.