Managing the Symptoms of Menopause

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Symptoms and its management:

Hot flashes  can be brought on by many factors, such as being in a warm or stuffy environment, a closed car, wearing tight clothing, consuming alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, smoking. Any stress can bring on a hot flash in a second. So avoid sugary drinks, desserts, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods as far as possible.

Dressing in light clothes in the summer and in layers in the winter can help women cope with the hot flashes when they spring up. If a hot flash occurs moving to a cooler place, taking sips of ice water, or using an ice pack to cool down can also help.There are certain herbal supplements and medications that can help in managing hot flashes and night sweats. Some women find relief with cooling peppermint oil applied to the skin. Black cohosh, Red clover, Dong quai, Evening primrose oil and Soy are popular try outs.  Always consult your doctor before starting on any one of these treatments.


Acupuncture could prove to be helpful without any side effects. Yoga may be effective. Tai chi and qi gong, which are a series of slow movements and meditation, can also prove very helpful.

Your doctor might advise hormone replacement therapy (HRT) but only if your hot flashes are seriously interfering with and affecting your daily life. They may be taken safely for a short while to ease your discomfort.  Oestrogen supplements are given usually along with progestin to reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer. The HRT can be taken in pill form, through a vaginal cream, gel, or a patch.
Other non-hormonal medications such as gabapentin, pregabalin, venkafaxine, fluoxetine and paroxetene may also offer some relief.
Natural remedies include ginseng and phytoestrogens found in soy, soya milk, yoghurts and desserts, chickpeas, soya and linseed bread. Sesame seeds and flax seeds are also supposed to be helpful in easing hot flashes.
Acupuncture could prove to be helpful without any side effects. Yoga may be effective. Tai chi and qi gong, which are a series of slow movements and meditation, can also prove very helpful. It's best to take a class to learn how to perform the postures along with proper breathing techniques. Meditation and certain life style changes to reduce stress can also be very successful in managing hot flashes.

Birth control, yes?

You could still get pregnant during the perimenopause so if you want to avoid pregnancy some form of birth control is necessary even at this stage. On the other hand if you have delayed having a baby and want one now before the window closes forever there are various treatment options available.

Despite the tendency to gain weight at this stage of life you can still keep up an optimum weight by sticking to a non carbohydrate, high protein diet and exercises. Your energy levels will also get a boost if you follow this advice.

What about the sex drive?

Possibly the drop in hormone levels in your body are causing a decreased libido. You could opt for HRT which might help. If vaginal dryness and pain are putting you off sex, try water based lubricants. Do not use glycerine or Vaseline. You can also try Vit E vaginal suppositories to heal up the dry vagina. Your doctor might prescribe an oestrogen cream.

Take omega-3 essential fatty acids as supplements. Take other vitamin supplements too especially the vitamins B (especially B6 and B12), C, D, and E, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, fish oil with essential fatty acids and trace minerals as well. This will stop any hair loss that is going on too.

Risks you should know about:

You should be informed that the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease both rise after the menopause. So taking preventive care like taking calcium supplements, good dietary choices, regular exercise,and giving up smoking can help you stave off these risks.

Strengthen your pelvic floor as the drop in oestrogen levels can cause lax muscles and increase the risk of uterine prolapse. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, called Kegel exercises, can improve some forms of urinary incontinence.

Take care of your mental health too. The drop in hormones may be making you depressed, irritable, anxious and a little paranoid about things in general. If that be the case, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Some anti depressants or sedatives as the case may be can help to soothe out your nerves and even help with the hot flashes. If you do not want to take medications, doing yoga and meditation will certainly help.

In general, taking a good nutritious diet and natural remedies can make you feel a lot, lot better. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking around 8 glasses of water everyday especially if you want to avoid vaginal and skin dryness.

To know more, stay tuned and ask a gynecologist of your choice, while sitting at home, download LAIMA.

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