Every woman will go through menopause at some point in life. This natural transition may be smooth for some, but it can also cause a variety of symptoms severe enough to impact your quality of life.
At Alpha OB GYN, menopause specialist Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG, and our team has helped many women manage menopause with a combination of treatments.
Menopause signals the end of a woman’s childbearing years and their monthly periods. You can begin the transition to menopause up to 10 years before your periods stop for good, a time known as perimenopause.
During perimenopause, your body slows down its production of estrogen and other reproductive hormones. As your hormone levels fluctuate, you may experience a wide variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Common symptoms can include:
You may also experience changes in your vaginal health, including vaginal atrophy, itching, and dryness that causes pain during sex.
Not every woman will be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to rebalance their hormone levels because of existing health issues, your age, or your smoking history.
Whether or not you can take HRT, there are also lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your life to improve your comfort. We may recommend:
If you’re overweight or obese, your menopause symptoms may be more intense. Being overweight can also increase your risk for chronic medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.
Women approaching menopause should ensure they are getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium because the loss of estrogen can weaken your bones. You may also be at increased risk for osteoporosis.
You should eat foods rich in these nutrients or take daily supplements to protect your bone health. Following a diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables can also help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for heart disease and other health issues.
There are certain foods that can trigger or worsen menopause-related symptoms like night sweats, mood swings, and hot flashes.
Common trigger foods can include spicy and high-sugar foods, alcohol, and caffeine.
Drinking plenty of water is necessary for good health and proper hydration can also address menopause symptoms like weight gain and bloating.
Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. You can also drink a full glass of water 30 minutes before you eat a meal, so you feel fuller faster and can maintain a healthy weight.
Daily exercise like walking and swimming for at least 30 minutes every day is good for both your physical and mental health.
Exercise protects your bone health, reduces anxiety and stress, and improves your ability to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Daily physical activity can also reduce your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis, and other long-term complications of menopause.
If you’re not able to manage symptoms of menopause on your own, you can find help at Alpha OB GYN. Schedule a consultation online or by calling the office nearest you today.