Dealing with Menopausal Symptoms
Many women choose to have a child later in life and some women have babies in their late forties, early fifties. These are the years a woman is getting close to menopause so the symptoms can be confusing if you have had 3 children in your 40’s. Your body physically heals itself from childbirth 10 years after you have had a child. Then your body has totally healed. Women might notice that their periods have become lighter since having their children later in life. Women might also not get a period while they are nursing their babies and then their periods become sporadic or they might stop completely and start back up a year later. Some women don’t experience any hot flashes during menopause especially if they chose to start their family in their 40’s. Each woman is unique so if you are concerned, talk to your doctor and get a test to make sure you don’t have cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer. Some women just are going through their last hurrah when they occasionally still have a period in their mid-fifties.
Menopause usually starts in the late ’40s and early ’50s for some women and others don’t go through menopause until they are close to 60.
Menopause can last for a few years and some women have symptoms like hot flashes, severe mood swings, fatigue and are grouchy. Some experience night sweats as well. This is the era where women are subjected to osteoporosis, weight gain in excess, heart issues, and diabetes. Some women begin to take supplements to help them through menopause.
Bones become weak during menopause because women’s hormones are changing so the risk of osteoporosis is higher. It’s important to make sure you take a vitamin D supplement with calcium if you are not getting enough vitamin D. This is what keeps the bones strong along with exercise.
Women are more prone to hip fractures when their vitamin D level is too low so try to eat foods like cheese, milk, and yogurt. If you choose to eat greens, spinach, kale and collard greens are loaded with calcium. In addition, so are some other foods like tofu, beans, and sardines. Soy milk is delicious and it comes in a variety of flavors. An inexpensive calcium-rich instant breakfast is Carnation Powdered Instant Breakfast. You can add a packet to a glass of milk, soy milk or almond milk for a tasty and healthy breakfast or snack. This comes in a variety of flavors.
Women that live in colder climates don’t get enough vitamin D in the winter. The sun isn’t out as frequently and the air is colder so it’s important to eat these foods and use a supplement to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D.
Most women can gain weight during menopause because your hormones are changing, and this also has an effect on the genes you inherited. Women tend to gain weight around their stomach area, which can cause more diseases including heart and diabetes. Body weight can also affect menopause symptoms. Thinner women don’t experience hot flashes or night sweats so it’s important to watch your diet.
Remember to eat fruit and veggies because they fill you up faster and don’t have the extra calories and include lots of water in your diet. In addition, a healthier diet prevents heart disease. Women lose estrogen and some doctors are for estrogen and some are not so it’s important to eat healthy so you don’t put yourself at risk for additional diseases. Eating healthy also stops bone loss and exercising stops the muscles from atrophy.
There are also foods that women should watch out for that cause hot flashes and night sweats. This is a problem if you eat these types of food before bedtime. Drinks that contain sugar and caffeine can cause these issues. Avoid alcohol and anything that is spicy as well before bedtime.
You can choose to keep a journal if you are having symptoms and this is causing you problems sleeping at night. Write down what kind of food you eat when you have a bad night and this will help you learn what kinds of food don’t seem to be agreeing with you during menopause.
Women also need exercise for health benefits that include energy, increasing metabolism, sleep, stronger bones, and exercise is good for stress. Exercise also decreases the possibilities of getting cancer, having a stroke, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and osteoporosis.
There is something called phytoestrogen which occurs naturally in plants and poses as estrogen to trick the body. These phytoestrogens also help with balance the hormones. Asian women are known to eat foods high in phytoestrogens and don’t experience hot flashes as much as American women. The foods that have phytoestrogens are soy, tofu, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, tempeh, and linseeds and legumes. It depends on how these foods are processed before you purchase these, so the phytoestrogens might be weaker than if these were organic foods. There is a debate about soy products whether they cause more harm than good but it’s important to buy whole foods that have phytoestrogens in them rather than take the supplements. If you start gaining too much weight or losing too much weight, make an appointment with your doctor to have your thyroid checked. Menopause can cause havoc and women can lose their hair quicker if their thyroid is out of whack. It’s an easy fix with a blood test and medication.
Water is one of the best things to drink for menopausal women because this fills you up and helps prevent the weight from packing on in the midsection. Water is much better than soda because it helps with bloating and also increases women’s metabolism. If you drink 500ml of water 30 minutes before you eat, women will eat fewer calories during mealtime.
Stay away from carbs and sugar because it can cause your blood sugar some havoc and causes women to become cranky and more tired. Sugar and refined carbs have also been known to cause women more depression during menopause. Stay away from processed food as well.
Try to eat regularly when you are in menopause because missing meals, makes your symptoms worse and often stops weight loss during menopause. Eat more foods that are high in protein in order to hang on to that lean muscle mass that goes away with the aging process. Protein is known to slow down the loss of muscle mass and prevent atrophy of the muscles. Protein keeps women full and calories burn faster so eat fish, legumes, meat, nuts, and dairy. Eggs are good too but watch it if you are on medication for your heart. You can take supplements but enough research has not been done on many of the supplements that are on the market. It’s more important to get your nutrition out of foods and keep eating healthy. Count your fat grams and decide if you are active enough so two pieces of chocolate cake don’t turn into more for comfort food. Eventually, you will find foods that you enjoy that are healthy and lean and keep your body a lean, mean working machine during menopause.