Menopause and Perimenopause are times of change but sometimes we may not be sure if they are related to hormonal fluctuations or just another everyday symptom of not being well.
These are what many women commonly experience, and what you can do about them.
So this happens when are ill, have an allergic reaction or as hormones surge. So if they are continuing over a period of time it is most likely to be hormone related.
Keep a note of what sets off your flushes so you can try to avoid them where possible. Triggers can include caffeine, alcohol, a hot room and stress. tress?
When a flush starts, take slow, deep breaths as staying calm will help. A dab of progesterone cream on the thin skin of the inner wrist is often enough to stave it off.
At night, hot flushes can go on for 3 minutes or more, leaving you drenched in sweat and unable to sleep.
Take preventive measure by wearing loose cotton nightclothes and try putting a bag of frozen peas (inside another plastic bag) under your pillow. Turn the pillow through the night and put your face on the cool side. If really intense then use a bedside fan to keep air moving.
This is common at menopause, not just because of the night sweats but also it is a time when we can be more anxious and our minds race round instead of slowing down.
Research has shown that yoga, tai chi, and meditation can help you get better sleep. Any exercise can make a difference — just stop 3 hours before bedtime. An hour before bed try a herbal combination to help relax you and promote more restful sleep.
Skip a nightcap, since alcohol will wake you up later but try herbal teas that promote sleep or try a glass of warm milk instead. It has a substance in it that can help you relax.
This is often the first thing women notice. That they can’t shed the extra pounds as easily as they used to, and more weight is being put on the stomach and thighs.
This is simply nature taking its natural course because as your ovaries stop producing oestrogen then the body switches production of that hormone into the stomach, abdomen and thighs.
Oestrogen is the hormone associated with weight gain so check your diet and your hormone balance to keep it to a minimum≥
Loss of libido
For many women desire lessens as the physical discomforts of menopause can make it more difficult to have sex.
Hormone changes are a main cause, but other things affect libido such as stress, relationship issues and the anxiety or depression that can manifest at menopause.
Hormone changes leave the vagina thinner and dryer as oestrogen levels start to decline. This can make sex painful but you could use a water-based vaginal lubricant or vaginal moisturiser.
If low oestrogen is the issue then a combination cream applied vaginally can help and the more sex you’re able to have, the better for blood flow and that’s what keeps that area healthy.
It’s like PMS, only more so. All those familiar signs such as crying for no reason, being irritable can return, particularly if you had bad PMS then the hormonal changes that happen during this time may cause even bigger mood swings.
Yoga and tai chi can help here as can natural help from traditional herbal remedies such as St John’s Wort and bioidentical progesterone helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
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 and if they show up along with hot flushes as that indicates hormone imbalance.
Eating small meals through the day can help if hunger is a headache trigger. Lack of sleep is another one so look at what you might be able to change to get headaches under control.
Hair can thin or shed faster from your head around the time of menopause. Unfortunately at the same time, it may show up where you don’t want it — on your chin and cheeks.
Hair thinning and loss can again be hormone related and progesterone can help in many cases. To save what you have use colouring products that don’t have harsh chemicals, avoid the sun, which is drying.
Increased facial hair is again linked to low progesterone levels and also thyroid issues so make sure you check those.
Acne and spots
You may have thought you had left that behind in your teens but it’s common around menopause, too.
Make sure your moisturiser, sunscreen, cleanser, and other face products are gentle. Look for the words “oil free,” “won’t clog pores,” “noncomedogenic,” and “non-acnegenic.”
This can happen at any time to all of us and ‘Use it or lose it’ is the best mantra. 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 and women with more hot flushes — which can be linked to stress — say they have more memory troubles.
Many women dread menopause, but it can be a positive time if you approach it with the right attitude and the right help. Nutrition and exercise are key – as is hormone balance – so create a positive programme for yourself to celebrate the changes ahead.