Signs and symptoms of menopause and how to manage them
When a woman approaches menopause her production of female hormones by the ovaries starts to slow down. It’s because of these hormonal changes that many women experience menopause symptoms. While it’s estimated that 20% of women pass through menopause unaffected, 60% experience mild symptoms and 20% suffer from stronger symptoms.1
Some of the physical and emotional signs and symptoms that women go through at this time include:1
- A change in menstruation – cycles may become longer, shorter, lighter or heavier before ceasing completely.
- Hot flushes, night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Reduced libido
- Sleeping difficulties (insomnia)
- Crawling or itching sensations under the skin
- Lack of self‐esteem
- Aches and pains
- Urinary frequency
Dealing with menopausal symptoms
Fortunately, most of the signs and symptoms of menopause are only temporary and there are ways to help manage them to make this natural transition as smooth as possible.
Hot flushes and night sweats – Make hot flushes more tolerable by wearing loose clothing and dressing in layers so they can be removed as needed, and wear fabrics and sleep on sheets that absorb moisture. Importantly, limit caffeine and alcohol as these can act as triggers.1 When you feel a hot flush coming on, try splashing your face with water,having a cool drink or using a cooling mist. Natural menopause supplements containing black cohosh or soy isoflavones may also assist.
Vaginal dryness – Use a natural lubricant to ease discomfort.
Insomnia and sleep difficulties – If you suffer from night sweats or find it hard to switch off your racing mind, ensure your bedroom has sufficient air flow, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation before bed, and consider supportive sleep supplements containing ziziphus, hops or lactium.
Mood changes – Try stress management techniques such as regular exercise, deep breathing and meditation. Eating well, a little sunshine and getting enough sleep may also help you feel your best.
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Published July 1, 2014
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