By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: September 13, 2018
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
Are You Aware? … September is Menopause Awareness Month!
For many generations, women have wandered blindly into menopause without knowing what to expect and how to manage the symptoms associated with menopause. Even in 2018, women’s knowledge about menopause is sparse.
Whether you’re going through menopause or have already been there, it’s important that you have accurate and up-to-date information from the most credible sources.
Don’t let the journey into menopause catch you by surprise. Learning more about menopause and the changes that occur during and after the menopause transition, will help you feel more in control. I always say “take charge or menopause, before it takes charge of you!”
Knowledge is power. Menopause is a natural biological transition. If you know more about this transition, you can communicate with your physician and make your own health care choices in order to minimize the sometime uncomfortable symptoms that might arise during menopause. With knowledge, you can continue to lead a healthy, productive and vital life.
Red Hot Mamas Ten Tips For Getting Through Menopause:
- Recognize that menopause is a natural transition. It occurs as the ovaries run out of eggs. Estrogen production falls and menstrual periods become irregular.
- The average age of menopause is 51.2 years.
- Early menopause can occur due to surgical removal of or radiation to the ovaries or chromosomal abnormalities.
- Symptoms are common. It’s important for you to be aware of these changes/symptoms and consult with your health care provider. Here is a list of possible short-term menopausal changes: irregular periods, hot flashes and night sweats, problems sleeping, mood changes, memory and concentration issues, weight gain, vaginal dryness, changes in sex drive, skin and hair changes.
- Find a good health care provider (HCP) who is knowledgeable about menopause. Make sure that you have a good two way communication and that your (HCP) listens to you and you feel comfortable with the advice of your health care provider. You can find a certified menopause practitioner on The North American Menopause Society’s websitewww.menopause.org
- Treatments are available to help manage your symptoms. Work with your health care provider to come up with a plan that works for you and revisit it as necessary. No option has to be permanent.
- Revaluate your lifestyle. There are a number of lifestyle changes which you can make that will positively affect your physical and emotional well-being. Exercise regularly (five times per week). It can help your bones, heart, and weight and sex life. Eat healthy. Moderate your alcohol intake to help your bones, hot flashes, mood and sleep. Maintain a healthy weight to help you avoid a variety of serious medical conditions. Don’t smoke.
- Get an annual check-up. Track any symptoms you may have and discuss them with your health care provider.
- Manage your stress before it manages you! Excess stress can cause negative physical and emotional consequences. Find a way to relax. Take time out for yourself, take a walk, visit friends, take a yoga class, have a massage, just do something that makes you feel good about yourself.
- Keep learning and seek support. Red Hot Mamas provides education through their free monthly educational programs and on their websitewww.redhotmamas.org. Support and understanding from others is helpful in providing hope and optimism at menopause. It’s also a potential for problem solving and gaining information about available resources. Red Hot Mamas has a community forum with over 4,000 women on www.inspire.com .
In closing, I hope that I’ve offered you some practical steps towards helping you manage your menopause. And, remember the more we know about our bodies, and how to care for them, the better the quality of our lives, and, hopefully, the longer we will live. I wish you a happy and healthy September.
Good Health to You All,