SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL MENOPAUSE AWARENESS MONTH

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: September 7, 2016

September is National Menopause Awareness Month

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all”
– Anonymous

Dear Red Hot Mamas,

Did you know that?

  • In the US, 6,000 women reach menopause every day
  • By the year, 2020, it is estimated there will be 46 million women who are over the age of 55
  • The average woman has more than one-third of her life ahead of her after menopause

I’ve always told women to “take charge of menopause, before it takes charge of them“.  Many women are challenged by menopausal symptoms.  You probably have heard all the stories about hot flashes, night sweats, unpredictable mood swings, weight gain, sleep disturbances, just to name a few.  The truth is we are all unique.  Some of us will experience symptoms, but others will sail through menopause with minimum or no symptoms at all.

What is important is to focus on what you can control.  Shift your attention to problem solving.  And, how do you problem solve, or as I say “take charge of menopause”, it’s by changing your thinking away from “I can’t do it” to committing yourself to learning to best manage the symptoms of menopause.

An example of focusing on what you can control might mean identifying which symptom bothers you the most and what can you do about it.

One example,for instance, is sleeping an issue for you?  It’s important to determine what’s causing your sleep problems.  Is it stress?  Is it due to hot flashes/night sweats due to menopause?  Has sleep always been a problem for you even before you reached menopause?  The key is to determine what is causing you to lose your snoozing time. Dwindling hormones at menopause may only be part of the blame.

Eight helpful strategies to help you take charge of your sleep problems and gain better sleep:

  • Stick to a schedule:  Be consistent each day with the time you go to bed.
  • Exercise and stay active:  30 minutes of exercise each day. Make sure you do not exercise too close to bedtime as it will keep you awake.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol:  Remember caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, and chocolate.  So make it a point not to have any of these things after lunchtime.
  • Avoid eating a late large meal:  Eating too much causes digestion problems which might wake you up.
  • Don’t drink too much before bedtime:  Too much fluid will cause you to have to go to the bathroom during the night.
  • Relax before bedtime:  Take a warm bath, read a good book, listen to soothing music and your bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable:  Keep it cool, dark and clean.
  • Don’t try to sleep:  If you find yourself jumping around like a Mexican jumping bean, get out of bed, go to another room read or listen to soothing music.

In closing, September is National Menopause Awareness month. Pay attention to the changes that occur to you physically and emotionally at menopause.  Keep a log of changes and symptoms. Identify the symptoms that affect you the most.  Look for solutions to alleviate your menopause symptoms, but at all times be careful and challenge the accuracy of these solutions.  And, always develop a healthy partnership with your healthcare provider and candidly discuss all your concerns, symptoms and ways to best manage your health. Menopause changes are only a small part of your overall health.  Seek out education and support through Red Hot Mamas programs held within hospitals in the US; log onto our website www.redhotmamas.org for up-to-date information; subscribe to our free e newsletter “The Menopause Minute” and join other women on Red Hot Mamas menopause community forum located on www.inspire.com.

And lastly, reward yourself for your accomplishments in “taking charge of menopause before it takes charge to you”.

Have a Happy Menopause Awareness Month!

Good Health to You All,

Karen Giblin

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