By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: September 8, 2020
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
September is Menopause Awareness Month. I hope this month you will take control of your menopause. Educate yourself about menopause which will help you to maintain not only optimal health, but also your quality of life. And, be sure to reach out to one another in a healthy and spirited way.
Throughout history, menopause has been perceived as a not so welcoming event. Many cultural myths about menopause still exist which has led many women to have misconceptions about this important and natural life passage in our lives.
Women today have a life expectancy going beyond 80 years of age. This means they may live 30+ years beyond menopause. So, it’s vitally important that they understand how to take care of their health so they can stay happy and healthy at menopause and beyond.
In our mother’s generation, they didn’t openly speak about menopause. Many women were even embarrassed to admit they were going through, what was then called “The Change”. It signified dowdiness, the end of youth, and even emotional stability. And, you all know how youth is revered in our society.
Today, things have changed. Our generation of women have a different perspective about menopause. And, they are willing to openly talk about it. They’re the ones that feel vibrant, feminine, sexy, they’re active and very much alive as they approach age 50 and beyond. They appreciate all their life experiences and do not view menopause as the end, but as a beginning of a new phase of their lives.
The rite of passage that we call “menopause” happens to every woman if they live long enough. As we enter our early forties, our ovaries gradually slow down, and the amount of estrogen our ovaries produce decreases drastically. The process is gradual and may last for years. This is considered perimenopause. The precipitous drop in estrogen before your actual menopause can sometimes have an impact on your body and may create symptoms. Technically, the term menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for one year. The average age of natural menopause is 51.
In contrast to this natural menopause, several events can determine an early menopause. Early menopause can be caused by surgical removal of the ovaries. Some women have a natural early menopause as they have inherited a genetic predisposition for it. So inheritance does play a role. Women who have had chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for cancer often have menopause but in some women ovarian function comes back fully after their therapy is completed. Other reasons for early menopause include certain autoimmune and genetic diseases. Whatever is the cause, if it occurs early, and if it is abrupt, it is associated with more menopausal symptoms and possibly more serious medical consequences. Your healthcare provider would address any issue and which treatments will help any problem.
Stay Cool if you are a Red Hot Mama:
Remember -take charge of menopause before it takes charge of you! Here are a few Red Hot Mamas Suggestions to all women:
- View menopause in a positive light, a turning point in your life. It is a normal part of the aging process, just as puberty was.
- Knowledge is power. Educate yourself and learn all the essentials you need to improve your health and well-being at menopause and beyond. Women who are educated about menopause may experience menopause with greater ease and less stress as they are better equipped to understand the changes and symptoms that may accompany menopause and learn ways to better manage its symptoms.
- Don’t blame all symptoms you have on menopause, get them checked out.
- Symptoms are common. So, increase your knowledge about symptoms you may experience – irregular periods, hot flashes, problems sleeping, mood swings, vaginal dryness, changes in sexual interest, weight gain, and perhaps other symptoms.
- Work with your healthcare provider to come up with a plan for symptom management. There are a wide array of treatments available. And, remember you do not have to stay on any treatment permanently.
- Take stock of your life and be proactive about your health. Assess your total physical health focusing on your particular health risks. Modify your lifestyle accordingly for disease risk prevention. And pay particular attention to actively pursuing healthy behaviors like eating healthy, exercising regularly, weight management, and reducing stress.
- Shift your outlook. Maintain a positive attitude. My philosophy is to always keep “twinkles in my wrinkles” and to maintain a sense of humor. There’s no prescription required to laugh and it has tremendous health benefits.
- Keep learning and seek support – www.redhotmamas.organd Red Hot Mamas’s Community Forum on www.inspire.com.
In closing, as Oscar Wilde once said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. Take in the reins, make good health choices, hold onto to your spirit and look forward to the best of years to come.
Good Health to You All,