Menopause Symptom: Problems Sleeping
Many women in menopause find it hard to sleep through the night. Low levels of progesterone can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Low estrogen levels can also cause hot flashes that make you sweat while you sleep. This is sometimes called night sweats. Many menopausal women get urinary symptoms that make them get up several times during sleep to urinate. You may also feel more tired than usual during the day.
Perimenopause: How To Spot The Symptoms
By Ellen Dolgen | April 18, 2016, 10:42 p.m.
Youre hot, youre moody, and you cant remember the last time you got a good nights sleep, let alone where you left your keys. Welcome to the club, youre in perimenopause!
Wait? Arent those the symptoms of menopause? Nope. When most women think of the meaning of menopause, they really arent thinking of menopause at all. They are thinking about perimenopause, a time that can begin in your late 30s or early 40s and reach into your 50s. Perimenopause comes with a host of hormonal changes and lasts anywhere from 6 to 10 yearsuntil you havent had your period for a full 12 months in a row. Then you have graduated to menopause!
The first step to finding hormone happiness is to ID and track your symptoms. and start tracking. Each day, chart the frequency, duration, and severity of your perimenopause symptoms. Talk them over with your perimenopause and menopause specialist to learn how to not just mask the symptoms, but treat their underlying cause. Dont have a perimenopause and menopause specialist? Here are some simple tips to help you find the perfect one near you!
Want to be proactive about your perimenopausal journey? Here are the symptoms to be on the alert for during perimenopause:
When it comes to womens health, misinformation abounds. Unfortunately, its women who are paying the price. So learn the truth about perimenopause so that you can get the help you need and deserve to lead a happy, healthy life!
Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
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What Is The Best Diet For Menopausal Women
As your body adapts to lower levels of estrogen during menopause, you must eat a healthy, balanced diet to help ensure youre getting the nutrients your body needs.
Estrogen is an important hormone for bone health, so its particularly important to get enough calcium in your diet during menopause.
Foods high in calcium include dairy products such as milk and cheese, green leafy vegetables like kale.
· Calcium-rich foods can also help to reduce hot flushes for some women.
· Eating more fruits and vegetables may improve your mood during this time.
Memory And Concentration Problems
During perimenopause, women often complain of short-term memory problems and difficulty with concentration. Study results looking at the relationship between falling hormone levels and cognitive function have been inconsistent. Some women do believe that low dose estrogen after menopause helps them think. But the research has not supported this. Stress likely plays a more important role in memory and thinking compared to hormonal fluctuations.
Treating memory and concentration problems. Just as it isn’t clear what causes memory and concentration problems, there is no obvious remedy. Staying physically active and scheduling at least 150 minutes per week of dedicated exercise may be the best way to maintain brain health. Brain and memory experts also recommend that people work to keep their brain functioning at its peak by taking on new and interesting challenges. Use your mind in many different ways. Do crossword puzzles. Learn a new musical instrument or sport. Play chess. Read more books. Learn a new language or how to use the computer. The idea is to challenge your brain in new ways.
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Understanding The Stages Of Menopause
Unless youre experiencing premature menopause due to a surgical procedure or other medical condition, menopause is a natural process that typically occurs in stages. First comes perimenopause, which eventually leads to menopause the cessation of menstrual cycles.
Most women begin the transition into menopause sometime in their mid to late 40s. As hormone production from your ovaries begins to decline during this phase, you may notice irregular periods and an occasional hot flash.
You can typically expect the symptoms of menopause to begin in earnest in your early 50s and continue until your body reaches the postmenopausal state, which occurs once youve gone a full 12 months without a period.
Menopause symptoms are due to declines in estrogen and progesterone normally produced by your ovaries and can include:
- Irregular periods
- Depression and anxiety
You may experience a few or all these symptoms, which can decrease in intensity or frequency or may resolve as your body adjusts to the changes in hormone levels related to your reproductive system. They are temporary but can last for years.
Medications That Can Help
Several medications are available for treating symptoms of menopause. Your best option depends on whether the benefits of the medicine outweigh its risks to your health. Hormone replacement therapy, for instance, may be the most obvious solution and is often very effective, but your personal and family history might eliminate that as a treatment.
Other medications we may consider include:
- Vaginal estrogen to relieve vaginal dryness, which is applied directly to the vagina in small doses via cream, tablet or ring
- Low-dose antidepressants to decrease hot flashes and improve mood
- Gabapentin, which is approved to treat seizures but can also reduce hot flashes, especially those occurring at night
- Clonidine, which is typically used to treat high blood pressure but is also effective for relief from hot flashes
Menopause Symptom: Memory Problems
You might become forgetful or have trouble focusing. As many as two-thirds of women going through perimenopause say they have problems with memory or trouble focusing. Menopausal hormone therapy does not treat or prevent memory loss or brain diseases, including dementia and Alzheimers disease. In a recent study, memory problems were linked to depression and loss of sleep but not to levels of the hormone estrogen.
Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies That Work
There are many relatively simple measures you can take on your own to help relieve your symptoms, including:
- Healthy changes in your diet that focus on nutrition
- Increased exercise to help overcome weight gain associated with menopause and improve your mood
- Avoiding stress or warm environments, which can increase the intensity and frequency of hot flashes
- Practicing yoga or tai chi to alleviate tension and improve your balance, strength, and flexibility
For a comprehensive, patient-focused treatment strategy that can lessen your menopause symptoms, schedule your appointment at Boro Park OB/GYN today.
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French Maritime Bark Extract
Hot flashes are associated with vascular changes, and this plant-based supplement may have effects on circulation. French maritime bark extract, often marketed as pycnogenol, is available as a supplement, but it can interact with blood thinners or medications that affect blood pressure, so be sure to get your doctor’s approval before using it.
Safety Note About Natural Remedies
Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with prescription medications or may have a negative impact on chronic medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.
Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical provider and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.
Ways To Reduce Menopause Symptomsnaturally
Menopause is a natural process, but for some women, the transition can be difficult physically and emotionally. When menopause occurs, your ovaries stop producing eggs, which means you can no longer get pregnant naturally. Youre considered to be in menopause when you havent had a period in a year and your periods have permanently stopped. Women can enter menopause from age 45 to 60, but the average age to reach menopause is 52.
The time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, and this process lasts an average of four years and can have a variety of symptoms. The symptoms occur because as your ovaries prepare to shut down, they make different levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, causing changes throughout your body.
Night sweats. Hot flashes. Irritability. Irregular periods. These, as well as sleep disturbances, decreased libido and vaginal dryness are some of the well-known symptoms of menopause you may experience as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes. Not everyone has the same symptoms or to the same degree.
When Hair Goes Down The Drain
Hair can thin or shed faster around the time of menopause. At the same time, it may show up where you don’t want it — on your chin and cheeks. To save what you have, switch to coloring products that don’t have harsh chemicals. Avoid the sun, which is drying. Got unwanted facial hair? Ask a skin doctor for to help wax, bleach, pluck, or zap it away.
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Can Menopause Cause Depression
The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.
When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.
Is It Okay To Take Hormones During Perimenopause
Hormone therapy is one option that may help to relieve your symptoms. Hormone therapy works by replacing the estrogen your body no longer makes. Your doctor will prescribe a progesterone cream if you also have heavy periods because this regulates your menstrual cycle.
Taking hormones during perimenopause can be risky, however, and not every woman should go on hormone therapy. You may be eligible for a trial of hormone therapy if you have severe symptoms that are disrupting your quality of life. Make sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor first.
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What Can I Do To Get A Good Nights Sleep
As you get older, it can be harder to get a good nights sleep especially during menopause. The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can make it harder to fall asleep.
Add some relaxing herbs to your bedtime drink chamomile is a classic one for calming anxiety which might be keeping you awake. Other good ones are hops or passionflower.
Reduce Refined Sugar And Processed Foods
In fact, one study found that diets high in refined carbs may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women .
Diets high in processed foods may also affect bone health.
A large observational study found that among women aged 5059 years, diets high in processed and snack foods were associated with poor bone quality .
Diets high in processed foods and refined carbs are associated with a higher risk of depression and worse bone health in postmenopausal women.
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Ways To Even Out Menopause Mood Swings
Feeling up one minute and down the next? It’s just another day of cycling through menopause symptoms. Here are some treatments that may help.
As you go through menopause, your moods can change rapidly. One minute youre up, the next youre down. Doctors dont know for certain why so many women experience mood swings as a menopause symptom, but most believe that fluctuating hormones play a big role. How you treat mood swings will depend on how severe they are, so start by talking with your doctor.
Sometimes you need to see someone who is knowledgeable to sort it out and determine what course of treatment you need, says Lauren F. Streicher, MD, a gynecologist in Chicago. You might ask your physician, for example, to evaluate you to confirm that your mood swings are related to menopause and not the result of depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. If they are just normal change-of-life emotions, these nine tips may help you take control of both your hormones and your happiness.
Natural Treatment For Menopause
1. Eat Foods that Help Manage Menopause Symptoms
When trying to balance hormones and reduce menopause symptoms, your diet should include plenty of essential minerals and healthy fats. Filling up on the following foods which are hormone-balancing, nutrient-dense and unprocessed can help you eliminate your intake of empty calories and manage weight gain.
Keep in mind that you might need to consume less calories overall in order to maintain your weight as you get older. Due to a decrease in muscle mass and slowing of your metabolism, its more important than ever to limit processed foods and focus on eating a clean diet.
Foods that can help manage menopause symptoms include:
2. Avoid Foods that Make Menopause Worse
3. Take These Supplements for Menopause Relief
Although less commonly used at home on your own, other botanicals/herbs can also help manage symptoms including: evening primrose oil, licorice root, wild yams, red raspberry leaves, chaste tree and sarsaparilla. Each one has a specific symptom that they are able to help treat, so it can be very helpful to talk with a trained naturopath doctor to help guide you into using proper dosages and combinations.
4. Reduce & Manage Stress
Many women experience increased anxiety, moodiness and even episodes of depression during the menopause years. Managing stress in your life is one important way to reduce behaviors or symptoms like emotional eating and weight gain, fatigue, getting poor sleep and low libido.
The Psychology Of Menopause
Hormone shifts can affect moods. It can be disturbing to find yourself feeling uncharacteristically nervous or depressed or having memory lapses. Sometimes these feelings can even strain your relationships with others. It helps to know that the psychological effects of menopause are temporary. In all likelihood, youll soon get back on an even keel. Here are the most common psychological accompaniments of menopause.
Anxiety. Women who have never had a problem with anxiety before may become more self-conscious and worried about minor events. In some cases, panic attacks occur. Mental health professionals have a variety of effective treatments. Many people feel much better just knowing what the condition is. The most important piece of advice is not to let anxiety restrict your activities. When anxiety or panic disorders cause people to avoid stressful situations, the result can be an ever-tightening leash that keeps them from enjoying life. Anxiety can lead to avoidance of many aspects of normal life. Prompt treatment prevents this.
Poor Memory and Concentration. Some women find that menopause brings occasional memory lapses, often related to reduced ability to concentrate. This can be upsetting and annoying, but fortunately it seems to go away on its own with time.
Understanding Perimenopause And Menopause
Perimenopause refers to the time of transitional before menopause begins. Your periods may become irregular, and your flow may become heavier or lighter.
Production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone usually begins to slow when a woman reaches her 40s. That happens as a woman enters the perimenopausal period. The full transition to menopause can take 4 to 12 years.
Menopause is the time of life when your periods stop, estrogen and progesterone production ends, and you can no longer become pregnant.
During perimenopause, you might start experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and fatigue. Youll officially be in menopause when you havent had a period for 12 months.
Fatigue can be one sign that youre in a menopause transition. Here are a few of the other symptoms that are common during perimenopause:
- hot flashes
- mood changes, such as feeling sad or more irritable than usual
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- weight gain
Talk to your doctor if these symptoms or any others bother you. You can work together to find the best treatment options for your symptoms.
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