Menopause, like puberty, is a process that takes time. If your tests indicate that your estrogen level has suffered a serious drop and your symptoms increase to an unmanageable level, some estrogen replacement therapy may be needed to bridge the loss. However, the risks of HRT can be worrisome, so finding an affordable and natural way to get through these difficult symptoms is often a better option. If you notice a sudden rise in any of the symptoms of menopause, including but not limited to
- problems falling or staying asleep
- night sweats
- moodiness or irritability
- weight gain, especially around your tummy
- changes in your hair and skin
you can reduce your discomfort at very little expanse by taking a look at your eating and drinking habits, your evening activities and your sleep hygiene.
Boost Estrogen in Your Diet
If you can tolerate soy products, switch from animal-based foods to soy-based products. Skip the hamburger and have a veggie burger, or put soy milk in your coffee instead of a dairy product. Instead of using a powder-based soy supplement, replace other foods with soy-based foods. Other changes to your diet can include
- 5 servings daily of fresh fruits and vegetables
- eating something raw with every meal
- consuming fruit and nuts when you want a snack
- cutting back on processed sugars
You can improve your sleep hygiene with very little investment. If you’re not sleeping well, you may be ingesting too much caffeine during the day just to keep going. Avoid caffeine after 2 pm to allow your body to shed the stimulant so you can sleep more deeply. Invest in sleeveless nightwear so you can move more easily at night if you are restless or wake up perspiring. Cotton sheets will absorb more perspiration than a blend. Keep cool water by your bedside so you can get a break if you wake up really warm.
Keep a journal so you can track your hot flashes. Some women find that they’re more severe after a glass of wine with dinner or when they eat spicy foods. To keep your cool after these events, make sure that you drink plenty of water after your wine at dinner.
Also, keep a small bottle of Vitamin E with you and another on your bedside table. Vitamin E as a topical can serve as a lip balm in your purse and as a personal lubricant to avoid vaginal discomfort during sex. Some women can come to dread sex during menopause; nobody likes to feel something pleasurable turn into something painful. Have a frank discussion with your partner and be willing to try something new. Invest in some good erotica and read it together. Watch a film that appeals to both of you. You may need more stimulation to enjoy sex again. Once you find something that gives you pleasure again, keep exploring.
Keep up on your multivitamin and increase your focus on Vitamin D and calcium. Many women in the throes of menopause are also facing a lot of life stress. If you find that your regular vitamin causes stomach upset, switch to a serving of a fortified cereal that will give you the nutrients you need without tearing up your stomach.
You can support good gut health by consuming probiotics, or you can increase your intake of fermented foods. Probiotic yogurts can aid digestion, as can homemade sauerkraut. As you boost your intake of fresh foods, be aware that your gut may need a bit of time to adjust to the added roughage. Drink plenty of water and use a natural laxative, such as a therapeutic tea, on days you need it.
Supplements such as black cohosh and evening primrose oil are showing promise, but every body is different. Order the smallest dosage available and try them, noting in your journal the dosage and your reaction.
Find a method of movement that you enjoy. Take the dog for a walk in the morning so your exercise requirement has been met, or go out in the evening so you can shed the stresses of your day. Don’t pick something hard enough that you hate it; you have enough to deal with. Exercise should be mood-lifting and enjoyable.
You’ve got what it takes to get through the process of menopause. We can help. Ready to get started? Call us today at 205-352-9141.