Menopause refers to the end of menstruation and usually occurs around the age of 50. It is a natural process women go through and a normal part of life that can be confusing and difficult at times.
For years the ovaries have been working hard to prepare and release eggs every month and finally they reach a point where they stop. This usually occurs gradually with a period missed, some periods more heavy and periods becoming more irregular.
The symptoms and severity symptoms of menopause (due to the decrease in hormone levels) vary from woman to woman:
Some common symptoms:
- Hot flashes – these usually start already in peri-menopause when periods start to become irregular and some women get a flushed or warm feeling in their face and upper body, while other women experience sweating and chills
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
There are many other symptoms and you are welcome to fill out our checklist and mail it through before your visit or just to check for yourself if some of your nagging symptoms can be due to this transition.
What can we do to make it easier?
- Adjust our attitude- if we think about menopause as a tragedy, it will be. If we see it as normal and a natural transition, it is easier handled and accepted
- A healthy diet or discussing an anti-inflammatory diet approach with your dietician. Make sure you eat regularly and don’t skip meals but avoid refined carbohydrates.
- Adequate fibre intake
- Adequate and regular exercise. Walking daily is an excellent start
- Drinking enough water and limit caffeine intake
- STRESS MANAGEMENT and good sleep hygiene
- Increase phyto-estrogens and lignins like natural soy foods and flaxseeds in your diet
- Look for supplements at your trusted pharmacy with some of these ingredients including B vitamins, Vitamin E, evening primrose oil
- Please talk to your doctor before adding herbs and roots like dong quai and black cohosh as they might interact with other medications
- Speak to us about possibilities about medical support – these days we have genetic testing at our disposal that can show us all the genes and factors that play a role in developing cancer from estrogen therapy. There are therapies that don’t involve estrogen replacement and we can even assist with bio-identical hormones suited to your individual needs or symptomatic treatment as needed.
Remember to check on your medical aid benefits from when and how often you can go for a mammogram and bone-density screen.
Please note that genetic testing, bio-identical hormone therapy and most supplements are not covered by medical aids.