While the stages of menopause cannot be avoided, they do present themselves differently for every woman- and at different times in their lives. For the most part, menopause- the final menstrual period following 12 months without a period- happens between the ages of 40 and 58. It’s important to understand ALL stages of the midlife changes a woman experiences, categorized into 3 different parts: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause- and how to make life more comfortable throughout the process.
The 3-5 year period before menopause when a woman’s estrogen and other hormone levels begin to drop, typically in their late 40's. This transitional time before natural menopause can last 6 years or more.
Menopause is technically the timeframe when there have been 12 consecutive months without a period, indicating the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. It happens when the ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone- two hormones needed for a woman's fertility.
While every woman experiences menopause differently, the following are the most common symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Sleep issues
- Mood change
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Thinning hair and dry skin
The years following the menopausal years, starting after one whole year since your last menstrual cycle.
How to Ease the Effects of Menopause
Menopausal women should aim to include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as increased water intake and some soy, while limiting saturated fats, oils and sugars- and yes, this includes alcohol and caffeine. Women that drink in excess of 7 drinks per week are said to have a higher chance of experiencing intense hot flashes and additional menopausal symptoms.
Rarely do people that start a pattern of consistent fitness find themselves worse off than before. In fact, most people experience improvements far beyond their physical well-being, positively impacting their mental health, as well. For women experiencing symptoms of menopause- or looking to proactively protect against the impending life changes- a regular fitness regiment is a surefire way to help. Walking, lifting weights and yoga are all considered excellent ways to fight back against the symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes and night sweats.
Other natural remedies for symptoms include changes in a woman’s lifestyle: smoking, stressful habits, poor sleeping, etc. Working to improve all of these- most of all the smoking habits- will go a long way towards feeling better as the stages of menopause take place. Again, taking the time to reduce the stress in your life will help greatly and women should consider options such as meditation and acupuncture for added effectiveness.
Finally, we understand that sometimes additional help is needed and at Hill Country Vitality we offer solutions that fit with a number of lifestyle, such as Bio-Identical therapy. Bio-identical hormone therapy restores balance and gets women back to feeling like themselves again, replacing the estrogen and testosterone that has been lost due to aging.
BioTe works to reverse symptoms from both menopause and andropause; if you are a mid-life man or woman, experiencing these symptoms, contact Hill Country Vitality today. We are a certified BioTE provider in San Antonio. Life shouldn’t consist of exhaustion, pain and irritability- not when there are safe treatments to restore your hormone levels and get you back to feeling like yourself once again. Come in and visit with us about how BioTE can help you age gracefully. Want to learn more about BioTE & what the next steps are to a more balanced life?