The advent of Menopause: Deal it with Dignity and Ease
A woman is the ultimate symbol of power and energy. A woman undergoes a lot of changes and faces innumerable pressures during her lifespan. Women’s bodies too have to face multitudinous changes as they move from one stage to another. Our emotions too change, like our bodies. Women who are in their late forties or early fifties experience a phase called menopause. During this stage, we need to assemble our strength and remain as cool as ever. We need to always remember that we have outlived and adjusted to the vibes of puberty, adolescence, and pregnancy, so we will survive this phase too and live to tell the tale. As Lal Ded, a 14th-century Hindu mystic, said about women, “The soul, like the moon, is new, and always new again.”
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural biological process, so it is not a problem that needs to be solved. The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare has explained this stage as “Menopause is not an illness. It is normal for hormone levels to fall in middle age. These hormones do not need to be replaced.” It is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility; usually, it occurs 12 months after the last menstrual period. At first, it is not easy to realize when we enter the menopause years. If you are in your mid-forties or in your fifties and you start feeling very hot or warm around you, you are frustrated because of lack of sleep, mood swings, a feeling of stress and uneasiness, then your body is showing you some minute symptoms of the menopause cycle.
Some of the common symptoms of menopause are:
• Irregularity in periods
• Mood swings, anxiety, depression
• Hot flashes, night sweats
• Weight gain
• Dry skin and thinning of hair
• Changes in uterus, cervix, and ovaries
• Changes in breasts size
• Vaginal dryness
Causes of menopause
Menopause is a process, where significant changes take place in a woman’s body. It is caused by hormonal changes, including altered levels of reproductive hormones that include gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen (three types, including estrone, estridiol, and estriol), progesterone, and testosterone. There is an increasing loss of ovarian follicles that leads to a decrease in the amount of estrogen produced. The level of estrogen starts to drop six to twelve months before menopause and continues throughout the menopause process.
Learning to cope with the symptoms of menopause
Menopause is the perfect time in a woman’s life to start paying closer and major attention to health. If menopause could be seen and accepted as the natural transition to the next level of life, it could definitely be handled with dignity and care. Once women have reached this phase of life, they need to keep track of their health
1. Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques getting rid of stress helps us deal with menopausal mood swings.
2. Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily to help replace fluid lost from hot flashes and also to decrease bloating.
3. Avoid or reduce the intake of items like processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol, and carbonated drinks, which can cause sharp rises and dips in blood sugar that would further make you feel tired and irritable.
4. Regular exercise and walking would help in keeping body weight under control.
5. Eating foods rich in Vitamin D and calcium helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, which could be caused by the hormonal changes during menopause.
6. Have food rich in phytoestrogens that would help in balancing hormones.
7. It is advisable to eat regular meals since skipping meals worsens menopause symptoms.
8. Keeping bedrooms cool, wearing loose dresses, and taking baths will help you feel comfortable, which can help you get an undisturbed sleep.
Menopause is a time of rapid hormonal shifts and many changes. The symptoms vary from one woman to another. Before taking any kind of hormone, it is advisable to take it under the supervision of a doctor. Women should always remember that after this phase, our bodies will enter the next, so we need to be cheerful and relaxed. Make a plan for passing the worst of the symptoms. Read and understand the changes happening to your body. Be relaxed, don’t ever lose your sense of humor, take this phrase as a challenge, and be a winner.