Tips for managing menopause

Aging Well | Women’s Health | August 3, 2017
Brain fog. Mood changes. Night sweats. Insomnia. Hot flashes. What to do?

Many—or all—of these are familiar symptoms for women who have been through menopause—the biggest change in a woman’s life after adolescence.

Menopause is that stage in life when a woman stops having her monthly period. It is a normal part of aging to mark the end of her reproductive years. It typically happens in a woman’s late 40s to early 50s. If a woman’s ovaries are surgically removed, she will experience sudden menopause.

Women are considered to be officially in menopause after 12 consecutive months of missed periods.

“Menopause is a transition that all women will go through,” says Robert Cruz, MD. “Unfortunately for some, symptoms can greatly affect their lives and last for many years. Modern medicine has been able to bring relief of varying degrees to many women. Frank discussions with your doctor can help you with your transition.”

Keep your cool

Here are a few things that can make hot flashes worse:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol (especially wine)
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar

Pay attention to what you’re eating around the same time as you have episodes to see if there’s a pattern.

Treatments

If your symptoms are persistent enough to disrupt your life, ask your doctor for help. Three common treatments are:

  • Over-the-counter natural remedies
  • Antidepressants
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

No matter which method you try, look at things in six-month blocks. Are your symptoms better? Are you able to handle them better? If your symptoms interfere with your life, talk with your doctor. Regular checkups are key to managing this change so you can live a happy, healthy life.