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Managing Menopause

A few hot tips on menopause.

It sneaks up on every woman and rears its ugly head in a wave of heat flashes and mood swings. What can you do to prepare yourself for the oncoming of menopause? What do you do if you’re in the midst of it right now?

Here are a few things you should know to get through menopause safely and leave you ready for life on the other side of the big M.

Know the Symptoms

Women’s hormones come and go for many reasons, leaving many women wondering if they’ve started menopause. However, once you enter the menopausal stage of your life, you’ll know it for sure.
Symptoms that you may be entering menopause include the following:

  • abdominal fat increase
  • hot flashes
  • irregular periods
  • loss of breast fullness
  • mood swings
  • poor sleep
  • reduced fertility
  • thinning hair
  • vaginal dryness

It is important to note that none of these symptoms are a sure bet that you’re into menopause. According to the experts, menopause officially begins only when you’ve been menstruation-free for an entire 12 months. So until the symptoms of menopause are coupled with a year of no periods, you’ve not entered menopause.

Take Good Care

When menopause shows up, you may feel helpless against the onslaught of symptoms that affect your day-to-day routine. With a little effort and substantial self-awareness, you can fend off the bothersome symptoms of menopause. By using vaginal lubricants, you can avoid vaginal dryness. Not smoking can reduce the amount of hot flashes you experience, as can regular exercise and avoiding hot-flash triggers, such as spicy foods, hot drinks, and warm weather.

In the event your menopausal symptoms are too bothersome to be managed with lifestyle changes, a trip to your local pharmacy may be in order. From frequently advertised hormone therapies to vaginal estrogen to medications that protect your bone density and your good mental health, medications are readily available that treat severe menopausal symptoms and allow you to stay on track with your life.

Don’t Accept Defeat

For many women, menopause is an unwanted change that marks the end of an era. As such, it can bring on frustrating feelings of sadness and even loss. But the changes that occur during menopause don’t have to leave you feeling blue. They can actually cause you to feel excited with your new stage life has brought your way.

How can you feel good about menopause? It’s a benchmark occurrence that is proof that you’re a mature woman. Don’t think that’s enough to turn your frown upside down? What about the fact that you’ll never have to worry about taking birth control pills or carrying around those embarrassing feminine products again? Now those are some thoughts that will get you to smile in the face of menopause day after day!

The Down Side of Menopause

Regardless of how chipper you may be after walking through the Valley of Menopause, the journey itself puts you in harm’s way. As if the symptoms of menopause weren’t enough, menopause leaves you at increased risk for a number of dangerous and even deadly conditions.
Some of the most common complications you may be left dealing with after menopause include the following:

  • Osteoporosis, due to the potential for rapid bone density loss in the years immediately after menopause. Hence why calcium and vitamin D intake is particularly important during this time of life.
  • Weight gain, which requires diet modification and additional time spent exercising to maintain a healthy weight after menopause.
  • Urinary incontinence that sets in when vaginal and urethral tissues lose their elasticity and strength. Fight it with Kegel exercises (tighten and loosen the muscles that stop the flow of urine) and seek medical attention if incontinence keeps you from a normal life.
  • Cardiovascular disease, which women are at increased risk for after their estrogen levels drop during menopause. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, not smoking, and working to maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure reduce your risk.

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