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Menopause: Is there any easy way to do it? Updated

July 13, 2011

After reading a fair bit on menopause and its problems, speaking to some friends who have gone through it both well and badly and cross referencing my own personal experience, here are some pointers that could help you too.

  1. The more you worry about what will happen the more it will happen. The self-fulfilling prophesy principle at work here. Anticipation of trouble brings you more trouble in this situation. We hear of hot flashes and migraines and weight gain and palpitations and temper tantrums and mood swings and osteoporosis and waning libido and general chaos. And we convince ourselves that these will happen to us as well. But the thing to remember is that not all of these will happen to ALL of us and the intensity will vary enormously.
  2. There is no denying that a bunch of medical conditions are related to menopause. But the key to control here is to understand that they are NOT life threatening. The best advice I got from my gynec was: “None of this will kill you so just get on with it.” Do not anticipate what will happen. Respond to what is happening.
  3. Exercise is critical during this phase. And in every case of well-managed menopause seemed to have made a big difference. Those who had a solid exercise regimen reported fewer symptoms and lower intensity. My own exercise regimen included walking and ‘Surya Namaskar‘ (6 rounds a day). For me the ‘Surya Namaskar’ worked almost like a panacea during this entire period.
  4. Go into menopause with your optimum weight. It is almost certain that you will during this period gain anywhere between 5 to 10 kg. Compulsive eating to manage stress and metabolic imbalances both lead to weight gain during menopause. Some experts believe that weight gain is the body’s natural response to protecting the bones that weaken during this phase. New research says not true. Obese post menopausal women are as prone to fracture as non obese. So keeping your weight down is still the best thing to do.
  5. Keep working if you are a working woman. Find something to do if you are not. The busier you are during this time, the better. Mood swings should be expected and are sometimes hardest to manage. Short burst of temper will happen and in the workplace can lead to embarrassment. Nasty jokes about ‘mature’ women of a certain age losing it and being called menopausal maniacs. Of course when we lose it at any other age as all normal people do, we are just called other nasty words. So do not become self-conscious about this issue. At most you will be apologising more often for a while!
  6. You need to find a favorite stress buster and stick with it: music, cards, sex, TV, reading (even trash, if that helps). We all have our favorite ways of taking time off, shutting down the thought waves. Meditation if you can get to a teacher is perfect.
  7. Eat sensibly. Let your body tell you what to do. Control the temptation to binge, but do not deprive yourself in any way. Control the quantities and do not bother with special diets which do not really work. Some new items are coming through as helpful: soy providing isoflavone which is a natural source of phytoestrogen and omega 3 rich foods which happens to be fish. Add in potassium rich foods, take up fruits and go for more nuts and dry fruits. Finally water: drink 2 litres a day at least.

An update on new research in this area:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/10/weekinreview/10estrogen.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Here is some information on how to care for your skin after menopause. Much of it is again common sense and quite honestly this is the element that must guide you through this entire period.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/267536-how-to-firm-up-skin-after-menopause/#?utm_source=ATID

Menopausal Women Don’t Need ‘Fixing’, Psychotherapist Argues

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110712210922.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

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From → General Health

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