You can’t avoid menopause, but you don’t have to let it spell disaster. Sure, hormonal changes wreak havoc on your body, but you have the power to combat even the severest of symptoms. The pros at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta want you to have the best tips and tricks under your belt, so without further ado, here are 7 ways to manage menopause and ease your symptoms.
1. Eat a healthy diet that supports menopausal changes
Your nutrition needs change during menopause, and eating in a way that supports those new needs can play a big role in managing symptoms. For the most part, nutrition guidelines during menopause closely resemble the general U.S. dietary guidelines, but you should know about a few key differences.
During menopause, you should double up on foods high in calcium and vitamin D to maintain your bone health, because loss of bone density often occurs with menopause. You should also ensure you consume enough vitamin B6 each day to keep your immune system strong, and eat phytoestrogen foods, such as soy products, to naturally replace some of your lost estrogen.
2. Avoid foods that may trigger menopause symptoms
On the flip side, there are foods that can cause hot flashes, poor sleep, irritability, and more. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, as well as high-salt and spicy foods, are thought to trigger menopausal symptoms. Limiting your consumption of refined carbohydrates and overly processed foods — such as crackers, pretzels, potato chips, cookies, and candy — can help you manage menopause symptoms.
If you aren’t sure which foods trigger your symptoms, keep a food and symptom diary. Write down how you feel before and after eating certain foods to pinpoint any triggers.
3. Start and maintain an exercise routine
Evidence doesn’t currently support exercise as an antidote to menopausal symptoms, but there are plenty of proven benefits of exercise to make an established regimen worth it. For instance, exercising regularly can increase your metabolism and energy levels, keep your bones and joints healthy, decrease stress, and help you sleep better. Even an activity as simple as walking can improve your overall quality of life during menopause.
4. Establish a consistent sleep cycle
Erratic and poor quality sleep is common among menopausal women. You may not be able to entirely combat this — the fluctuations in your hormones throw your body off — but establishing a consistent sleep cycle can help. Our bodies thrive with structure and routine, so getting in bed and waking up at the same times each day can help regulate your circadian rhythm, or internal clock that governs your sleep cycle.
5. Consider hormone replacement therapy
During menopause, your body reduces production of the key hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hormone replacement therapy can regulate fluctuations and keep these hormones at a level that decreases symptom severity. At OB-GYN Associates of Marietta, you can receive hormone replacement therapy in the form of skin patches, oral medication, or vaginal creams or inserts.
6. Stay hydrated
It sounds simple, but drinking enough water each day can truly solve a lot of problems. If you find yourself dealing with fatigue, chronic headaches, or brain fog, you may just need a glass of water. Seriously — the effects of dehydration, even a mild case, can throw your body off course. Aim for at least 64 ounces each day, but more if you’re active and work up a sweat.
7. Discuss non-invasive treatments with your gynecologist
Due to decreased hormone production during menopause, you may notice a slew of vaginal symptoms, such as dryness, itching, burning, laxity (loss of tone), or pain during intercourse. If any of those conditions affect your quality of life or relationship, consider a non-invasive treatment option to rejuvenate your vaginal tissue. At OB-GYN Associates of Marietta, our experts offer MonaLisa Touch®, a gentle laser treatment that restores feel and function to vaginal tissue.
To learn more about treatment options for managing menopause, schedule an appointment at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta today. Call 770-233-7393 (Marietta) or 678-293-4449 (Woodstock), or request an appointment online.