5 Reasons To Track Your Menopause Symptoms
Technology has advanced to the point where we can track our periods with the push of a button. This same technology benefits us as we go through the menopausal transition. And, more importantly, we can even better manage our health by tracking our menopausal symptoms.
Tracking your menopausal symptoms isn’t just a way to remind yourself of how many hot flashes you experienced in a week. It’s a way for you to stay on top of your health and have the confidence to know what to expect from your menopausal transition. Keeping on top of your menopausal health has many benefits, and can have a ripple effect on your life.
Here are some of those benefits.
Identifying Your Symptom Patterns
Believe it or not, women do experience patterns in their menopausal symptoms to a degree. Some women notice that they only experience hot flashes at night, and not in the day. Some women experience irritability closer to the start of their menstrual cycle and some women experience it toward the end of their menstrual cycle. Being able to identify patterns in your symptoms can help you better understand what to expect, when to expect it, and what you can do to alleviate those symptoms.
Finding patterns in your symptoms may also help you identify possible symptom triggers. Take hot flashes as an example. Let’s say you experience hot flashes most often in the mornings, according to your tracker. You notice after breakfast you start to feel a bit on the warm side and perhaps an hour or so later your first hot flash starts. If you drank coffee with breakfast, you’ve found a hot flash trigger! Coffee is a notorious hot flash trigger because of its caffeine content. Caffeine causes your blood vessels to become narrow, which restricts blood flow and increases blood pressure. These can raise your body temperature and cause your hypothalamus to trigger a hot flash.
Multiple symptoms can have the same triggers, so if you find yourself experiencing multiple symptoms at once, this could be an indication that you have a symptom trigger and help you identify it.
Helps You and Your Doctor
Keeping track of your menopausal symptoms doesn’t just help you, it also helps your doctor. Your doctor needs to know what kinds of menopausal symptoms you’re experiencing and how often you experience them so that they can work with you to create a treatment plan that is best suited for you. Tracking your symptoms can help your doctor better understand your specific menopausal journey, as well as help you identify any abnormalities or other potential health concerns. Your doctor may pick up on things that you weren't even looking for.
Let’s use the example of indigestion paired with heartburn. If a woman experiences both of these things often, especially after eating, she can record these symptoms and show them to her doctor to address this issue. While both can be mild symptoms of menopause, more severe symptoms could be a sign of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is a digestive disorder that requires specific treatment. Showing your tracking reports of these symptoms could help your doctor come to an accurate diagnosis and help you address it faster.
Helps You Pinpoint New Symptoms
Menopausal symptoms do not always present themselves immediately. In fact, many women will develop new menopausal symptoms over the course of their menopausal transition. Some symptoms develop gradually, others seem to appear out of nowhere. Being able to pinpoint when new symptoms arise can help you better monitor your health. It can help you determine if new treatments are needed, where you can make lifestyle changes like adjustments to your diet, and help you determine if you are experiencing symptoms that are unrelated to menopause.
Not only can you track the arrival of new symptoms, but you can also identify when existing symptoms become more intense. As you progress through the stages of menopause, you may notice that certain symptoms become more intense or more frequent. You might experience only mild hot flashes in perimenopause, but intense ones in menopause. Similarly, you may find that you experience more frequent mood swings in perimenopause but fewer mood swings in menopause and postmenopause.
Being able to detect and track changes in your menopausal transition can help you better structure your changing health needs and help you maintain your overall health with more ease.
Maps Out Your Next Stage
Keeping track of your menopausal symptoms can also help you better identify when you can expect to move onto the next stage. As a perimenopausal woman, you may notice the development of new symptoms or a decrease of previous symptoms, and this may help you better identify the window of time in which you’ll enter menopause. Tracking your transition from one stage to the next can help you better understand where you’ll need to adjust your health routines to better cope with your symptoms. It will also help prepare you for the new changes your body will undergo.
Take the transition into the postmenopausal phase as an example. As women age further into their later years after menopause, there is an increased risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their density and become more porous, this makes them brittle and more likely to fracture. Many women of postmenopausal ages suffer from osteoporosis, and while many women try to supplement this bone density loss with medications and other treatments, the earlier you take preventative measures, the better your bone health will be.
Tracking your symptoms can help you determine when your next stage may be and help you better prepare for the new health challenges that will come with it.
Keeps You On Top of Routines
It can be hard to maintain a healthy routine, especially when trying to address all your health concerns. Tracking your menopausal symptoms can help you stay on top of your routines. If your hot flashes are more intense on the days when you have that second cup of coffee, then you know to cut down on the caffeine. If you have worse insomnia on the days when your workdays are the longest, then you may find your stress levels those days are higher than normal and should implement ways to relax and destress after work. If you suddenly experience dry eyes more frequently you may find you need to order some eye drops and start using them regularly.
Being vigilant about your health starts with understanding what you can do to influence and improve it. Tracking your menopausal symptoms can help you avoid symptom triggers, stay on top of medication use, and help you determine what new adjustments you have to make as you progress through the different stages of menopause.
Use All Your Resources
When it comes to your menopausal health, use every resource that you can. Tools, information, and truth will give you the best chance to maintain your menopausal health and live well. Tracking your menopausal symptoms is a good start, and can lead to other tools and strategies that will help you throughout the menopausal transition. Be proactive and start tracking your menopausal symptoms today with the MenoLife symptom tracker! Download the app and you’ll be on your way to healthier living!