Staying Young in Menopause - Take Control of Your Body
Hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, skin problems, and joint pain are prevalent, common symptoms for women in menopause. Stubborn fat that just won’t go away, night sweats, sudden flashes of heat during the day, and muscle and joint pain that cause fatigue are also common menopause symptoms.
Feeling younger at any menopausal stage involves solving what triggers your side effects — a hormonal imbalance in your estrogen levels in your body. If you learn how to support the baseline of hormonal health, you can find relief from joint pain, hot flashes, and weight fluctuation as you go through the menopause transition. But let’s first look at an explanation of these symptoms of menopause.
Why Do You Feel This Way in Menopause?
In perimenopause and menopause, every woman goes through hormonal changes. If you go to your healthcare provider to check your hormone levels, you will see a decline in female hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Estrogen decline, in particular, is the pathway to various menopause symptoms and a sign that your reproductive years are ending.
Menopause can also cause changes in your sex drive and menstrual cycle. Because your estrogen and testosterone levels are adjusting, your uterus and ovaries aren't producing as many eggs during ovulation and you may start to get irregular periods until they go away altogether. A study of women also showed that you may experience vaginal dryness or a lack of libido starting in early menopause. In these instances, you may be able to attempt hormone replacement therapy or other clinical trials to help get intercourse back on track and improve your quality of life. Sexual function isn't the only thing affected by a change in levels of estrogen.
Joint and muscular pain is shown to increase during the menopause transition, even in comparison to perimenopausal women (1). This factor is related to your body producing less estrogen. One of the benefits of estrogen is how it fights inflammation in the body, so in menopause, you may have painful joints or develop the medical condition of arthritis. Look for pain relief with ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Advil, or other therapies a doctor can prescribe. All-natural dietary supplements may also be an effective treatment.
Next, hot flashes and night sweats are perhaps the most common symptoms of menopause. Depending on the severity of hot flashes, you might experience a sleep disturbance waking in the middle of the night covered in sweat and perspiration or you might feel your body temperature suddenly going up during the daytime regardless of hot weather. These also occur because of a decline in estrogen versus levels in healthy women. Management of hot flashes can be a good treatment plan to improve quality of life and end sleep problems for these older women.
Finally, weight gain in menopause can be a natural part of getting older. But it is actually hormonal changes that are behind the increase in abdominal fat and total body fat in menopausal women (2). Lower estrogen levels make your body hold on to the fat and your metabolism will burn it more slowly than before. This results in stubborn belly fat that is difficult to lose. Hormonal treatment and other clinical trials may help you progress past the ups and downs of weight fluctuation.
Find Relief from Joint Pain, Weight Changes, and Hot Flashes in Menopause
Shifts and changes in your sex hormones and estrogen are very typical symptoms of menopause. They are the reason why symptoms like hot flashes, joint pain, and weight gain occur. And while prescription medication or steroids could help you with estrogen therapy or hormone therapy, they do not take into account individual changes in each of the three hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) discussed above.
Changes in your healthy diet and a systematic review of lifestyle factors can help you achieve hormonal balance depending on your medical history. Another treatment option involves taking herbal remedies and probiotic supplements. Several plants and herbs like black cohosh, soy, red clover, flaxseed, and St. John’s wort seem to improve various symptoms of menopause (3). Thanks to their ability to adapt to the needs of your body, plants can make a significant difference in your hormonal balance and ease any irritation for menopausal women.
Dealing with the high severity of menopausal symptoms can cause depressive symptoms or mental health strains. Severe hot flashes, increase in weight, insomnia, or lower libido can cause confusion and sadness in your life. Don't forget to take care of your serotonin as well as your estrogen. Consult caregivers and doctors to see if there is a lower dose of antidepressants or other medications to help get your mental health back to a good spot as well.
Check out these tips that could help you find relief from joint pain, weight gain, and hot flashes.
Tips for Joint Pain
Stretching and yoga can help. Older women may experience swelling, stiffness, or difficulty moving joints as they age. With an increased risk of joint pain, some gentle stretching of problem areas every morning could help relieve discomfort and warm up the elasticity of your joints and muscles for your daily activities. Yoga has some great stretching postures that are an effective way to lower your risk factor of joint damage.
Lift your legs. It feels good when you give yourself permission to lay down on the bed and lift your legs after a long day. They suddenly do not seem so tired and heavy after a certain time period. The same applies to painful joints and medical conditions — lifting your legs above the level of the heart can be a therapy or effective treatment to help alleviate joint and muscular pain in your legs.
Tips for Weight Gain
Eat well and stay hydrated. The first thing that usually comes to mind when you need to lose weight is dieting. This tactic does not always helpful as a women's health initiative. Careful not to skip meals because this won't help with weight loss or estrogen production. Quite the contrary; not eating for a serious length of time increases your appetite and often leads to binge eating junk food. This is even worse for your health care and mood changes. Instead, focus on eating good foods and maintaining a healthy diet.
Stay hydrated so that your body can flush out toxins and eat three meals a day for a healthy diet. When reaching for a beverage, opt for water instead of caffeine and keep in mind the balance between proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. If you keep eating balanced meals, soon your hormones will reach a balance, too. Consult your healthcare provider for what good choices can be made to reach a healthy weight.
Make alterations to choose whole foods over processed ones. Whole foods include vitamins and minerals, along with vitamin-like components, water, and fiber. These are an indication of proper nutrition, healthy eating, and lowering body weight. Supply your body with those compounds for optimal function.
Tips for Hot Flashes
Practice deep breathing and meditation. Hot flashes and night sweats only get worse with stress, so finding a useful technique for relaxation is key for the treatment of hot flashes. Try deep breathing or meditation at the onset of hot flashes, and after some practice, you should start seeing results. Breathing exercises to try out are counting until five while breathing in deeply and then counting until five again while breathing out. Close your eyes and follow your breath for at least 10 minutes, then repeat this every morning and evening depending on the severity of hot flashes you experience. After consecutive months of this, you'll notice improvements in lowering blood pressure and insomnia.
Find a hobby. Relieving night sweats and hot flashes starts by relieving stress and increasing relaxation. Choose an activity or try lifestyle changes that bring you joy, whether it is painting, yoga, walking in the park, dancing, or exercising. Those who are going through the menopause transition need pleasant and engaging daily activities as a treatment of hot flashes and to help with mental health and supportive care.
If you are looking for relief from hot flashes, weight gain, and joint pain, check out the MenoLabs’ line of probiotic supplements for menopausal relief. A step up in women’s health, you will feel like younger women and happier when your body’s hormones are back in balance. Depending on the severity of your menopause symptoms and side effects, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to see how you can feel your best at an older age. Take control over your body and your symptoms with natural menopause remedies.
(1) Fiona Watt. “Musculoskeletal pain and menopause.”
(2) SR Davis, et al. “Understanding weight gain at menopause.”
(3) Stacie Geller and Laura Studee. “Botanical and Dietary Supplements for Menopausal Symptoms: What Works, What Doesn’t.”