A lot of women write in to ask what they can do to deal with their menopausal symptoms.
I’m not surprised to see this.
Data suggests that up to 80% of women will experience hot flashes in their lifetimes. And this is just 1 symptom of menopause — other symptoms range from night sweats and mood swings to trouble sleeping.
And the symptoms can last for a long time. In fact, some women will experience symptoms for up to 8 years.
Even worse, while the average age of menopause is 51, changes in your body begin years earlier.
This time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. During perimenopause, estrogen and progesterone production are out of whack …
And you sometimes experience symptoms of full-blown menopause.
Luckily, there are some straightforward, natural things you can do to ease the symptoms. Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms and how to address them:
- Keep a diary of when you experience the flashes. See if any patterns emerge, then try to avoid your triggers. Common causes include spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, stress and being in a warm room.
- Dress in layers so you can peel as necessary.
- Use a portable fan.
- Don’t smoke! You already know that smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer and a range of other health problems. Did you know it also can bring on early menopause? And it may also increase hot flashes.
- Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool (65 degrees is ideal).
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
- Wear wicking pajamas that draw sweat away from your skin.
- Try valerian root herb tea 45 minutes before bed.
- Avoid hot and spicy foods and alcohol, as well as caffeine several hours before bedtime.
- Increase complex carbs, which can help the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that helps settle your nerves. Try barley instead of white rice or pasta in soups, substitute a sweet potato for a regular one, sprinkle oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs in meatloaf, and bake with whole-grain flour and oat bran instead of white flour.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Moving your body increases endorphins — those feel-good chemicals in your brain.
- Try an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer to address dryness and replenish moisture.
- Water-based, over-the-counter lubricants can make sex more comfortable.
- You know the saying use it or lose it? It’s true here. Staying sexually active helps by increasing blood flow to the vagina.
Another super important note: After menopause, a woman’s calcium needs go up to maintain bone health. Women 51 and older should get 1,200 mg of calcium each day.
Vitamin D also is important to bone health. Women 51 to 70 should get at least 600 IU of vitamin D each day. Women ages 71 and older need at least 800 IU of vitamin D each day. Higher amounts, at least 1,000 IU each day, may be needed to achieve and maintain optimal body stores, not only for bone health, but to support immune health, promote healthy cell division and maintain muscle strength.
I’m always on the lookout for health solutions, including dietary supplements, that are backed by sound science. In fact, we’re considering developing one such supplement for the RealDose® brand that specifically targets hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Would you like to see one? If so, what would you like to see in it? Write to me and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.