Ways to Cope with Menopause Symptoms

June 2, 2019

Hot flash cooling
Keep a journal to track what triggers your hot flashes. Caffeine? Alcohol? A hot room? Pressure? All are common causes. When the flashing starts, breathe slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. For difficult situations, check with your doctor.

Frozen night sweats.
At night, hot flashes can last for more than 3 minutes, leaving you sweating so much you can’t sleep. But there are ways to keep you cool. Swap your heavy flannel for light pajamas. Put a bag of frozen peas under your pillow. Flip your pillow at night and put your face on the cool side. Choose layers of lightweight blankets over a heavy blanket. Use a bedside fan to keep the air moving.

Increasing the chances of sleep
Studies show that yoga, tai chi and meditation can help you get some shut-eye. Any exercise can make a difference to your eyes – just stop 3 hours before bedtime. Skip the bedtime drink, as alcohol can make you wake up later. Sip on warm milk instead. It has a substance in it that will help you relax. Not asleep yet? Get out of bed and read a book until you get sleepy. If you still have problems, ask your doctor about short-term sleep aids.

Helping your body
Hormonal changes make the vagina thinner and drier, which can make sex painful. Fortunately, there are many products that can help. Try an over-the-counter, water-based vaginal lubricant or vaginal moisturizer. You can also ask your doctor about prescription vaginal creams or rings, or prescription medications for dryness and painful sex. The more sex you’re able to have, the better it is for blood flow, which can keep your bottom healthy.

Cultivate that lost desire.
Make more time for sex. Try massage and foreplay as well. Use erotic novels and new sex routines as a way to build desire. Hormonal changes are a major cause, but other things that stifle your libido can strike at the same time. Ask your doctor about poor sleep, bladder problems, or feeling frustrated or stressed.

Emotional highs and lows
It’s like premenstrual syndrome, only worse – the crying tics, the happy-go-lucky, the grumpy crankiness. These are all common in women around menopause. If you have bad PMS, the hormonal changes that occur during this time can lead to greater mood swings. Yoga and tai chi can also help you here. So you can do fun things with friends or family. Your doctor may recommend low-dose birth control pills, antidepressants and other treatments for mood changes.

headaches
Migraines may get worse around or during menopause, or they may appear for the first time. Keep a diary to see what seems to trigger them and whether they occur in conjunction with hot flashes. That way you can take steps to reduce them. If hunger is a trigger for headaches, eating small amounts of food throughout the day can help. Lack of sleep is another cause, so if your nights are chaotic, take a nap. Treatments vary. Some can prevent migraines. Others may make them less frequent or severe. Talk to your doctor.

When the hair falls into the water
Around menopause, your hair may thin or fall out more quickly. At the same time, it may appear in places you don’t want it – your chin and cheeks. To protect your hair, switch to hair coloring products that do not contain harsh chemicals. Avoid exposure to the sun, as it is drying. Have unwanted facial hair? Ask your skin doctor to wax, bleach, pluck or tie your hair.

Pimples? Pimples? Really?
You think you’ll get acne in your teens, but not in your 50s. Surprise: it’s also common around menopause. Make sure your moisturizers, sunscreens, cleansers and other facial products are gentle. Look for words like “oil-free,” “won’t clog pores,” “non-comedogenic,” and “non-carcinogenic.” Even tough cases can be cleared up with time and a doctor’s help.

Through the Spiritual Fog
“Use it or lose it.” This simple phrase can help you combat fuzzy thinking and stay focused through menopause. Challenge your brain in new ways. Learn something new, like a hobby or a language. Lower your stress levels. Women who have more hot flashes – which can be stress-related – say they have more memory troubles.