I was driving in my car yesterday when a commercial came on the radio. The announcer asks me: “Do you have hot flashes, moodiness, weight gain, trouble sleeping, fatigue and all these other million symptoms? You may be suffering from hormone imbalance!” I wanted to yell at the announcer that of COURSE, I have all those symptoms…I am a 40 something-year-old woman whose hormones are out of whack due to the onset of menopause!” Now, if the announcer had told me how to survive menopause without losing my mind I would have been thrilled but he was pushing some newfangled menopause drug that I was not interested in taking. I will suffer through my menopause by sticking my head in the freezer like my mom did!
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How to Survive Menopause with Your Sanity Intact
If you are wondering about menopause symptoms and what you should expect in the coming years, here are a few things to keep in mind. I will also share a few tips on how to survive menopause without losing your sanity completely!
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Symptom: Dryness (everywhere!)
Due to falling hormone levels, menopausal women will often find themselves ‘dry’. Dry skin, dry eyes, and dryness ‘down there’ when we least want to be dry. Invest in a good skin moisturizer. Have you seen the Itchy Bitch Skin Silk on Amazon? Skin hydration plus calming aromatherapy! Get some saline eye drops and a good natural lubricant. You need to learn how to survive menopause dryness without your sex life going to hell!
Symptom: Pull Your Hair Out Stress:
When we are having hot flashes and feel fat and are dry and scratchy, we are not in a happy place. Not being in a happy place means that mom gets stressed out really easily. With that stress can come yelling at spouses and short tempers with children. Not fun for anyone. Exercise and meditation are great ways to deal with stress during menopause. Learn how to survive menopause stress by remembering to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ whenever possible. We are doing enough sweating due to hot flashes…we don’t need to sweat because our husband left his dirty sock on the floor and the dog is using it as a chew toy. Meditate to sooth the soul!
Symptom: Slowing metabolism:
I remember the days when I was nursing and could plow through a pan of homemade brownies with abandon and never put on a pound. Oh, I miss those days! Nowadays, I eat a lot more kale and a lot fewer brownies and still pack on the pounds too easily. The only way to deal with a slow metabolism is to start exercising! Make sure you do something physical every single day, even if it is only for 30 minutes. Invest in an activity tracker. It is too easy to put off exercise when you are busy. Start eating healthier. If you need help with healthy meals in a hurry, check out a Blue Apron subscription box. They make it easier to eat healthy and have some great deals when you sign up.
Symptom: Irregular periods:
I am going to get a little personal here and share a tidbit of information with you. A couple of years ago, I went for 3 months with near constant spotting. MONTHS of on again, off again periods that nearly drove me mad! After trying an assortment of herbal solutions and practically buying stock in feminine hygiene products, I gave up and went to my OB for birth control pills. Not my first choice but I tried it for a year before deciding it wasn’t working. Now I have moved into the ‘get a period every 7 weeks’ phase of my life. Better than constant bleeding but I miss the days of being as regular as clockwork.
Symptom: Hot Flashes:
Unfortunately, hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. Wear lightweight pajamas, keep your bedroom cool, and skip the alcohol before bed. Alcohol seems to make night flashes worse which will keep you awake and make you even more cranky than you were before. During the day, make sure you wear layers so you can put them on and take them off as needed. Keep a wet washcloth in the freezer and place it on the back of your neck when your hot flashes get really bad!
Symptom: Increased UTIs:
Did you know that one of the symptoms of menopause is an increase in the number of UTIs you get? Check out these tips on How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections that you really should read up on! Drink lots of water and always pee after sex!
Menopause can be a challenging time in a woman’s life. However, making sure to tackle your menopause symptoms instead of just ignoring them will go a long way towards surviving menopause with your sanity intact!
Have any other tips for conquering menopause symptoms?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.