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August 17, 2011

Female Menopause: 4 Tips to Cope With It

female menopause and woman
Image by Cesar Cabrera via Flickr

Sweating The Female Menopause Out

If you are in your mid-40’s or 50’s, you may be experiencing changes in your life that you cannot seem to put a name to. You find yourself lonely amidst the peace and quiet in your now empty home now that your kids are all grown up and living their own lives. You have lost the energy and vitality that once allowed you to do the things you want to do. Now you have lost interest in engaging in activities. You worry about why you feel so hot and sweaty at night and got you thinking that perhaps you are suffering a grave illness. Before entertaining any such crazy ideas, you must realize that you may be crossing the threshold of female menopause.

How To Cope With Female Menopause

Entering this phase in a woman’s life may pose a lot of challenges for you. You will need the understanding and support of loved ones and the people around you. The following are some tips that can hopefully take you by the hand as you enter the autumn of your life.

1. Consult your physician. Although we may already be doing it, you should not jump into any conclusions without having your doctor confirm your suppositions first. He can also prescribe you certain medications to help you address the hot flashes and, if necessary, for your mood swings. However, if you think you can handle these concerns yourself without the aid of medicines, try to do so. A good general physical examination will also help you get a picture of your overall health and detect any other health problems so that your doctor can help you address them, if there’s any.

2. Play it cool. Before turning to the female menopause magic pills, try to implement natural measures to address the hot flushes, such as wearing light clothes and bringing along mini fans. This is to avoid the additional cost and the possible side effects of medicines.

3. Move that body. One of the symptoms of female menopause is weight gain, so some exercise or physical activity could be of help in managing your weight. Engaging in physical activity can also help you combat two other problems linked to menopause: osteoporosis and depression. Exercise can strengthen your bones helping you to avoid a decrease in bone mass density. At the same time, it triggers the release of the feel good hormones – endorphins which can also lift your mood and keep you away from the need to take antidepressants. Consider taking walks, biking, and doing workouts that you think you can handle. Learning how to dance and other new activities will exercise not just your body, but also your mental and social muscle.

4. Take supplementation to keep bones strong and healthy. The hormonal changes that go along with menopause can undermine your bones. To ward off osteoporosis and bone fractures, take calcium supplement and vitamin D for better calcium absorption. The recommended dose of calcium for menopausal women is 1200 mg daily, while that for vitamin D is 400 to 600 IU.

See “Herbs for Menopause”, “Having Hot Flashes”, “Better Living Through Hormone Replacement Therapy”, and “Menopause and Lifestyle”.

The female menopause is a trying time for a woman. She needs all the understanding and support of her loved ones, as well as certain measures to help her cope with the symptoms that goes with it.

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

  1. Many of you report to my office with a complaint of being hypothyroid only to have been told by your primary care provider that you are normal on testing. Guess what? They are correct!! But, so are you. However, they have not gone far enough to document what you know to be true. Your thyroid gland most of the time is producing adequate amounts of thyroid. However, after it leaves the gland, the brain takes over and it responds to environmental cues, sleep, stress, exercise, etc. This response changes the activity of enzymes that control the conversion of your thyroid hormone to its more active form known as T3. This has to be assessed to adequately determine your true thyroid activity. I have included a feedback chart below of this physiology.

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