You’ve officially entered menopause once you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, but the end of your reproductive years doesn’t happen overnight. Perimenopause, the transitional stage leading to menopause, can last for up to 12 years.
Menopause isn’t a medical condition to be cured, but the symptoms associated with it can be difficult to manage. During perimenopause, the hormonal changes that begin the transition can trigger frustrating symptoms, like mood swings, weight gain, and hot flashes.
Fortunately, you can take steps to reclaim control of your body.
Our board-certified physicians at Beth and Howard Braver, MD, in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, offer holistic menopause care, giving you personalized menopause symptom management recommendations, which may include hormone replacement therapy and other helpful treatments.
Keep reading this informative post to learn our top hacks to help you thrive during menopause.
Move your body more
Getting regular exercise is good for everyone, and it’s one of the best things you can do to protect your overall health. Even better? Adding more physical activity helps during the transition to menopause.
Exercise isn’t a panacea for the symptoms of menopause, but it does help you:
- Relieve physical and emotional stress
- Keep off the extra pounds that tend to creep on during this time
- Improve your sleep
Regular exercise also slows bone loss, which tends to accelerate after the transition to menopause. To thrive during this life-changing time, aim to move your body for at least 30 minutes every day, and add in some strength training at least twice a week.
Stay hydrated and eat right
It may sound simple, but drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet go a long way toward easing the symptoms associated with menopause. Eat plenty of fresh and cooked fruits and veggies, and lean proteins, like legumes, beans, and soy. And rid your diet of processed foods and refined carbohydrates and sugars.
During the transition to menopause, your body undergoes serious hormonal changes affect your metabolism and lower your muscle mass. This makes it easier than before to gain weight.
Eating right and staying hydrated helps you keep your weight under control, helps you sleep better, improves your mood, gives you more energy for physical activity, and improves your skin — all of which can be affected negatively during menopause.
If you’re struggling to keep your weight under control, our weight-loss programs can help.
Get enough sleep
Sleep can become problematic during the transition to menopause. Racing thoughts and mood swings can make it hard to fall asleep. Night sweats can wake you up and make getting back to sleep difficult. Changing hormones can make sleep elusive.
Put it all together, and it’s difficult to get any sleep, let alone the 7-8 hours you need to feel your best. But getting plenty of sleep helps your body through this challenging time and reduces the severity of many symptoms associated with menopause.
You can improve your sleep by making it a priority. Start by creating a set bedtime, and stick to it. Keep your room dark and cool, and use a white noise machine, earplugs, and/or an eye mask to block out unwanted sounds and light.
Avoid taking daytime naps if possible, as these can make it harder to sleep at night. And wake up — and get up — at the same time each day.
Take charge of your sexual health
During menopause, your body’s estrogen levels drop significantly. This change affects your vaginal tissues, triggering laxity (looseness) and vaginal dryness. These differences can make sex less enjoyable and for some women, even painful.
If you’re struggling with the vaginal changes associated with menopause, talk to one of our providers. Different treatment options are available to help, such as Kegel exercises, nonsurgical vaginal rejuvenation, and hormone replacement therapy.
Get help managing your mental health
Transitioning into menopause isn’t easy. Along with the physical symptoms, menopause can cause mental stress and serious mood swings. You can help manage these mental and emotional symptoms by practicing techniques like meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, and journaling.
It can also be helpful to talk to a mental health provider. Research shows talk therapy can help women better navigate depression, anxiety, and even sleep-related issues. We can give you a referral.
Learn more about navigating menopause or get personalized treatment recommendations by scheduling an appointment at our Aventura or Hollywood, Florida, office.