Menopause Not Just About Hot Flashes

Menopause – Not Just About Hot Flashes

You know hot flashes, one of the worst symptoms of menopause. 🙂  But there are so many symptoms that make us miserable at this time of life.  Translated menopause / meanopause is a Bitch and most of us who suffer from it know it.

Although the most notable issue that women complain about are the hot flashes, there are so many other symptoms that we don’t discuss when we talk about menopause.

These things can be from mildly annoying to extremely irritating, so I decided to address some other menopausal issues and note how we can get help on some of those things as well.

Fatigue and Sleeplessness

Fatigue and sleeplessness can be issues with menopause. Why?  Estrogen manages our  energy and our vitality so when hormone levels drop so does your energy. That explains why we get tired or feel exhaustion. 

Exhaustion is characterized by extreme tiredness, drowsiness and sometimes an inability to focus.  One of my major problems! 🙂   Sometimes I feel like I have ADD as I can’t seem to focus on one thing for long.  Some women just crash making it impossible to get through their day.  This level of tiredness can have a critical impact on our day by day work.

It’s hard to say what the answer is.  I used a great CBD Oil which helps me with the sleeplessness, tossing and turning at night, helps me relax, etc. (ask me in comments if you want more info) which helps phenomenally! Sleep aids (over the counter or doctor prescribed) seem to drag you out the next day and can make you incredibly drowsy.   

Night Sweats

Night Sweats are hot flashes at night.  We wake us up in misery from that intense feeling of heat throughout our body. Many women suffer from waking up regularly at night, like me, having a hot flash or night sweat and waking up with the bed soaking wet.  Very, very uncomfortable and also contributing to tiredness during the day. 

What will help:  Some of our other ladies use the sleep member pillow cases which are said to help.  I also suggest turning on the ceiling fans at night (I do that when I sleep, winter, summer and fall.  🙂  Get an air conditioner with a remote and a timer.  I use both at various times during the night to keep cool.  CBD Oil also works phenomenally as a sleep aid too.

Irregular Periods

With the onset of early menopause (perimenopause) a woman’s periods may become irregular.  I would get a period 1 month, then 3 months, then 1 month, then another 6 months. It actually took years before it got to the point where it actually disappeared.  Understand that you are NOT in menopause UNTIL you have missed your period for 12 consecutive months!

So always be prepared for irregular instances of your cycle to appear. Thank God, I no longer have to worry about my period.  It went away years ago but left the hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. 🙁

What To Do?  Always be prepared.  I always carried something with me to ensure I was never caught off guard.  As far as I was concerned, my pads were like my lipstick.  I never left the house without it.

Mood Changes

You may suffer from mood changes.  I didn’t (that anyone ever mentioned to me) :), but I knew a ton of women who I was literally afraid to talk to!  At any given moment, I could have my head ‘bitten’ off for small inconsequential things.   There were some relatives I was actually afraid to speak to.  Just like when we were young girls and all of our friends group got their periods at the same time, it seemed like all the women in my family were around the same age and got menopausal symptoms all at the same time!  

Some would cry easily; some would ‘snap’ at people for no reason, some had horrible temper tantrums… the list goes on and it was awful!  I wasn’t old enough at the time to really understand what they were going through (I was in my 30’s), but I started to hate family gatherings! 🙂

What To Do:  Be aware when it happens.  Feeling like you want to cry all of a sudden? Unjustified anger?  Feeling off-kilter (not yourself)? means you may be having mood issues.  If someone else is the family (in that age bracket) is snappish and appears angry, chock it up to possible menopause.  When you recognize it, try to change it.  Take a breathe, calm yourself, “tell yourself it’s just part of menopause, settle down and move on.

Weight Gain

So with all the other stuff we have to deal with in menopause, weight gain has to be one of the BIG issues! Ugh!  I find that it’s more a re-distribution of weight that seems to settle in our middle stomach area.  I was always small so weight gain didn’t bother me, however, the fact that it seems to re-distribute to the middle and make us appear a bit misshapen is what I complained about.  

What To Do?  Stay Active!  I got a Fitbit and started walking giving myself daily goals, as well as entering into weekly and daily online Fitbit Competitions to encourage me to stay focused.  Over that past summer, I lost 10 lbs by increasing my walking activity.  I went from walking (started at 2,000 steps a day) to 10,000 steps a day.  I’m also an avid line dancer so I just got on the move to improve!

Now, that’s not as hard as it seems.  I’d take a leisurely walk every evening (long summer days) with my husband.  It usually took us about 1 hour.  It was good for weight loss and also good for private time between us after the stress of a long day.

Weight gain is one of the things we have to get control of as it helps you feel better about yourself.  Weight gain can also have detrimental effects on our blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetic states as we reach middle life, so get your sneakers and start walking.

Vaginal Dryness  

Vaginal dryness is one of the worse symptoms of menopause and something we don’t normally talk about. At least in my book!  When estrogen levels drop, the vaginal tissue gets drier and less flexible.  This dryness can cause irritation and itching making it extremely hard to have intimacy with our spouses or significant others.  A major complaint – our partners and husbands can put strain on our relationships. 

Get your husband or spouse to the doctor with you so they too can understand.  Many men don’t believe in menopause. But hearing from a medical doctor can help with understanding and help with the relationship.

There are many products on the market to help with lubrication and you can buy them from Walgreens, your local CVS or any drugstore. And yes, it may be hard to ‘get in the mood,’ but remember the  romantic times, get a little wine, cuddle up, watch a movie in bed and relax and let nature take it’s course. 🙂

The Real Deal

The real deal is that everyone is different and different things will work for different people. What works for one, may not work for others as each individual’s hormones are ‘their own’ and there is no one size fits all to be comfortable in menopause. 

Even medication has to be adjusted to meet the specific needs of each individual menopausal woman!  

The point of this article is to educate and to encourage.  Although you may be having a hard time with menopause, and you may  not have found the ‘right’ solution that gives you the relief you want and need, there is relief out there.

Some people have found relief in taking soy, magnesium, dung quoi, Black Cohosh or CDB Oil and other herbs and supplements.  But you have to find out what works for you.  

I’m hoping that this info has helped some of you.  Upcoming articles will discuss natural remedies, and how I have controlled my hot flashes and hormones for years now including biodentical hormones vs medical hormones vs. natural herbs that have been used to give relief.

If you have any questions and are suffering from extreme hot flashes, reach out to me and we can discuss. I’m not a doctor, but have been dealing with this since I was 39, all because of a procedure.  I’m 61 now.

So what are your experiences lately?  Do you have trouble with memory, weight gain,  hot flashes.  Would you like more information using natural supplements to relieve your symptoms? 

Leave me a comment below with your questions.  Let’s share our experiences and help each other to get through this stage of life.

 

 

barbara@barbarbaracharles.org

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