How to manage the more severe effects of menopause

Although we all know on an intellectual level that menopause is part and parcel of the ageing process, many of us may feel a certain degree of trepidation as we approach middle age. This is perhaps a natural reaction, particularly when you take into consideration some of the most commonly known symptoms of this transition period – such as hot flushes, aches and pains, and fatigue.

But what about some of the more severe effects of menopause? If you are experiencing them for yourself or are worried about experiencing them and want to discover ways to deal with these symptoms, then read on. You will discover how to manage these unpleasant effects daily, and learn what treatments are available to reduce the discomfort they can cause.

woman wearing blue jumper posing for mums magazine

Chronic Pain

Recent research has revealed that women who are going through menopause are more likely to develop chronic pain conditions, or experience a worsening of a pre-existing condition.

Fortunately, there is no need to suffer in silence. If you have developed a chronic pain condition during menopause, or if menopause has reignited the symptoms of a pre-existing illness, help is available. Various treatments can be used to ease the pain and improve your day-to-day life; these include prescription medication, heat treatments, and anti-inflammatories.

If you struggle with a pre-existing disability that is leading to severe discomfort, particularly when combined with the effects of menopause, you may also want to consider the use of a mobility aid when your symptoms are at their worst. These aids can help you move about more easily, relieving the strain on painful joints or muscles. In extreme cases, you may even wish to consider electric-powered wheelchairs such as those provided by Mobility Solutions, so you don’t have to have your autonomy restricted when menopause triggers a flare-up of your symptoms.

 

Intense Mood Swings

Many women may not be aware that erratic moods can occur as a result of menopause, including unexplained anxiety, sudden bouts of rage, depression, and feelings of low self-esteem. These sudden changes in mood can be disconcerting, particularly if you are not sure what’s causing them.

Fortunately, you can do a few things to try and regulate your moods and keep things on a more even keel. For example, ensuring you stay hydrated and well-rested can help keep your moods from spinning out of control. You can also try soothing activities such as walking, yoga, and meditation, and consider downloading a few mindfulness apps to your phone to help you stay calm and focused.

However, if you start to feel like your moods are having a debilitating effect on your well-being, then it’s important that you seek medical advice. You may require anti-depressants to help correct a chemical imbalance, or perhaps some counselling would  be beneficial to give you coping mechanisms to deal with your more challenging emotions.

 

Insomnia

We all know how important it is to get enough sleep, not only for our physical health but for our mental well-being too.

Unfortunately, menopause can make it harder for many women to enjoy a restful night’s slumber, which may be linked to reduced levels of oestrogen. It is believed that lowered oestrogen can lead to a more shallow and easily broken sleep. In addition, other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, can also interrupt your slumber.

If lack of sleep is something you’re struggling with, there are some tips you can use to help you catch those Z’s. These include avoiding alcohol or caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime, and making sure you have a small glass of water right before sleep to prevent dehydration during the night. You should also eat a nourishing snack, to help keep your blood sugar stable.

Herbal sleep remedies may also be something to explore. A number of studies have found that valerian is a safe and natural sleep aid that can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a better quality of sleep.

 

Regulating Your Temperature

One of the most well-known side effects of menopause is the hot flushes and night sweats that it can trigger. However, menopause can also cause the opposite effect: chills. This see-sawing from one extreme to the other can be exhausting and, for some women, it leads to low self-esteem and a desire to withdraw from social settings.

While no woman should ever have to feel embarrassed or ashamed by her own body and it’s natural processes, it’s understandable that having difficulty regulating your temperature can be a physical and mental challenge.

When it comes to managing these symptoms, there are some coping mechanisms and several different treatment options to try. These can range from wearing light, breathable clothing and carrying a spray bottle with you to cool yourself down, through to trying different supplements or perhaps even hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which comes with both benefits and risks.

 

Final Thoughts

While coping with some of the worst symptoms of menopause is undoubtedly challenging, it’s helpful to understand that every symptom has treatments available to ease the effects and make you more comfortable. If you ever have any doubts or concerns or find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice as soon as possible; don’t suffer in silence, as help of various kinds is at hand.

Please share with London Mums your experience with severe effects of menopause.

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