How to Prepare for Menopause Related Health Changes

Three Methods:Changing Your LifestyleTreating the SymptomsUsing Medication

Menopause is the transition from reproductive age to non-reproductive age that generally takes place around the age of 50, though it can happen as early as the 40s. There are many serious challenges a woman may face in menopause, including a higher risk of heart disease, a higher possibility of osteoporosis, weight gain, and stroke, as well as less severe ones, such as hot flashes, emotional changes, insomnia, anxiety, and sadness. However, the specific symptoms will vary depending on the woman. [1][2] Despite these possibilities, there are ways you can prepare yourself for these health changes.

Method 1
Changing Your Lifestyle

  1. Image titled Lose Weight Quickly and Safely (for Teen Girls) Step 8
    Eat a healthy diet. In order to prepare your body for many of the health conditions that your body goes through during menopause, you need to eat healthy. This will help you lower your chance of heart disease, stop weight gain, and lower the risk of stroke. This includes eating more fruits and vegetables, incorporating whole grains, and eating fish and lean, grass fed meats.
    • Also try to include more fiber in your diet with legumes, beans, and whole wheat products as well as leaving the edible peelings on fruits and vegetables.
    • You should limit saturated fats, prepared foods, fried foods, and refined sugars, such as those found in candy and prepackaged baked goods.[3]
  2. Image titled Run Longer Step 13
    Exercise more. Another way to help maintain and increase your health before menopause health problems hit is to exercise. Exercising can help combat some of the major symptoms of menopause, such as heart disease, stroke, weight gain, insomnia, and mood swings.[4]
    • You don’t have to become a huge gym person, but you should add some form of physical activity to your daily life to help combat these symptoms.
    • Find what works for you. This may be more intense forms of exercise, such as running, jogging, cross fit, or HIIT cardio. You can also try less intense forms, such as brisk walking, gardening and other yard work, yoga, tai chi, using machines at the gym, or community dance classes.
    • You can even make small changes, such as walking upstairs more often, parking further away from stores, walking the dog, or taking out the garbage.[5]
  3. Image titled Meditate Without a Master Step 16
    Do relaxation techniques. Emotional distress is a common result of the hormonal changes that happen during menopause. In order to prepare for these eventual symptoms, you can learn to help calm your moods before you develop menopause.
    • You can do this by learning different relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, mental visualization exercises, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation.[6]
    • You can also try yoga, tai chi, or meditation as well.
    • The added bonus of relaxation techniques is that it will also help with insomnia and anxiety.

Method 2
Treating the Symptoms

  1. Image titled Cure Nausea Step 9
    Have your hormone levels checked. In order to prepare for the hormone changes you will go through during menopause, consider asking your doctor to check your baseline hormone levels as your prepare for menopause. These tests will consist of a blood or saliva test.
    • You can do this as early as your 30s or 40s. Just have them checked while you are still having normal menstrual cycles.
    • There is a possibility that the hormone changes you go through when you start menopause will require you to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT).[7] You want to have your normal hormone levels on file before your hormones start to change with the menopause so your doctor can use this to determine if you need HRT and what the best medicine for that treatment will be.[8]
    • Not every woman will need HRT treatment, but it is nice to have if you cannot get your hormone levels evened out through diet, exercise, and other home remedies first.
  2. Image titled Make Sex Better Step 9
    Combat vaginal dryness. One of the major side effects of the reduction in estrogen during menopause is vaginal dryness. Before you go through menopause, you can ask what your doctor can do for you if this happens. A common treatment that is prescribed during menopause is vaginal estrogen, which is a cream, rings, or tablet inserted directly into the vagina to be absorbed by the tissues.
    • You can prepare for this eventual health change by seeing if your insurance covers these treatments, looking into types of these medications that you have access to, and stocking up on these medications.
    • These treatments will help with dryness and discomfort during sex.[9]
    • You can also look into the best over the counter lubricants or moisturizers so you are ready when this symptoms occurs. Look for glycerin free versions because it can cause irritation in some women.[10]
    • If you already experience some issues with vaginal dryness, you can also use over the counter lubricants or ask your doctor about additional help.
  3. Image titled Lose Hip Fat Step 12
    Do pelvic exercises. One of the side effects of menopause is urinary incontinence or leakage. To help combat this before these health issues arise during menopause, you can start doing pelvic exercises, called Kegel exercises, to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.[11]
    • Kegels are a series of muscle tensing and releasing exercises in different positions and for different lengths of time.
  4. Image titled Cleanse Your Kidneys Step 27
    Reduce hot flash triggering substances. When you are preparing for the changes your body goes through during menopause, you can start to avoid the substances that trigger hot flashes. This will help them to get out of your system before you start menopause so you won’t start out with bad hot flashes.
    • These triggers include hot and caffeinated beverages, stress, alcohol, and spicy foods.
    • Many of these things trigger other menopause symptoms as well, so you will be healthier and more prepared overall if you avoid these.[12]
  5. Image titled Tell Your Best Friend You Are Depressed Step 22
    Prepare mentally for other symptoms. There are some symptoms of menopause that have various types of treatments you can undergo once they start, but you can’t treat them before they happen. To help prepare for these beforehand, you can be mentally prepared for them to help you deal them. Research menopause in more detail so you can learn about everything that will happen to your body so you are more prepared. Menopause symptoms you may have include:
    • Insomnia
    • Fatigue[13]
    • Joint aches
    • Heart palpitations
    • Loss of libido
    • Painful or difficult intercourse
    • Vaginal itching
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Increased skin wrinkling
    • Loss of skin tone or elasticity[14]

Method 3
Using Medication

  1. Image titled Reduce Water Retention Step 12
    Ask your doctor about antidepressants. Mood swings, anxiety, and other emotional issues are common in menopause. If you already have anxiety or depression before you start going through menopause, ask your doctor about putting you on a low dose antidepressant, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to help level out your moods before menopause symptoms start.
    • SSRIs have also been shown to help with hot flashes, which will help you once you start going through menopause.[15]
    • If you do not have any issues with anxiety or depression before menopause, ask your doctor about the possibility of having to use these before you go through menopause. You can check to see if you are on any medications that might interact with different SSRIs or if you have other conditions that might make taking SSRIs ineffective.
  2. Image titled Increase Platelets Step 5
    Consider treatment for upcoming hot flashes. There are certain medications that can help with hot flashes in some cases. Ask your doctor to see if you are eligible to takes these before hot flashes occur so you can be prepared when you develop them. The drug gabapentin, though typically used to treat seizures, can also help reduce hot flashes.
    • If you already have issues that cause hot flashes before menopause, ask your doctor about this medication.
    • This medicine can be used by those women who cannot use estrogen therapy to treat symptoms of menopause.[16]
  3. Image titled Best Absorb Magnesium Supplements Step 13
    Take medication for osteoporosis prevention. If you are at a high risk for osteoporosis, your doctor may suggest your start major preventative methods before you hit menopause. This is because menopause increases your risk of osteoporosis. Preventative medications and supplements for osteoporosis include dietary changes to include more dairy products and other foods with calcium and vitamin D, adding calcium and vitamin D supplements to your routine, and an increase in exercise to strengthen your bones.[17]
    • You will also be told to quit smoking, since it also contributes to bone density loss.[18]
    • Once you begin going through menopause, your doctor may put your on estrogen medication, which will help you maintain bone density.[19]

Sources and Citations

Show more... (16)

Article Info

Categories: Women’s Health