Those of you who have given me feedback on the blog so far (thanks!) all seemed to have this topic on your list so I thought I’d dive right in. Ironically, I saw a very interesting article this week that may be of interest to some of you-I will include it further on down in this post.
First of all, let’s just come right out and say it-menopause sucks. There is nothing redeeming about it that I can think of-the hot flashes, mood swings, sleepless nights, weight gain, lack of libido , dry skin-whether you have one or all of these symptoms, I can’t think of one good thing to say about it, other than it’s a fact of life.
And to continue my venting a bit, my husband can’t relate at all, so his “empathy” only goes so far. Which can be annoying-I so wish guys experienced menopause, even if it was just for a week or two-and that they had all the symptoms we have-then maybe I’d feel a little better about the whole thing.
When I talked to my OB/GYN about options for helping with menopause symptoms years ago, she strongly advised against using any type of Hormone Replacement Therapy due to the “unknowns/cancer scares”. This was disappointing to me because I had starting using a hormone cream and thought it was really helping me. However, she advised me to stop using it, so I did. (keep in mind that she is in her 40s and clearly has not experienced menopause symptoms so easy for her to say stop using it!)
I moved on to Black Cohosh (250 mg) and it seemed to help with the hot flashes, which had become an everyday occurrence for me. When I first began to have hot flashes, I had no idea what was happening to me-burning up inside once every few hours -and then it would quickly dissipate. Now, I find I only get them at night and not on a regular basis, which is tolerable.
At this point, the most prevalent issues for me revolve around inconsistent sleep, my “muffin top” that I can’t rid of no matter how much I exercise, and mood swings that creep up on me from time to time. I know-it could be a lot worse-but honestly, it’s just not fun.
Things that I do to help with my menopause symptoms include:
Exercise a lot ! Walking, running, biking, playing tennis, hiking and skiing-I try to do at least one of these activities every day.
Drink less alcohol-I do find that alcohol affects my sleep and the overall way I feel when I wake up-so I try to drink only a couple of nights a week at most-and only 2 drinks max. (but again, if we have a good bottle of wine, all bets are off!)
I’m doing the intermittent fasting program where I only eat from 8AM-8PM most nights. I have no problem doing this, and am hoping it is helping me somehow..
And- this week I saw an op-ed piece in the LA Times that actually gave me new hope about Hormone Replacement Therapy:
Read it when you have a chance-its encouraging and definitely something to consider. And feel free to leave a comment about it, or anything else, as well.