Meeting the Challenges of Menopause

 According to anthropologist Margaret Mead, “There is no more creative force in the world than a menopausal woman with zest.” Though she said it more than 20 years ago, it has never been more true than it is today.

According to Melane Votaw, freelance writer of the topic of Baby Boomers in mid-life, a member of the Baby Boomer generation turns 50 every seven seconds, and as the last boomers begin the journey of menopause, it is the healthiest, most aware, and most youthful generation of women who have ever experienced it. 1957 saw the largest number of births in North America, and all of the women born in 1957 will turn 50 next year. Most of them will experience menopause by the year 2012, if they haven’t already.

Although there is a huge population of people over 50, youth is still revered in the western world.  This attitude gives menopause a bad reputation.

The truth is that women needn’t “pause” when menopause arrives. In 1998, 752 women between the ages of 50 and 65 were polled by The Gallup Organization, and more than half of them reported they were happier than ever. Numerous other cultures look at menopause as a joyous rite of passage like puberty, marriage, and giving birth (Votaw). 

While menopause often brings symptoms that may need to be addressed, today we are offered numerous ways to manage menopausal discomfort.  Below are seven healthy ways to manage menopausal symptoms.

1. Hot flashes can often be prevented or relieved by taking Evening Primrose Oil.  Evening primrose oil alleviates hot flashes and promotes restful sleep. These benefits may be due to the gamma linolenic acid in the oil which is said to influence prostaglandin production.  Depending on the amount of primrose oil in each capsule, effective dosages vary from 2 to 8 capsules a day. On a side note,  some women have found aromatherapy and herbs to be very helpful in dealing with menopause.

2. If you suffer from frequent hot flashes, wear layers so that you can be prepared when a hot flash strikes. This will help you avoid uncomfortable perspiration when you’re in a social situation.

3. Synthetic and “natural” hormone can often combat the vaginal dryness that comes with menopause, or you can simply use a water-based lubricant if sex becomes uncomfortable.

5. If the hormones cause emotional symptoms, be sure to nurture yourself! Learn stress reduction techniques such as meditation, and take the time you need to care for yourself. The kinder you are to yourself if you experience tears or anger, the easier it will be to deal with these symptoms.

6. Live a healthy lifestyle including: reduce alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar intake, as well as meat consumption, especially since animals are sometimes injected with hormones. Smoking increases symptoms and will make you more vulnerable to osteoporosis, so it would be best to quit.  Exercise regularly Exercise reduces symptoms and decreases your risk of osteoporosis. And, of course, drink plenty of water!

7. Maintain a positive attitude.  Change isn’t always a bad thing and you are now entering a stage of life where you can refocus your energies.

8.  Keep your sense of humor.  Always find a way to see the humor in the situation.  After all, the Bible tells us “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22).

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