YOUR MENOPAUSE TOOL­KIT

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Stud­ies in­creas­ingly show that good nu­tri­tion and op­ti­mis­ing the in­take of spe­cific nu­tri­ents, to­gether with mi­nor life­style changes, can make a big dif­fer­ence to how you cope. When it comes to treat­ing menopausal symp­toms, trial and er­ror is key. What works for a friend may have no ef­fect on your symp­toms.

GET UP AND GO

You would think that in­creas­ing your heart rate and sweat­ing through ex­er­cise would make hot flushes worse, but the op­po­site is true. A study found ex­er­cise that makes you hot and sweaty can re­duce the num­ber and in­ten­sity of hot flushes. Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise can help you main­tain a healthy weight, re­lieve stress and im­prove your qual­ity of life. Ex­er­cise in the morn­ing when you have more en­ergy.

MIND YOUR MOOD

Some women ex­pe­ri­ence mood changes such as de­pres­sion and ir­ri­tabil­ity – symp­toms that are of­ten caused by hot flushes, night sweats and poor sleep. How­ever, you might also be feel­ing down about reach­ing this stage of your life – par­tic­u­larly if you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing early menopause.

Other fac­tors that can add to mood prob­lems around this time of life are: Phys­i­cal signs of age­ing.

Changes to li­bido.

Other health is­sues.

Fam­ily changes like chil­dren leav­ing home or di­vorce.

Car­ing for age­ing par­ents.

Job changes or re­dun­dancy. Fi­nan­cial wor­ries. Talk to your doc­tor or a psy­chol­o­gist if you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sig­nif­i­cant or per­sis­tent changes in mood that last longer than two weeks.

SLEEP­ING BEAU­TIES

Sleep prob­lems, such as in­som­nia, are

com­mon dur­ing times of hor­monal change. Symp­toms, par­tic­u­larly hot flushes and night sweats, can dis­turb sleep. The night sweats may change your usual pat­tern of sleep and the bro­ken sleep pat­tern then be­comes the new norm.

Go to sleep­health.org.nz for in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on how to break the cy­cle.

A study found ex­er­cise that makes you hot and sweaty can re­duce the num­ber and in­ten­sity of hot flushes

80% of women suf­fer from hot flushes, with 20% re­port­ing se­vere hot flushes

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