One of the most intriguing periods for women is the Pre-menopausal period followed by the actual menopause wherein hormonal changes take place and menstruation ceases. This can be a challenging period for women with mood swings, night sweats, digestive disorders, weight gain, memory issues and food cravings taking a toll on overall health.
Let’s look into these issues & see what best can be done to tackle, settle them & have a smooth sailing through menopause.
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Due to the hormonal changes, the less production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which is responsible for the ‘drive’ leads to Lack Of motivation & results in lethargy .
– Mood Swings
Some women face this disruptive aspect, which may be difficult to handle & loss of self-control.
– Memory issues
Forgetfulness, not able to recollect stuff is one of the disorders seen due to lack of communication network in the brain.
– Hot flashes &Sweats
Some women experience this sudden change & alterations in body temperature from cold to hot and vice versa.
– Digestive Disorders
One of the major reasons in disruption of proper digestion is stress, which is commonly seen.
This may lead to disturbance in the fat metabolism resulting in more fat accumulation and weight gain.
– Fluid Retention
How, What & When we eat has an effect on the fluid balance within the body and its effect on the bio-chemical reactions. Bloating is seen due to poor nutrition, hydration, medication and inflammatory changes within the digestive tract. Facial puffiness and a feeling of fullness are generally seen.
One of the major issues seen in menopause due to relative estrogen deficiency are the decrease in calcium content of bones, decreased absorption of vitamins & minerals and poor nutrition, which altogether make them susceptible to fractures.
– Hair Loss
Thinning of hair which results in split ends and coming out in clumps. Nails become brittle, discolored & break often.
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Prepare yourself for the transition mentally, that you are going to be fine throughout and will adapt, accustom & accommodate the changes smoothly within yourself.
– Nutrition & Exercise
Nutrition plays a major role in beating the menopause and staying healthy.
– Include DGLVs (Dark Green Leafy Vegetables)
Include Fenugreek, Spinach, Amaranth, LaalMaath, etc. in your daily diet to ensure the natural flow of vitamins & minerals to your body.
– Seasonal Fruits
Fruits shall help you get the required fiber to knock off the fat, Cholesterol & also ensure your micro nutrients and anti-oxidants supply along with fiber. Include at least 2-fruits in your daily diet out of these Apple, Oranges, Pears, Peaches, Banana, Sweet lime, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Avocado, Berries, Kiwi, Dragon fruit.
Make/Consume your rotis/chapatis/breads/porridges with single/ combos-high fiber cereals & grains like Oats, Whole Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and Rajgira. Avoid processed & fried food.
-EFA’s (Essential Fatty acids)
Like N3, N6, N9 e.g. Olive, Canola, Safflower, Rice bran-for cooling, Oil seeds like flax, sunflower, quinoa. Nuts like Almonds, Walnuts, and Peanuts in small amounts. Fish Oils like Cod liver oil capsules will help you lower /control the bad blood cholesterol & increase the good cholesterol. (Good for your heart and blood vessels).
Calcium intake has to be specifically taken care of,which menopausal women need 1500 mg per day, can be taken care of through Low fat cow’s milk, curds, buttermilk, egg whites, Ragi (Nachni) – include it in your daily diet.
Proteins that have amino acids are the building blocks,necessary for tissue repair, and building lean muscle mainly. Include poultry, fish, dry beans, legumes (dals); sprouts in your daily diet to make sure that the muscle loss during menopause is replenished.
Water is of utmost importance, as poor hydration & hormonal changes will
ensure bloating. Keep yourself well hydrated with at least 8-12 glasses of water per day, drink less water in the night to avoid morning puffiness.
Flexibility, Endurance& Strength are the 3 main factors which start declining at the onset of menopause.
- To ensure the mind & body balance is important, as both as interdependent.
- Include Daily Yoga in your workout schedule – Suryanamaskar, Pranayama & Meditation are the best simple daily formulas to keep one flexible & fit. Regular practice of yoga may help you to calm down, control your mood swings, boost metabolism, immunity & keep you Proactive.
- Cardio exercises like walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling are easy to do, which will increase your stamina & also help to burn fat. Include at least 30-40 minutes, 3-5 days of cardio per week as per your fitness level.
Weight training with free weights or body weight will help you to strengthen your bones & prevent/ improve /avoid the crisis of osteoporosis in menopause. Do it at least thrice a week under expert guidance.
Last but not the least, make sure you get adequate sleep. 6-7 hours of sleep is the bare minimum.