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Peri-Menopause, Menopause and Post-Menopause are stages in life that can be tricky to navigate. While this experience is completely natural, let's face it, hormone fluctuations and hot flashes can be less than roses. This time of life could be an amazing opportunity and journey to relearn and reconnect with your body. BUT, that would be a whole lot easier if you had some relief! The good news is that there are some simple proactive things you can do to help your body and mind in this transition. Here are 5 tips from Dr. Edelson:
- Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement. Bio-identical Hormones replace the essential hormones that have been in a woman's body from the time they start to menstruate through the onset of menopause. These hormones have important functions to maintain optimum women's health, including maintaining optimum weight and body composition, bone density, sleep quality, maintaining skin and hair quality, sex drive, vaginal lubrication among many others. They are also important in stabilizing mood and avoiding depression and anxiety often seen during menopause. The goal of using Bio-identical Hormones is to closely mimic the levels of hormones that have been in a woman's bloodstream for most of her life. Menopause is really a dis-ease of the 20th Century, as for most of human history the average lifespan was less than 50 years. Now we have the knowledge and power to create healthy lifestyles, make better nutritional and supplementation choices and maintain optimal levels of female hormones for as long as it is safe and effective. There has been a lot of misconception and confusion about the safety of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy but it is indeed safe. Here at HealthBridge, we evaluate your complete picture of health and help determine if you are a good candidate. We are able to give you individualized attention, care and monitoring not only with hormones but also nutrition, stress reduction and many other areas that contribute to optimal health.
- Vaginal Moisturizer. Vaginal dryness is a common symptom during all stages of menopause and can be a libido buzzkill. An easy thing to try that brings relief to many women experience vaginal dryness are vitamin e suppositories. You should always check with your doctor before using any supplements. They can be purchased from Carlson Labs.
- Give Your Meals Some Special Attention. Nutrition is critical during menopause, as there will be a natural drop in metabolism and tendency to gain weight. A diet low in processed carbohydrates and unhealthy fats is important. Plant based food rich in isoflavones (plant based estrogen derivatives such as soy products) can be helpful in some women to manage vasomotor symptoms. Certain foods such as spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol can provoke hot flashes and night sweats and should be avoided in sensitive individuals. Food can be as powerful as medicine.
- Move Your Body. Your Heart & Bones Will Thank You. If you take care of your body it will take care of you! Exercise is a major component of maintaining good health at all ages, and even more importantly after menopause. Strength training should be a core component of all post-menopausal women's routines, both to maintain lean body mass, improve bone density, and support metabolism to avoid weight gain. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, biking and swimming will also maintain optimum heart health and help burn calories.
- Go On A Stress Diet. People go on diets all the time to lose weight. Why not for stress?As a huge factor in how menopause symptoms play out, not to mention a contributing factor to a myriad of other health conditions, I do sincerely urge everyone to actively address stress. Unfortunately, we can't run away from or wish away stress. We need to choose to participate and be mindful of what we do, how we feel and honor the changes our body needs. Hormone imbalances in the peri and post-menopausal stages of life can cause significant mood swings, anxiety and depression. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and exercise can dramatically improve physical, mental and spiritual health. So don't be afraid and don't feel silly! Try a yoga class! Check out this guided breathing exercise or Tibetan bowl meditation. Or get acupuncture; also a highly effective stress reliever.