5 Tips to Ease Menopause Symptoms
Menopause is undoubtedly one of the most organic, healthiest phenomena that can happen in a woman’s life. Even though this is a natural experience during a woman’s lifecycle, it isn’t always met with a positive reaction. That’s not right or fair. Workplaces are some of the biggest examples of where women experience perimenopause and menopause anxiety and fear of being ridiculed. And modern professional women are especially tired of being overlooked for promotions or feeling expected to resign once they can no longer reproduce.
Part of the issue is the unspoken rule that women aren’t supposed to succumb or “give in” to the taboo symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, insomnia, mood changes, or temporary memory slips. Instead, they’re supposed to buckle up and stay silent. Is it any wonder that women dealing with everyday physical problems associated with menopause start to feel less confident about their performance, abilities, and futures? Even if they’ve climbed the corporate ladder, they may feel inadequate and less effective just because their bodies are adjusting to the depletion of ovarian hormones.
One survey showed that almost four out of every 10 working women had dealt with menopausal discomforts on the job. A full 17% either thought about resigning or resigned as a result. The good news is that some organizations and advocates are starting to take these concerns seriously. Plus, many employers are realizing that costs climb due to increased use of PTO, lowered productivity, and turnover when they don’t support the women on their teams.
Though you may not be able to change your employer’s mindset on menopause overnight, you can make inroads. Below are some measures to bring up this topic, as well as ways to reduce menopause symptoms.
1. Ask for accommodations
If you are finding it difficult to work because of your menopause symptoms, you have every right to ask for accommodations. For example, you may need a fan in your office to cool off your flushes. Or you might want the option of working from home so you can alleviate menopause symptoms in a more private setting.
Employers and managers should not discriminate against you, retaliate, or share your requests. In the event that happens, you may have to take legal steps to exercise your rights for a safe, secure working environment.
2. Talk with a doctor about hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is designed to replace the estrogen that you lose during menopause. With fewer hormonal fluctuations, you may get relief from some of the more intense physiological responses you’re undergoing. You could also prevent or slow down bone loss, particularly if you are entering into a postmenopausal phase.
It’s essential to have a serious discussion with your primary care provider before making the decision to try hormone therapy. Remember that any hormone therapy you try should be tailored to meet your health goals and history.
3. Prioritize your rest
Sleep disturbances remain some of the most difficult and prolific menopausal experiences. And sleep deprivation can make coping with life — and work — difficult. What helps with menopause symptoms like the inability to stay asleep or circulation challenges? Swapping your bedding and attire with sheets, blankets, and bioceramic sleepwear created with infrared (IR) textiles.
IR textiles have been shown to improve cell oxygenation and local circulation. As your body gives off heat, the IR fabrics capture the heat and convert it into reflected infrared energy. This allows you to better self-regulate your body temperature. If you’re feeling muscle aches or physical fatigue from daily activity, you may find that your IR textile products act to help you recover faster due to the same bio-responsive traits. The result? A restful, restorative night.
4. Add more physical activity to your routine
Whether you exercise already or not, adding more targeted workouts to your routine during menopause can be good for your mental and physical well-being. Take weight-bearing exercises, for instance. Lifting weights responsibly and safely doesn’t just give you muscle definition. It can keep your bones strong as well.
What other types of exercise should you try? Some lower-impact favorites include swimming, yoga, and light dancing. If you want to go for something more intense, try high-intensity interval training classes, biking, or running. The more fit you are, the more comfortable and well you should feel.
5. Eat colorful and diverse meals
You may be tempted to indulge in comfort foods or snacks when your menopause symptoms are at their worst. Nevertheless, that’s the perfect time to nourish yourself by eating ingredients such as produce and whole grains. You’ll want to aim for lots of colors on your plate (in the form of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products) to ensure that you’re getting a rich assortment of good-for-you items.
As part of your menopausal diet revamp, keep a log of foods that seem to trigger your most stubborn, annoying menopausal symptoms. A good way to identify your triggers is to write down what you last ate every time you experience a hot flash, insomnia, or anxiousness. Don’t be surprised if sugar, caffeine, or alcohol is one of the culprits causing you added difficulty. Once you’ve honed in on your triggers, you can limit the frequency with which you eat them.
Every woman’s menopause journey is unique. Accordingly, how to lessen menopause symptoms for you may look different from what works for a colleague. Test and experiment to find a good mix. But never feel ashamed of what’s going on with your body: Menopause has no bearing on youth, vitality, or ability.
Kristina Johnson is an Account Development Manager who oversees the FemTech & Beauty verticals of Hologenix, a materials science company dedicated to developing products that amplify human potential and improve health and wellness. CELLIANT®, its flagship technology, is an infrared ingredient brand that enhances textile-based products with health and wellness benefits across performance, recovery and sleep. This article was originally published in The Mom Experience.