Don’t let menopause, ‘pause’ your life


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Don’t let menopause, ‘pause’ your life

"When a woman enters this period the first and foremost thing to do is to accept it gracefully. Yoga, meditation, regular exercises etc can help."

If you are suffering from hot flushes, dry and painful sex or bone pains, you may be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, say doctors. "If you have undergone surgical removal of the ovaries (abrupt menopause), your hormones may need to be replaced and a gynaecologist should be consulted for the same,

Apart from the day-to-day psychological irritants, serious medical problems in the form of osteoporosis and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke are important aspects to be tackled at this stage of life says Dr Aparna Buch.

However, minor lifestyle adjustments can go a long way in preventing bone loss, aches and pains and the risk of heart disease, gynaecological diseases, stroke and fractures.

"One of the most important things that every woman should keep in mind is that never neglect your routine doctor visits. The general body-checkup, yearly mammography, sonography and pap smear tests are extremely important," says Parmar.

Of course, there is no denying that this phase of a woman's life isn't simple to handle. However, following these simple tips can help you deal with it in a better way.

How to deal with menopause
Here are tips to help you cope with this inevitable phase of your life, so you can come out tops!

Eat right
Try to avoid food that is spicy. Eating right and healthy is important. Quit smoking and steer clear of alcohol consumption. Kick start your day with a wholesome breakfast. Have an early dinner and let it be the lightest meal of your day. Take small frequent meals to speed up your metabolism. Add an extra serving of a low fat milk or milk products for that extra calcium. Include sprouts at least thrice a week as a breakfast treat or with meals. Go slow on fried foods, refined flour and sugars, processed foods, caffeine and salt. Say good bye to red meat. Munch on salads or fresh fruits in between meals. Include at least one serving of dals, beans or legumes daily. Sip water or fluids throughout the day. Cut down on fats, consume adequate proteins. Intake of calcium and multi-vitamin supplements helps.

Be active
It is not just about tedious work outs. One can increase the level of physical activity just as well without hitting the gym! You can take the stairs, walk more, partake in house work, prefer evening walks with your spouse to watching TV, early to bed and early to rise, create a group and go for that morning walk or jog together at least thrice a week, join a photography or nature lovers' group and go for nature walks and treks. Activity helps build muscles and confidence, and adds zest to your life!

Don't let 'putting on' put you off
Weight gain (water retention and increased body fat) is a common problem faced by women after the climacteric, but is by no means insurmountable. You can beat slowing metabolism and declining hormones to win the battle of the bulge. The challenge is to lose fat, not muscle. Always combine a healthy diet with an easy-to-follow exercise regimen with lots of variations to keep it interesting.

Pamper yourself
Take extra care of yourself. Prioritise yourself. Keep 'me-time' everyday. Say 'no' to extra work load. Sleep at least 7 to 8 hours every day, grab a siesta whenever you can. Visit the parlour regularly. Take a massage. Meet up with positive friends. Listen to your favourite music. Shop!

Sizzle at 50
Enjoy the freedom from boring birth control methods, periods and looking after kids! With the right attitude, you can spice up your night life and set aside minor irritants like dry vagina and soreness. Here's how to get it right — Be in a good state of health. Take care of your appearance. Spend quality time with your partner. Communicate doubts and insecurities. Keep that lubricant handy. Visit your gynaecologist if sex is painful. Don't be an orgasm-freak. Enjoy the intimacy and the act.

Look good
Take care of your weight, skin, hair and health. Practice yoga and meditation. An inner sense of calm reflects in your demeanour and confidence. Looking good is one of the best ways to feel good and vice versa!

Feel happy
Many women develop anxiety, depression and a feeling of being 'left out' at home. They worry over their health, body image and feel unattractive. Mood swings and hot flushes can further add to the problem.

The trick is to be in control of your life. Look after your health, appearance and needs. This way, you won't be looking at others to fulfil you. Of course, this is not always possible. Seek support from loved ones and friends whenever necessary, and approach a professional if the going is too tough. Remember, you owe yourself happiness!

Work your brain
Don't slip into the trap of taking it too easy. Whether it is brain power or brawn (muscle) power, use it or lose it! Implement these simple ways to improve your memory and focus, and stay sharp. — Read, indulge in crosswords, Sudoku or word games, play chess or playing cards, keep a diary, make your own shopping list, take care of bank accounts and investments yourself.

Nutritional supplements
Consult your doctor for supplementation of calcium, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Most Indian diets are unable to take care of increased demands of menopause, stress and disease.

Screen yourself and consult doctors
Undergo regular annual check-ups to rule out anaemia, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid and other diseases. If you experience chest pain, urinary leaks, excess fatigue or any other obvious symptoms, do consult your doctor. Most of us equate menopause with aging. Life after menopause need not be dull and boring. Stay positive and play the last innings of your life with the same zeal and energy as ever!

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