Women may experience various symptoms during menopause, and it’s essential to understand what these signify and how best to manage them.
Some of these symptoms can be managed through a healthy diet, exercise and stress management. Other signs such as mood swings or anxiety may need medical intervention for relief.
1. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause. They occur when your body’s temperature control system is disrupted due to changes in hormone levels.
They can range in intensity and frequency depending on the individual. Some women experience them only occasionally, while others get them daily or every few minutes.
Manage hot flashes by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods; exercising; and changing your diet to include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, practicing slow, deep breathing can help relax you and relieve hot flashes.
2. Night Sweats
Night sweats are a common menopause symptom that can impact women during perimenopause and menopause. These intense sweating during sleep may leave your clothing and sheets damp.
Night sweats may also be indicative of an underlying medical condition. Diseases like tuberculosis, HIV, lupus and certain cancers are known to cause them, according to Cleveland Clinic.
Additionally, certain medications can exacerbate night sweats. This includes some antidepressants, sedatives, steroids and other drugs.
3. Weight Gain
Weight gain is a common side effect of menopause, caused by hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle changes such as lack of exercise or unhealthy eating habits.
Menopause may also increase a woman’s risk for heart disease and diabetes. Women often experience extra fat around their abdomens, known as “apple shape.”
Weight gain during menopause can be avoided with a balanced diet and regular physical activity. Try to limit ultra-processed foods like baked goods and sugary drinks to occasional indulgences only.
4. Decreased Energy
Fatigue is a common symptom during perimenopause and menopause, which may be due to hormonal changes, sleep disturbances or other causes. This feeling of being run-down energy drain can be difficult to manage and have an adverse effect on both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, including hormonal levels, inadequate sleep, stress and anxiety. It could also be indicative of an underlying health condition like heart disease, diabetes, thyroid issues or adrenal fatigue.
5. Mood Swings
Mood swings can be caused by a variety of factors, such as diet, sleep and the weather. In many cases, however, these shifts in perception are due to chemical imbalances within the brain.
Sometimes, mood swings can strike without warning and have an adverse effect on a person’s health or daily activities. In such cases, seeking professional assistance from a mental health professional may be necessary to address the underlying issue.
Women experiencing mood swings during perimenopause may experience hormonal fluctuations that cause depression. Hormone Therapy drugs, such as lithium, help regulate brain chemistry and alleviate these symptoms.
6. Memory Loss
Menopause often manifests itself in memory loss, leaving you feeling confused and unable to recall important information such as names or dates.
The same decline of estrogen that causes other symptoms also contributes to a reduction in mental capacity.
However, the good news is that memory issues tend to improve after menopause. A four-year study revealed that women’s abilities to learn and remember had significantly improved after they underwent the transition.
Anxiety can be a common menopause symptom, with ups and downs as hormone levels fluctuate.
Anxiety can also be indicative of deeper issues like depression or panic disorder. That’s why it’s essential to recognize your signs and seek medical help if you aren’t feeling well.
It is normal to feel anxious during menopause, so take steps to minimize your stress and soothe your nervous system. Meditation, yin yoga, deep belly breathing and regular exercise are all great methods for relieving stress and calming down the body’s systems.