A new study of 1400 women reveals that menopause can last between 5-14 years*, meaning traditional short-term advice by doctors may not be ideally suited.
(*Asian women got off easiest, averaging 5 years, followed by white women at 7 years, Hispanic women at 9 years, and African American women at 10 years. Women whose temperature swings started earlier, had them far longer than average.)
Hormone replacement therapy, for instance, is meant to be used as little as possible, if at all, because the side-effects include a raised risk for heart disease and cancer.
So what’s a good long-term strategy for hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal pains?
-Live healthy—the standard eat well, exercise, and get enough rest. Support your body so it can function as well as it can, because when you’re sick, or dealing with a change like menopause, all that extra help can actually make a big difference.
-Lose weight—all those extra pounds (which are so much harder to lose when your hormones are messing with you, I know) are contributing to the mess of hormone troubles. That extra fat is producing its own hormone contribution (this is one of the ways that being overweight raises your health risks). To be honest, things might be difficult as you lose weight—anything that got stored along with that fat, like drugs/medications you were taking at the time, will be released. But it’s better to shed it!
-Think long-term nutritional support—target the parts of your body that can help balance you, like your adrenal glands, which produce a small amount of the hormones that your ovaries no longer do. We’ve got lot’s of high-quality Women’s Health Support. Try starting with Welltrients for Women.
-Dietary changes—to fight hot flashes and night sweats, your doctor might recommend avoiding hot drinks and spicy foods. This is good—but shallow—advice. Try out Ayurveda for a more customized diet to help balance your heat, it will be both more nuanced and personalized.
-Exercise—I’m repeating it, because in addition to supporting overall physical and mental health (especially as you age) tiring yourself out will help fight menopausal insomnia. And if you want to nap, that’s great too—a recent study says that even adult humans should nap!
Are you fighting the long fight? What menopausal strategies have worked for you?