Alexander Smythe, MD
Columbia Women’s Healthcare
Menopause, the time in most women’s lives when they permanently stop having periods and can no longer have children, typically occurs between the ages of 46 and 54. About 25 to 50 percent of women journey naturally through this change of life without serious complications. Unfortunately, for at least half of those experiencing menopause, the resulting hormonal changes bring on significant side effects. These symptoms include:
- Severe hot flashes.
- Night sweats.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Memory lapses.
- Mood changes.
- Depression and anxiety.
Alexander Smythe, MD, an OB/GYN physician at Columbia Women’s Healthcare, says women should know that relief is within reach. Here are some things you can do to reduce your symptoms from home:
- Exercise. Even if you have not exercised regularly in the past, starting to exercise during menopause may help you feel better.
- Get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep could be linked to the symptom of depression.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Look for positive ways to reduce stress. Try relaxing by reading a book or spending some quiet time outdoors.
- Stay mentally active. You may be able to boost your memory by doing activities like crossword puzzles, taking a class, or learning a new skill.
- Maintain a balanced diet.
Some women may find that at-home remedies won’t work for them and could need medicine to help relieve symptoms. If your symptoms get to be severe, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. “Most of the time, the symptoms will be treatable, and they can be resolved,” Dr. Smythe says.
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