Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook


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Signs and symptoms of the menopause

Try to get 48 ounces in a day. Turn down the thermostat. Whenever possible, keep your environment under 70 degrees in the daytime and under 65 degrees at night. Avoid hot places. Don't eat hot and spicy foods. Even if you have always been able to eat them, they may trigger you to flash.

Women's Wellness: Perimenopause - What the Heck is Happening to My Body?

Stay away from the spices if you find they trip your thermostat. You will be able to eat them again someday. Take estrogen. It's still the most effective treatment for hot flashes. Sometimes a short course of a very low dose is enough to get you over the hot flash bump, and then you can phase it out. Use other medications. Some blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants have all been shown to improve hot flashes in menopausal women.

Try flaxseed or flaxseed oil. It may decrease hot flashes and have the added benefit of reducing joint and muscle pain for some women. There are plenty of women who swear by them, but so far no hard research bears it out. Ways to Relieve Menopausal Hot Flashes. Cool your bedroom. A short course of estrogen—less than a year—can sometimes help you re-establish your sleeping pattern. Check with your medical provider about your risks. Just before bed, meditate for a bit. This can put you in a calm state of mind and help you fall asleep—and stay asleep.

This can regulate your temperature and send you off to dreamland comfortable and relaxed. Try sedatives. These can sometimes help you regulate your sleep cycle.

Midlife and menopause

Discuss antidepressants. Consider CPAP. If you snore, or if you are having periods of not breathing in your sleep sleep apnea , you may need a sleep study to determine whether you would benefit from a continuous positive airway pressure CPAP device. Sleep apnea can cause damage to your heart, so if your partner tells you that you are snoring, or if you suspect sleep apnea, get a referral for a sleep study.

Is Menopause to Blame for Your Insomnia?

Vaginal Dryness and Urinary Incontinence. Apply vaginal estrogen. When applied in the vagina, estrogen does not affect your system the way estrogen pills or patches do, and the effect is right there where it is needed. If you use local estrogen for vaginal symptoms, it may take three or four weeks to see the effect.

Use lubricant. Because your vaginal wall is becoming thinner, it is easier to tear or damage. Using lots of vaginal lubricant during sex will help prevent damage. Water-based lubricants feel natural and wash off easily. Silicone-based lubricants last longer, but more women report being sensitive or allergic to them. Incorporate vitamin E and flaxseed oil. Usually, women take them as oral supplements, but there are creams that contain them as well to be applied directly to the vagina. Do Kegel exercises.

Enjoy a healthy sex life

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve sensation during intercourse and can reduce urinary incontinence. Vaginal Dryness Symptoms and Treatment. Weight Gain. Weight train. It not only helps you get stronger, but it also has the benefits of increasing androgen levels for better libido, stepping up your resting metabolism and preventing osteoporosis. It is easy on your joints, requires no special equipment except good shoes, and it burns calories reliably.

Excerpt from The Natural Menopause Handbook | Penguin Random House Canada

Try varying your walking speed to improve the calorie burn, with spurts of power walking along with brisk walking. It not only burns more calories, but it also revs up your metabolism and builds bone mass. This is always important, and never more than in menopause. When you are stressed, you release hormones like cortisol that tell your body to hang onto fat. Eat more fruits and veggies. This will add fiber to your diet and give you many antioxidants and micronutrients that you need.

Try to get five servings a day of the most colorful fruits and vegetables. Memory Problems. Eat right. Keep your brain in good form. Get plenty of colorful fruits and vegetable for antioxidants and vitamins. The real memory villains are alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. You may find it helpful to read our health blog, symptoms of menopause — how to help hot flushes. HRT can help some symptoms of the menopause, such as night sweats and hot flushes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. It can also help reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Most symptoms improve within three months of starting HRT.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle in Postmenopause

HRT works by helping to restore your blood levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The therapy can be oestrogen alone or a combination of oestrogen and progesterone. HRT comes in tablets, patches, skin gels and nasal sprays, as well as vaginal rings. You may have heard of some potential risks associated with taking HRT. These include an increased risk of developing blood clots for example deep vein thrombosis and certain types of cancer.

Some of the possible risks of HRT are greater for women aged over Some are more of a concern if you have taken HRT for a long time. Whether you wish to take HRT is an individual decision for you. Your GP can talk with you about the possible risks and benefits of taking HRT in your particular circumstances. For more information, see our information on hormone replacement therapy. You may have heard about an alternative to HRT called bioidentical hormone therapy. Bioidentical hormone preparations that are custom made compounded for you are not recommended.

The advice of experts in treating the menopause is to take only medicines which are licensed by the UK regulatory authorities.


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These will vary depending on your symptoms, and may include the following. The same is generally true for plant or herbal remedies. Some women, however, do choose to take herbal remedies, such as black cohosh, soya-based foods and red clover for hot flushes. Remember — like medicines, herbal remedies can have side-effects and can interact with other drugs.

Ask your pharmacist for advice if you plan to try any herbal treatment.


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The menopause is a natural part of ageing which occurs to all women in time. It happens when your ovaries run out of, or stop producing eggs, and your blood levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen drop. The drop in your level of oestrogen that happens during and after the menopause can increase your risk of developing certain diseases. These include osteoporosis thinning of the bones and heart and circulation problems.

Exercises that put some pressure on your bones, such as running and walking, can help strengthen them and reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Being physically active can also help to protect against heart disease and stroke. If you have hot flushes, you may want to avoid foods that trigger them. This may include spicy foods and drinks containing caffeine.


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See our information on vitamins and minerals to find out how to make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. Look after your heart by eating at least two portions of fish a week — one should be oily fish. And try to cut down on salt and saturated fats.

Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook
Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook Change of Life: The Menopause Handbook

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