It’s so very important to realize that you can and will continue to be the same person – you’re not going to suddenly transform into an old lady, so don’t allow your mind to believe you will. You may be feeling like you’re less attractive or less desirable, but when these feelings of inadequacy pop into your head, remind yourself that you’re still a young woman and all that comes with it. You’re beautiful, sexy, capable and strong. Yes, your reproductive system isn’t what it was, but keep in mind that you’re much more than eggs and fallopian tubes – you’re a woman with so very much to offer.
Symptoms of early menopause can be uncomfortable, but fortunately there are many remedies that reduce and eliminate the discomforts of early menopause. Just as with menopause in an older woman, younger women experiencing early menopause will notice physical symptoms, such as:
• Irregular periods
• Hot flashes
• Night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Insomnia or disrupted sleep
• Weight gain (especially around your mid-section)
In addition to the physical symptoms of early menopause, women may also notice some changes in their emotional state, as well. It’s not unusual to experience the following:
• Mood swings
• Lowered libido
• Difficulty concentrating
Coping with symptoms of early menopause can be emotionally difficult. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and other remedies can significantly reduce the physical symptoms of early menopause. Once you’ve conquered the physical signs it’s quite likely that you’ll begin to feel like your old self again and, as a result, you’ll become more optimistic and emotionally healthy. This is probably why many women choose to make lifestyle changes that have proven to effectively reduce the severity of symptoms associated with early menopause, perimenopause and menopause. For instance, it’s extremely beneficial to avoid triggers that have been known to cause hot flashes, such as hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, hot weather and warm rooms.
If your sleep patterns have become disrupted, try to avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Also, it’s a good idea to read or take a hot bath right before bed so that you’re relaxed and more likely to fall into a nice sound sleep.
If you transform your diet into one that is healthy and includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you’ll notice a tremendous improvement in your overall health and just how much energy you have. You’ll want to avoid saturated fats, oils and sugars, and consume approximately 1,500 milligrams of calcium, plus 400 to 800 international units of vitamin D each day. Supplements may be required to reach these amounts. If this is the case, talk with your doctor to be certain you’re getting exactly the right dosages and ensure you’re on your way to as easy a transition as possible.
You’ll be absolutely amazed by what a regular exercise program can do to reduce and even eliminate many symptoms of early menopause. If performed correctly, exercise will protect you from conditions that are common among post-menopausal women, such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. In addition to preventing these conditions, exercise will eliminate the weight gain associated with menopause and will also provide you with energy that you thought may not ever come back. Exercise has also been proven to reduce the occurrence of hot flashes.
Hormone therapy (HT) also is quite beneficial in reducing many symptoms of early menopause. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that the risks of HT, which include heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, may outweigh the benefits. While these studies may have changed the course of HT, estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment for many early menopause symptoms. If you have not done so already, talk with your doctor to find out if a very low dose of estrogen will provide you symptom relief.
Finally, I know that this is very difficult for you and you’re likely very confused. Perhaps you were planning on having children, which may no longer be possible. Even if you weren’t considering a pregnancy, early menopause can be emotionally devastating. Please remember that you are young, you will remain young. You will no doubt get through this, because you’ve shown your strength simply by logging onto the Internet and searching for options and treatments. You’re beautiful and you have a strong resolve; I believe this and I want you to believe it too.
By: Susan Megge
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