Positive Attitude, Planning May Help Women Through
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A positive attitude and a
little preparation can help women deal with menopause, according to
Women should start preparing when they experience perimenopause,
the stage before menopause. Perimenopause typically begins in the
40s, but can start as early as the 30s, according to Dr. Karen
Deighan, chair of obstetrics/gynecology at Gottlieb Memorial
Hospital, Loyola University Health System.
"I give my perimenopausal patients a pep talk so they don't get down on themselves," she said in a Loyola news release. "I tell them that they shouldn't just let this transition happen. Women can be proactive about their health and take steps to minimize the side effects of menopause before it occurs."
Deighan offered the following tips:
- Start exercising in order to prevent the 5- to 10-pound weight
gain typical of menopause. Fluctuations in hormones can contribute
to this weight gain. It's more difficult to prevent or lose those
extra pounds if you wait until menopause to begin an exercise
- Begin pelvic-floor-strengthening exercises such as kegels.
Proper kegel exercises contract the pelvic-floor muscles, not the
abdomen, thighs or buttocks.
- Do weight-bearing exercises to keep bones strong and reduce the
risk of fractures.
- Challenge your brain with memory exercises and crosswords and
other types of word puzzles -- it may help lower the risk of memory
loss during menopause.
- Develop and maintain good sleep habits in order to counter
potential sleep problems caused by dips in estrogen levels.
- Try to get enough sleep -- lack of sleep in itself can
contribute to mental fogginess and lower libido, which are often
associated with menopause.
- Consider estrogen suppositories to help treat vaginal dryness.
Regular intercourse also improves sex drive and increases
- Get your recommended annual tests, including checks of blood
glucose, cholesterol, vitamin D and calcium levels, as well as
mammograms and pelvic exams. The results of a colonoscopy at age 50
will determine the frequency of future colonoscopies.
- Don't neglect your teeth -- brush twice a day and floss daily
to help prevent gum disease, which can affect your cardiovascular
- Eat a diet rich in leafy greens and healthy fats such as
salmon, avocado and olive oil in order to keep hair and skin
healthy. Limit consumption of processed foods.
- Premenopausal women should consume 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of
calcium daily (experts recommend taking the calcium in two to three
smaller doses), and postmenopausal women should take 1,500 mg of
calcium in 500 mg doses with magnesium and vitamin D for maximum
- Hormone therapy should not be used by women at risk for breast
cancer, blood clots or heart disease.
WomensHealth.gov has more about
Copyright © 2010
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.