Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. For most people, menopause starts in their late 40s or early 50s and can last for a few years. Unfortunately, this time can bring uncomfortable symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, irritability and exhaustion.
In addition to these symptoms, menopause can also increase your risk of some other conditions, including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry, there are a lot of things you can do to help.
One of the best ways to regulate your menopause symptoms naturally is through diet. For example, phytoestrogen is a nutrient that mimics the effects of estrogen in the body and can help to balance your hormones. Foods rich in phytoestrogens include:
- Soy products
- Sesame seeds
In addition to phytoestrogens, increasing your vitamin D and calcium levels during this time can be a huge benefit to your health. During menopause, the natural decrease in estrogen can lead to a decrease in bone mass. Both vitamin D and calcium are linked to bone health, so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients.
The most effective way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure in moderation. However, if you are unable to spend time in the sun, you can also get vitamin D through over-the-counter supplements. Calcium can be found in a variety of foods:
- Leafy greens
Paired with a proper diet, weight bearing exercises (activities that make you move against gravity while staying upright) can also keep your bones strong. There are a variety of these types of exercises to fit all fitness levels. Things like dancing, hiking, running, elliptical training or stair stepping are all great options.
The key takeaway? Managing your menopause symptoms starts with your overall health. Regular exercise and diet are the first steps to a more comfortable experience during menopause. If you want to discuss your symptoms with a provider, you can use our National Doctor and Hospital Finder to find a Preferred provider near you.