4 ways your body changes during menopause (and what you can do!)

Menopause is such a downer hey?  It seems like that should be the time in your life that you are living it up and doing everything you enjoy.  And most of you still are!  But there are these pesty things that always seem to get in the way (you know I’m talking about those darn hot flashes)!

We just recently held our first “Your body without estrogen” talk last week where we covered these topics in much greater detail and gave solutions for these issues.  It was a great group of women and they all learned a ton at the talk.  If you are in the greater milwaukee area, franklin, greenfield, muskego, hales corners, or mukwonago area and are interested in learning more, come check out our next talk on October 4th at 7:00 PM.

So as many of you maybe already know some of the changes that occur with menopause, we are going to talk alittle more in depth about them.  During menopause, estrogen levels drop and is the main culprit for these symptoms.  While having hormone replacement therapy is one solution, we will be focusing on more natural ways of alleviating symptoms.  Keep reading to learn how!

1.Hot flashes and insomnia: How annoying, hey?!?  Both of these are caused primarily by the drop in estrogen that occurs in the body.  Although there isn’t a great solution, exercise can help alleviate both hot flashes and insomnia.  Hot flashes can also be controlled by diet to some degree so avoiding triggers such as alcohol and coffee.  Insomnia can also be influenced by stress in your life so trying to manage stress and unwind before bed can also help you get some extra ZZZ’s.

2.  Dryness:  Experiencing vaginal dryness is common as women age but it can lead to other issues such as painful intercourse and incontinence.  It’s caused by the loss of estrogen which ultimately slows down mucous production in those areas creating the dryness.  Using a topical estrogen cream can help this by giving you just alittle bit of the hormone to that specific location.

3.  Weight gain:  As estrogen levels drop, it can contribute to increasing body fat and decreasing muscle and bone mass.  A lot of women that come into our clinic want help to build up muscle again because of this.  When you lose muscle mass, it slows your metabolism down which can make it much harder to keep excess weight off.  Exercising will help increase your muscle mass and burn more fat.  It will also keep your bones strong depending on the type of exercise you do which is important for long term health.

4.  Incontinence:  Nobody likes having to run to the bathroom, wear a pad, or worse, having to bring a change of clothes along in case of incontinence.  We tend to see women coming into the office with this issue as they are hitting menopause but it is not due entirely to the decrease in estrogen.  Often times it is multi-factorial and festers for many, many years.  Having dryness can exacerbate the incontinence as well so trying to resolve that can make incontinence alittle better.  Since it is often times complex, it is best to see a pelvic physical therapist that specializes in it to make sure you can fully resolve the incontinence.  If you are near Hales Corners and have questions, feel free to reach out to me otherwise I can also help you find one in your area.

Having a steady routine with exercise and a healthy diet will help you navigate the waters through menopause and if you want extra help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.  Life is too short to suffer on a daily basis!  Have a great week everyone!

 

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