Making healthy lifestyle changes during menopause can help to greatly reduce your symptoms!

The symptoms of menopause are a source of dread for almost every woman as she begins to approach middle age. Hot flashes, night sweats, body changes, thin skin, vaginal dryness– the parade of unpleasantness can seem almost endless. Some level of these symptoms, unfortunately, can’t be avoided, just like some level of PMS symptoms can’t be avoided. However, you’re not completely powerless! There are some things that you can do, even before you enter menopause, to prevent your symptoms from being severe.

Quit Smoking

As if you needed another reason to quit smoking, here comes a big one– smoking can be a contributor to your menopausal symptoms. Engaging in this unhealthy habit can not only make your menopausal symptoms more severe, particularly hot flashes, night sweats, and trouble sleeping, but there’s some evidence that women who smoke can actually begin experiencing symptoms of menopause sooner than those who don’t. The ill effects of smoking on your health and your reproductive system can linger long after quitting, so this isn’t something you want to put off. Start working with your doctor on methods to help you quit now, so that you can reap as many of the benefits of non-smoking years as possible!

Reduce Alcohol Intake

Alcohol is another substance that has been shown to worsen the symptoms of menopause. Especially as you age, consuming a lot of alcohol does nothing good for your health, and menopause is one of the many things it affects, with women who are heavy drinkers reporting more hot flashes and more night sweats. Working to reduce your alcohol intake can help to greatly reduce the severity of these symptoms! You don’t have to completely give up the occasional cocktail or glass of wine, but try to be mindful of your drinking and focus on moderation.

Improve Your Diet

Trying to build a healthy diet and good habits around food and eating can also be wise for women who are in or about to enter menopause. Highly processed foods with lots of sugar and salt and excess intake of caffeine are likely to have a worsening effect on your symptoms. Meanwhile, incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats like omega-3s can make a big difference in how you feel! It’s also important to get some dairy in your diet if you can tolerate milk. Low bone density is a common problem for menopausal women, and milk, yogurt, and cheese can help to counteract this issue with their high levels of calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is also a crucial part of keeping serious menopause symptoms at bay. Many women deal with weight gain, decreased muscle density, higher fat levels, and weaker bones during menopause, and regular exercise can help to improve all of these symptoms. Exercise also increases your energy, helps you to sleep better, and boosts your mood– all important things when you’re dealing with the stress of menopause!

Consider HRT

If you’re dealing with symptoms of menopause and you’re finding that healthy lifestyle changes aren’t bringing you the relief you need, hormone replacement therapy might be the option you need to start feeling better again!

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