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How Lifestyle Modifications Can Ease Your Menopausal Symptoms

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Amarillo, TX

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Whether you’re dealing with hot flashes, sleep difficulties, low energy, weight gain, or all of the above, the right lifestyle changes can help ease your menopausal symptoms so you can get back to your active life. Here’s how.

As board-certified women’s wellness experts who specialize in helping women thrive through menopause, our seasoned team at Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology in Amarillo, Texas, understands just how disruptive “the change of life” can be. Many women find themselves dealing with one or more of the following menopausal symptoms:

  • Hot and cold flashes and night sweats
  • Sleep problems and mood changes
  • Persistent fatigue and low energy 
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Chronic vaginal dryness and low libido 
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Thinning hair and dry, thin skin tissues

The dwindling reproductive hormone levels that trigger these problems usually begin in the years-long transition phase of perimenopause, and often continue well past menopause — or the official end of menstruation and female fertility. 

While BioTE® hormone replacement therapy can be an ideal treatment solution for severe or persistent menopausal symptoms, a few targeted lifestyle adjustments are often all it takes to effectively alleviate mild to moderate symptoms. Here’s what you should know. 

Simple changes to ease the effects of menopause

Healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping ease (and in some cases, reverse) a full scope of bothersome menopausal symptoms, from sporadic hot flashes and night sweats to low energy, dry skin, sleep difficulties, mood swings, and midsection weight gain. 

The best part about these adjustments? Besides the fact that they’re simple, doable, and highly effective at managing the side effects of menopause, they promote optimal health as you age. No matter what your menopausal symptoms happen to be, we recommend that you: 

  • Aim to get at least 30-60 minutes of moderately intense exercise most days 
  • Establish healthy eating patterns (emphasize whole foods, limit processed foods) 
  • Maintain a healthy weight (losing even a few extra pounds has beneficial effects)
  • Keep yourself hydrated (aim for pale yellow or clear urine most of the time)
  • Improve your sleep hygiene practices with a rest-promoting bedtime routine
  • Avoid smoking; curb your alcohol consumption and limit your caffeine intake 
  • Take steps to manage daily stressors; build relaxing activities into your routine 

These basic recommendations come from years of research that shows how unhealthy lifestyle choices — from smoking and drinking to poor dietary habits and inactivity — often exacerbate the effects of menopause. Women who are overweight or chronically stressed also tend to experience more severe or persistent menopausal symptoms. 

Attaining relief for specific menopausal symptoms

When you exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, and manage your stress levels through menopause, the positive health effects can be far-reaching. 

In addition to easing or eliminating disruptive menopausal symptoms, these strategies can help protect you against menopause-related health risks, including osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and depression. 

Still, you may be wondering how to ease specific menopausal symptoms that persist despite these strategies. Let’s take a closer look:

Mood changes

Prioritizing daily exercise, restful sleep, and time for relaxation can go a long way in relieving low mood, anxiety, and other menopause-related mood changes. If mood symptoms persist, a therapist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be able to help you deal more effectively with disruptive emotions and depressive thoughts as well as sleep difficulties. 

Hot flashes and night sweats

Getting regular exercise, losing excess weight, and managing your stress levels work well to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. Beyond these fundamental strategies, you can wear light, layered clothing, keep your environment cool, use a fan or drink ice-cold beverages, and take a cool shower before bedtime

Many women find that their hot flashes and night sweats are prompted by specific triggers, like spicy food, hot beverages, alcohol, caffeine, or smoking. Finding and avoiding your triggers may be all it takes to end your hot flashes and night sweats. 

Dry, thinning skin

Support healthy skin through menopause by revamping your skin care routine. Make sure you:

  • Keep yourself well hydrated
  • Wash with a mild cleanser (not soap)
  • Apply moisturizer after bathing
  • Use lotion when your skin feels dry
  • Avoid hot showers and baths 
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen

If you’re worried about dry, thinning skin, a dermatologist may be able to provide treatment options that can ease the problem more effectively than self-care measures. 

Vaginal dryness 

You can address chronic vaginal dryness quickly and effectively with vaginal moisturizers or lubricants. If you’re sexually active and using condoms, choose a water-based lubricant (rather than an oil-based product) to prevent condom damage. 

We can also help you reverse vaginal dryness with MonaLisa Touch®, a quick and painless laser treatment that improves vaginal tissue health, restores a normal lubrication response, and helps resolve mild urinary stress incontinence. 

Ready to thrive through menopause? We can help 

If you’re looking for guidance as you navigate menopause, we can help. To learn more about menopausal symptom management or to schedule an appointment at Panhandle Obstetrics and Gynecology, call 806-359-5468 today.