A record number of women face discomfort around menopause. Menopause is a biological process that every woman has to go through, but the experience is different for every woman.
The word menopause means ‘end of the monthly cycle’. It typically occurs in women during their late forties or early fifties and signals the end of the fertility phase of life. It is the result of a reduction in female hormononal production by the ovaries. The transition is not sudden or abrupt, but tends to occur over a period of years and is a natural consequence of ageing. However, early menopause can be related to cigarette smoking, higher body fat, racial and ethnic factors, illness, chemotherapy, radiation and surgical removal of uterus and both ovaries.
The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly for different women. Some of them are irregular vaginal bleeding, hot flushes, night sweat and breast tenderness. Urinary frequency, dry and thin skin, back and joint pain, weight gain in the abdominal area, depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, memory loss, sleep disturbance. In some cases, women becomes prone to osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Discomfort during menopause can last from a few months to five years. There are many simple and natural remedies to reduce menopause symptoms:
Reduce intake of non-veg food to twice a week only. Avoid red meat completely to reduce hot flushes and joint pain.
Sweets are the primary cause of menopausal discomfort. Switch to eating fruits, dry fruits or dates.
Avoid eating noodles, pasta and rice frequently; make a change and switch to whole grains like jowar, bajra, etc.
Take two tablespoon of flax seed powder every day. It contains phytoestrogens that reduce discomfort.
Avoid greasy meals.
Eat frequent mini meals rather than three heavy meals.
Supplements of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D help calm the central nervous system and offer bone protection.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.