Tips for Helping a Loved One Deal With Menopause
Remind the woman close to you to layer when she ____________ since this makes it easier to manage hot flashes.
Hi, I am Dr. Amy Rosenman, a urogynecologist and menopause expert with Rosenmanmd.com and today I am here on behalf of About.com to share with you tips for helping a loved one deal with menopause.Menopause is a milestone that half the population of the earth will face if they live to the age of 50. In 1900, the average age of menopause was 51.4 and the average life expectancy was 50. But now the average age of menopause remains 51.4, but the average life expectancy of a woman in America is closer to 80. This leaves many years to be concerned about women's health and comfort during and after menopause. Just to summarize, menopause is when women are genetically programmed to stop ovulating, that is releasing eggs from the ovaries, and stop menstruating. These changes are accompanied by wide swings of hormone levels in the early years and then very low levels of ovarian hormones, which include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.These hormone changes cause physiologic changes that are perceived by different women in different ways. Some women feel very hot and sweaty and experience hot flashes during the day or night sweats when sleeping at night. We can also experience mood swings and difficulty sleeping. There are many strategies for helping a woman close to you deal and cope with these challenges.1. Remind her to layer when she dresses because this makes it easier to manage the hot episodes. It is always easier to remove a layer or two than keep changing clothes to accommodate the reduced effectiveness of the temperature regulation center in the brain.2. Understand that she may be embarrassed by the sweating and do not add to her stress or embarrassment by pointing it out or asking her why it is occurring.3. Help with housework and chores. It helps a woman feel more valued. It improves communication and intimacy, and lets her know you are there for her.4. Allow her to get all the sleep she needs in a cool bedroom without interruption. It is always easier for you to put on an extra layer than for the woman with night sweats to get comfortable.5. Encourage non-medical treatments such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and exercise. These will improve endorphins and a sense of well-being.6. Do not over-react to mood swings; give her the benefit of the doubt as well as some space. Don't take things personally. Reason things out together and it will be much smoother sailing.Many women sail through menopause without too much bother, but even if this is not the case, those who surround a woman with love and understanding will find that you all benefit from a better quality of life.Thanks for watching and for more information, visit us online at About.com.