Fitness & NutritionHealthcare Tips

Live a Healthy, Happy Life Before, During, and After Menopause

April 21, 2023

Women are faced with battles against their hormones from puberty onward, and one of the biggest waves to overcome arrives in the form of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. For a long time, menopause was nearly a taboo subject, rarely talked about and referred to only as “the change.” But there’s no reason to feel shame, and there’s certainly no reason to suffer through symptoms alone.

Wherever you are in your menopause journey, Hancock Health is here to help you understand your symptoms and how to find a remedy.

Stage One: Perimenopause

Menopause typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55e, with most women starting around the age of 51. Perimenopause occurs when the ovaries are producing fewer and weaker follicles until, eventually, the woman stops ovulating altogether. Menopausal symptoms can come while women are still having periods, which is why many don’t realize they’re in the perimenopause stage. Some symptoms of this stage include mood swings, anxiety, poor sleep, and weight gain, but may or may not include the classic hot flashes associated with menopause.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing, even at this early stage. For starters, consider joining a support group to talk to other women who are going through menopausal symptoms. Exercise, including yoga, can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety you may be feeling.

Stage Two: Menopause

Here it is—the menopause itself. At this point in your menopause journey, you’ve been period-free for twelve continuous months. The decreased levels of hormone production in your body can cause some major changes, including all the symptoms mentioned previously. Joints can also be affected, particularly the hips, knees, hands, and fingers.

Because the hormone estrogen decreases during menopause–and this hormone also strengthens a woman’s bones—it’s more important than ever at this stage to take good care of your body. Maintain a calcium-rich diet, avoid tobacco, and exercise frequently to manage the joint and bone soreness that may accompany this stage.

Stage Three: Postmenopause

You’ve done it. You’ve made it to the “after” stage of menopause. Now all you have to do is learn how to live with the permanent changes menopause has brought to your body. The biggest key is to manage your stress well. Excess stress can reduce the adrenal output of hormones that help regulate your symptoms and mood, so you’ll want to keep that stress to a minimum as much as possible. Meditation, mindful breathing, exercise, and just doing things you love are all great ways to kick stress to the curb.

The good news about menopause is there are plenty of positives that come with it. While we often hear about symptoms and changes that can make us anxious, there are some benefits to menopause, too. For example, you might feel more creative, balanced, and liberated. Without monthly periods and PMS symptoms, many women feel more capable and in control of their lives.

It’s important to understand that menopause is a very natural part of life and isn’t a forbidden subject to talk about. If you need help managing your symptoms, our women’s health specialists are here to walk you through menopause, no matter what stage you’re in.