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Menopause is a hard period in life for most women. Hot and cold flashes, insomnia, cold feet and hands and endless self-doubt are just a few symptoms that we usually connect to menopause. If someone close to you is in that chapter of life, you've probably wondered what can you do to help and make life more bearable.
Menopause is not an illness as many people, especially men, seem to think. Menopause is just a period in life in which hormones are shifting and changing. And it isn't only about women. It's true that women have more extreme symptoms like hot flashes, but men and women share many symptoms, for example, mood swings, weakness, fatigue, depression, bad sleep quality, inferiority complex, and extra abdominal weight among others.
Age of menopause varies for everybody. Some women turn 60 and never notice menopausal symptoms. In average, these are mostly women who take care of their eating habits and live healthy and active lives. Proper nutrition is essential all the time, especially in the transitional periods like adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause. If a woman eats a well-balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and healthy fats, she will have fewer symptoms compared to a woman who lives on junk food, because her body will have less to compensate.
Some women don't understand the importance of nutrition. If you live with a woman like this, feel free to give her advice. Feel free to share an article with her. Let her know that you care.
Hot flashes are a significant menopause symptom and the hardest to bear for most women at the beginning. Most menopausal women often complain how their household members don't have enough understanding towards this symptom. A woman in the midst of a hot flash needs to open all windows and doors in the house, even on the coldest day of all. If you have a woman going through the menopause, be supportive! If she opens all windows or sets the air conditioner to cool in the winter, wear a sweater and don't complain too much; it will pass soon. If it doesn't, at least she will learn how to live with it.
The last resort are drugs: a low-dose hormonal birth control may help stop or reduce hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.
Menopausal women crave different kinds of food and they crave it often. It's mostly junk food full of carbohydrates. Don't judge her and call her voracious or fat. Be understanding! It's her hormones and she regrets it too, so don't add fuel to the fire. Be supportive!
My mother yelled a lot in the first couple of months after she started her menopause. Bear in mind that it was an induced menopause due to some health complications, not the body's natural process, and her body didn't have time to prepare itself. Nothing was fine, everyone was doing something she did not approve of, everyone was doing things to annoy her... In these situations, you have to be wise and keep quiet a lot. Don't argue. Of course 90% of the time she is not right, but don't tell her that. You will be glad that you kept calm later in life, maybe even that same day.