Are you curious about some of the health changes that menopause can bring about? Keep in mind: Everyone’s different, and your experience will be unique. The more you know in advance, the less likely you’ll be taken by surprise. Empower yourself by becoming aware of several of the health changes that some women experience.
This is a wild card of menopause, and one size doesn’t fit all. Many women notice increased clarity and decisiveness as they move through menopause, and don’t suffer fools gladly. Also, some experience increased emotional intensity that enhances their life in many ways. Colors seem brighter, smells seem more potent. Not sure how to deal with some of the harder emotions? Try a search using terms such as menopause anger to gain helpful insight.
Sleep becomes a more important issue for many women before and during menopause. They may find that they need to sleep more to feel fully rested, or they might have trouble getting to or staying asleep.
Fluctuations in energy are common in perimenopause and during menopause. As hormonal changes occur, the premenopausal patterns of vitality and energy may shift. You might find yourself becoming sleepy mid-afternoon, or feel a surge of energy after midnight. All of these changes are normal as your body adjusts.
Menopause brings associated health risks that can be ameliorated by healthy habits. Increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure is common. Since this varies greatly from woman to woman, it’s essential that you cultivate and maintain a positive, trusting relationship with a health practitioner who will do necessary screening exams and refer you to specialists when appropriate.
Hormonal changes and aging affect the brain, so you might notice subtle changes in the way you process information. “Brain fog” or challenges with short-term memory can occur, and it’s important to know that you’re not alone in experiencing this occasionally. Do your best to engage in activities that delight and stimulate you. Chances are, your alertness and enthusiasm will improve. Do you have a history of dementia in your family? Get a consult with a doctor now, to help you keep your cognition as sharp as possible.
The type, amount, and distribution of fat changes in women going through menopause. Some of it is due to the general aging process, some of it is hormonal, and some of it is hereditary. You might notice a tendency toward gaining weight in your abdominal area. To improve your body composition, keep active and maintain your muscle mass as much as possible.
Menopausal hormonal changes affect libido, blood flow, and lubrication. You might experience a change in the frequency or type of sexual intimacy you prefer. It’s crucial to keep the lines of communication open with your partner and be assertive about your needs. Also, see your health practitioner to find out about the latest supports and treatments to help maximize comfort and pleasure.
Those hot flashes: You might sail through menopause without any vasomotor symptoms, or wake up several times during the night in a pool of perspiration. Both extremes (and all of the in-between) are normal. It’s important to know that stress can affect the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Also, if this is a big issue for you, check with your health practitioner to determine if interventions such as hormonal therapies or supplements are right for you.
Menopause affects vitality in varying ways according to your unique situation. Keep this list in mind as you navigate your evolving health status.