symptoms occur as women’s bodies transition.
temperatures are on the way. Yet, your body’s thermostat is
set on high. What’s the deal? For many middle-age women,
menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes and sleep deprivation,
can range from slightly irritating to downright debilitating.
to the National Institute on Aging, menopause typically occurs
between 45 and 55 as part of a normal aging process. The
menopausal transition, known as perimenopause, can begin four
years before a woman’s final menstrual cycle.
perimenopause, women may experience symptoms such as hot
flushes, sleep disturbances, mood changes and vaginal
dryness," says Dr. Seanna Thompson, an OB-GYN at Mayo
Clinic Health System.
physical symptoms include:
Restless legs symptoms
Muscle and joint aches
women encounter fluctuations, as well. "Mood changes can
include tearfulness, irritability, anxiety and even panic
attacks," says Thompson. "These symptoms can last
four to five years on average from the first hot flush."
are typically most severe when a woman is still having
periods, which can be heavier or lighter during this time.
Eventually, she will skip periods for a few months until they
stop altogether. A woman is considered postmenopausal if she
has not had a period in more than a year.
balanced diet and exercising regularly can go a long way to
ease most perimenopausal symptoms, according to Thompson.
"Try to stay cool emotionally and physically, and avoid
bright lights and hot beverages," she says. "A chill
pillow, cool sheets, moisture-wicking clothing or personal fan
can also be helpful."
offers these suggestions:
Adopt a healthy lifestyle to decrease cancer risk and improve
Minimize alcohol use
smoking immediately (Talk with your primary care provider to
explore cessation options.)
truth is perimenopausal symptoms are very common; they’re
typically mild for most women and usually diminish over the
course of several years," says Thompson. "However,
if these symptoms are impacting your quality of life, see your
health care provider to discuss your options."