When Shalini Thakur (now 52) recalled how when she reached her menopause about five years ago, she suffered from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, hot flushes and fatigue. Known for her vitality and cheerfulness, she used to get touchy on even smallest of pranks. All these took both emotional and physical toll on her and even strained her relationship with her husband and kids. When it became too much, she turned to her gynaecologist who was also her close friend to seek help. Today she is grateful for the counselling and guidance which she got to regain her lost demeanour and confidence.
Moral of the story is that those of you who are approaching menopause, don’t be overwhelmed by the annoying symptoms but seek medical guidance from your trusted doctor. The word Menopause itself means ME NO PAUSE – so you should not stop leading a wholehearted life taking up new challenges and responsibilities, spending quality time with your life and doing things that you always wanted to do.
In India, there is a lack of understanding and empathy about menopause. According to a survey published in 2005 by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, which studied 100,000 women aged between 15 and 50 across 26 states, revealed that “Indian women fared poorly with regard to their menopausal health,” meaning menopause is still not seen as a priority.
Women and their families just take it as a simple change in their lives from one stage to the next, as part of ageing. However, it is significant to know what’s going on in the body of a menopausal woman – of course, it is part of ageing. Periods stop, ovaries stop to produce eggs and there is fluctuation in female hormones. All these hormonal changes bring about physical and emotional symptoms like hot flushes, joint pain, tiredness, fatigue, heart palpitations, urinary incontinence, night sweats, insomnia and heavy periods. Emotionally women become very anxious, vulnerable and irritable.
CrediHealth advises simple lifestyle changes to make this phase easier and calmer for you.
- Get active and ensure you do light exercise at least 30-45 minutes every day.
- Avoid too much of caffeine like tea and coffee, spicy food, smoke and alcohol
- Wear light cotton clothing to let your skin breathe
- Stick to a sleep routine of going to bed at the same time, create a nice ambience with dim light and light music to relax as you retire for the day
- Meditation and yoga are good way to calm your mind
- Watch what you eat – consume low-fat dairy products like yoghurt, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Drink lots of water to avoid hot flushes
image source: archive.indianexpress