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Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause is a time of great change in a woman’s life. It signifies the end of a woman’s menstrual period and child-bearing ability. Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to several unpleasant symptoms that can disrupt a woman’s everyday life. These symptoms can include:
- Hot flashes
- Trouble focusing
- Less hair on the head
- Increased facial hair growth
- Vaginal dryness
- Trouble sleeping
These symptoms may occur for several years before full menopause. Full menopause occurs when a woman has not had a menstrual period for a full 12 months. Everyone experiences menopause differently, and the symptoms may be severe or mild. For some women, the symptoms may require medical assistance. Commonly prescribed medications include Premarin, Combipatch, and Provera. These drugs are hormonal therapies that supplement the body with estrogen and progesterone/progestin to improve symptoms. 
Taking medications is helpful during menopause, but there are several things you can do in your everyday life to make this transition easier. Read on to learn more about home remedies to improve menopause symptoms.
Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake
A healthy diet significantly improves symptoms of menopause. It is also beneficial to increase healthy foods in your diet because the metabolism begins to slow during this time in a woman’s life. A slowed metabolism can result in weight gain, so women may want to tailor their diet as they enter menopause. Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and can help you feel full and help with weight loss or weight maintenance.
Fruits and veggies can also help prevent heart disease or osteoporosis. Menopausal women are at a higher risk for these disorders due to age, weight gain, and lowered estrogen levels. Less estrogen in the body can lead to reduced bone density, resulting in osteoporosis. A healthy diet can help keep the heart and bones strong and healthy. One study found that 3,236 women aged 50-59 had less bone breakdown if their diet was high in fruits and vegetables. 
Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods may increase the intensity of certain menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of heat that occur most commonly on the skin of the face and neck. Hot flashes can cause redness, flushed face, and sweating. Women may also experience these symptoms at night, which can make it difficult to get the proper rest you need.  Researchers have found that certain foods may increase your likelihood of experiencing a hot flash. The following foods may increase the severity of your menopausal symptoms:
Spicy foods: Foods that are high on the heat scale can trigger the symptoms of sweating and redness. You may want to avoid jalapenos and chilis and replace them with spices that include cumin, curry, turmeric, and basil.
Processed foods: Foods high in sodium and added sugars can have a negative effect on menopausal symptoms. Potato chips and cookies can make you retain water and bloat.
Fatty Meats: Greasy meats like brisket and bacon can lower the body’s serotonin levels and lead to feelings of irritability. If you are in menopause, you may want to find lean meat alternatives like turkey and chicken. 
Get the Body Moving
Regular exercise is recommended for everyone, but exercise may prove even more useful for women during menopause. Exercise may not treat menopause, but it can improve energy and metabolism. One study found that exercising three hours a week for a year can improve mental health and quality of life. Those who keep their heart healthy through exercise can also reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity. 
If you are at risk for osteoporosis, you may want to avoid weight-bearing exercises that could put you at risk for bone fractures. Some recommended exercises can include:
- Bicep curls
- Hip extensions
- Chair stands 
If your menopausal symptoms are severe, you may be looking for any possible remedy to improve your daily life. Today, people are looking towards natural supplements to reduce symptoms. The evidence behind these supplements is weak, but you can try these supplements with doctor supervision to improve menopausal symptoms.  Your doctor will let you know if estrogen therapy drugs like Premarin and Provera will interact with the following supplements:
Black cohosh: Black cohosh is an herb that was originally used by Native Americans and became a popular treatment for women’s health issues in the 1950s. It is used to treat painful menstruation, brittle bones, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The chemicals in black cohosh may reduce inflammation and increase serotonin in the brain. 
Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are natural supplements found in several plant-based foods. It is thought that consuming foods with phytoestrogens can mimic the effect of estrogen in the body. Fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables are high in phytoestrogens. 
Watch Your Beverages
It is essential to stay hydrated while going through menopause. Women are prone to dryness during this time because of lowered estrogen levels. To combat these symptoms, it can help to drink 8-12 glasses of water a day. Drinking lots of water can also aid in digestion and weight maintenance. Water can reduce bloating and help you feel full. 
You may also want to reduce your alcohol intake during menopause. Having a drink or two is fine, but drinking excessively can have major health effects. Two to five drinks a day is considered excessive for a menopausal woman. If you drink excessively, you are at an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and organ damage. Due to the advanced age of menopausal women, their risk for age-related diseases like heart disease may worsen with a binge-drinking habit. Alcohol can also increase your risk for osteoporosis and possibly worsen your bone health. 
The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.