Recently I have run into some friends I haven’t seen in a while. We exchange the usual pleasantries, and than they tell me they are going through “the change.” These have been separate incidents, and I tell them “been there, done that.” Their eyes widen and they seem surprised when I tell them I have experienced my change and I guess I still appear normal. I started the dreaded menopause at 38. Apparently this was genetic in my Mothers side and thirty eight got here before I knew it! But I am over the worst of it and would love to share what worked for me and what I have shared recently with my friends.
I feel blessed that our options are much more advanced than when my Mom was going through menopause. All that was available was hormone therapy. I love my Mom but she made life difficult. I remember when she turned forty (later she explained it was the number forty and menopause)and she went to get a perm. She came home and her hair was sticking straight up in the air. She resembled our poodle! She cried for days. The ensuing years were hard on all five children and her husband. Come to think of it, this was around the time my Dad started making bird houses and spent a lot of time in the garage.
Now that I’ve been through it, I can relate to my Mom’s symptoms. They include: night sweats, depression, insomnia, irritability,weight gain, low sex drive, tension, mood swings and hot flashes. Yeah, I was not fun to be around either. But I recently read the more of these symptoms that you experience the less your chances are of getting breast or ovarian cancer down the line. Something good to take away from this period of strife.
I am a person who will take a vitamin or herb over a prescription any day of the week. So I first tried the progesterone cream and would rub it on my neck two times a day. It does help boost your progesterone levels and eases some symptoms. Don Quai has been purported to almost entirely alleviate your symptoms altogether. I admit I didn’t try to find out all I could to help myself through this period. I would do things differently now and research more. Tribulus Terrestris also cuts down on symptoms. These are both Chinese herbs and there is no chance on overdosing on either. Mostly I took Black Cohosh. This really helped me. Especially with sleeping, which I have to have or I am a monster. I actually started sleeping better than I had for a long time. The recommended dose for Black Cohosh is 20-40- milligrams a day. There is a chance of overdosing on this so be careful. Also try and get out and walk for the weight gain. There is an up side to all of this, no more periods.
Another tip I want to pass along here is that alcohol really seems to exaggerate all the symptoms and you tend to become more depressed. If you do choose to drink, limit yourself to two glasses of red wine. You will receive the health benefits of the red wine and still stay hormonally balanced.
Remember to treat yourself lovingly during this time. Our lives are always changing and usually all change has a positive outcome. We’ve come a long way baby!