Easing the discomfort of menopause
Posted Saturday, March 16 2013 at 00:00
It is a given, menapause will come with some discomfort for at least four to five years. Since it is not a choice you can make whether to experience this stage in growht or not, you are better off equipped to deal with it and still live happily, writes Carol Nambowa finds some tips on how.
In women, female hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, are, according to everydayhealth.com, key components of reproduction, sexuality, and overall health and well-being. The levels of both estrogen and progesterone dramatically drop at 45 years and above. This decline in feminine hormones brings with it the onset of menopause, and along with this, a great deal of discomfort.
Dr Bukenya Henry, a gynaecologist at Mulago hospital, advises on how one can comfortably live through this discomfort:
• Emotional disturbance or a shift in personality can be handled without medication. Bukenya advises that one should try to ignore certain situations and to do the negative of the mental response suggested by the brain. “For example if a child spills milk, a lady in her menopause is advised to ignore the situation instead of being overcome by the situation and beating up the child in uncontrollable anger,” he explains.
Nanyonga Prossy, 56 and already in menopause, also recommends that one has to recall previous lessons that everything usually turns out well. A stern warning works even better than a beating and that the child will eventually outgrow it.
• Hot flashes and sweating at night can be moderated by increasing intake of fluids especially water. According to Dr Bukenya, taking a cup of tea in hot weather and a glass of ice cold water during a cold day helps to open up the skin pores hence stabilising homeostasis.
• Palpitations or increase in heart rate can be curbed by eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
• Dryness of mucosal membrane aligning the vagina and joint pain, . Bukenya recommends that taking lots of water as well as doing exercises like brisk walking, swimming, aerobic dancing, bicycling, and treadmill or outdoor running will help to improve this dryness. Furthermore, Nanyonga points out that eating lots of green vegetables and taking unsweetened lemon juice daily as well as reducing sugar consumption has helped her ease joint pain.
• Irregularities in the menstrual periods, taking iron-rich foods like beet root can help.
According to Dr Bukenya, a hormone replacement programme is available in Uganda but is very rare and most women do not understand how it works. He further confirms that menopause symptoms last for three to five years.
• Other foods that can assist in replacement of hormones include: soya-bean and its products, green vegetables, green tea, wild yams, walnuts, whole grains, chicken, shellfish, turkey and many others though these should be taken in regulated amounts.
“The easiest way of coping is being positive about the situation and being thankful to God for how long one has lived,” says Nanyonga.