Tackling the Menopause Menace
Don’t let menopause put a pause to this wonderful life of yours!
“Don’t you understand when I explain things to you once?” yelled my mother. Perplexed over her reaction I stood numb. We were always friends more than a mother-daughter, but from the past few months my mother’s behavior had changed drastically. She is a very calm person by nature, but I wondered what had happened to my mom!
In her late forties at that time, she had been constantly complaining of fatigue and low energy levels. An active person all her life, now she couldn’t even perform the daily activities energetically. We all dealt with her patiently thinking that these might be symptoms of ageing. After another few months, she complained of bouts of rapid heartbeat and hot flashes. “Have you checked the door lock?” she asked for the fourth time when we were leaving. Her anxiety and worry had started attaining new heights every few days.
Seemingly, it was very difficult for her to deal with all these changes in her life, which definitely was not in her control.
I was a science student, and incidentally was studying human physiology that time. One day it struck me, MENOPAUSE! My mother could be suffering from pre-menopausal symptoms. I discussed the issue with her, and she agreed to consult a Health Care Practitioner (HCP) to be sure about it. The visit to the HCP confirmed that it was perimenopause, or the menopausal transition that my mother was going through.
Menopause is perhaps the most striking event in a women’s life. After the diagnosis, my mother was determined to tackle this change in her life gracefully. As it marks the end of the reproductive cycle of a women’s life, it disrupts the normal hormonal levels, which bring about symptoms, such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, thinning of hair, dryness of skin, and many more symptoms that vary from individual to individual. The menstrual irregularity also causes women to have frequent mood swings and other most common symptoms include hot flashes and night sweats.
My mother took a natural way to deal with nature’s inevitable process. She practiced early morning meditation for about half hour every day, followed by a half hour walk. This helped in keeping her mind calm and did wonders to keep her stress levels and anxiety under control. Some basic yoga asanas and deep breathing exercises are known to be beneficial for women going through menopause and help them go through the symptoms with comfort and ease. My mother resorted to this ancient Indian science of exercise and found that the asanas elevate the mood, fill you with positive high prana (energy) and makes the body strong enough to bear with the changes it’s going through. These practices coupled up with a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits made it easier for my mom to deal with the menopausal monster and laugh in its face. She took up this lifestyle because she was trapped in the jaws of menopause, and today when she has gone past that stage, this beneficial lifestyle has become a part of her routine life.
Most women tend to ignore these symptoms considering them to be a normal part of ageing. Women in the age group of 45- 55 years (the average menopausal age worldwide) should carefully observe these symptoms and consult a HCP. There is nothing that can measure or determine how bad it is for you. Only you can describe what is happening and what sort of an effect that is having on you as an individual. The healthcare professional you consult will need to understand the impact of your problems on your quality of life.
And I hope my story will inspire and encourage women going through menopause to have a healthy and happy life. Tackle the menace; don’t let it put a pause to your life.
Empowering you to take control of your own health,
IControlMyHealth Editorial Team
- Nalini Mishra, V. N. Mishra. Exercise beyond menopause: Dos and Don’ts. J Midlife Health. 2011 Jul-Dec; 2(2): 51–56.
- Narinder Mahajan, Meenu Aggarwal. Health issues of menopausal women in North India. J Midlife Health. 2012 Jul-Dec; 3(2): 84–87.
- Yoga for Menopause. http://www.artofliving.org/yoga-menopause. Accessed June 13, 2013