The holiday season is upon us and for many, it is busy time of the year.  If you are suffering from menopause or perimenopause, the holiday season may also be a time full of hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue and irritability.  Menopause is something that most women go through between the ages of 50 to 55 years old.  Perimenopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 50 years old.  The exact age that women experience menopause or perimenopause can vary greatly.  There is no way to predict when an individual woman will enter menopause.   The age at which a woman starts having her menstrual cycles is not related to the age that she will start menopause.  In most recent years of research, perimenopause and menopause are occurring earlier in women than in the past.  In addition, the age of the first menstrual cycle is occurring early in adolescence girls.   A general guideline to consider, women tend to undergo menopause at an age similar to when their mother started menopause.  It is estimated that more than 1.3 million women in the United States and 25 million women worldwide experience menopause annually.  There are about 470 million postmenopausal women worldwide, and this number is expected to increase to 1.2 billion by the year of 2030.

What is menopause?   It is classified as the permanent end of menstruation and fertility in women.  It occurs 12 months after your last menstrual cycle.  Signs and symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, irregular or skipped periods, insomnia, mood swings, irritability, headaches, racing heartbeat, changes in libido, vaginal dryness, incontinence, night sweats, bloating, forgetfulness and depression.  Treatments of menopause are wide and variable and range from synthetic hormone replacement therapy including Premarin and Prempro.  Natural treatments for menopause include natural hormone replacement therapy, medicinal plants, supplements and lifestyle modifications including diet and exercise.  Natural hormone therapy ranges from Triest, Biest to progesterone creams. Medicinal plants can include Alfalfa, Soy, Black Cohosh, Wild Yam and Chaste Tree.  Supplements commonly used in menopause include Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Omega fatty acids. Lifestyle modifications include improving diet by eating whole balanced foods, increasing the green leafy vegetables and decreasing sugar intake.  Exercise can beneficially treat symptoms of menopause. Consider taking up yoga, Tai Chi, mediation, swimming, etc.

This article mentions some of the ways to address the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.  It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before taking any supplements. Have a good holiday season!