Menopause is a natural biological process that every woman experiences. But the symptoms — from mood swings and insomnia to hot flashes and weight gain — can make this time of your life downright unpleasant.
Menopause symptoms are triggered by changing hormone levels. Estrogen and progesterone levels begin declining as early as age 40, and symptoms can appear when you enter this phase preceding menopause known as perimenopause.
Perimenopause lasts an average of 4-8 years. Once it’s been a year since your last menstrual period, you’ve entered menopause, and symptoms may continue for an average of 4-5 years after that.
When all is said and done, many women live with menopausal symptoms for 10-plus years. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer uncontrolled symptoms and let them affect your quality of life.
A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team partner with you to help you get your menopausal symptoms under control. We monitor your health, recommend lifestyle adjustments, and offer hormone therapy, so you can feel like yourself again.
Lifestyle changes to reduce menopause symptoms
We take a comprehensive approach to managing menopausal symptoms. Depending on your health history and the severity of your symptoms, we often start by recommending lifestyle changes.
Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can minimize menopause symptoms and help you maintain a healthy weight. Your diet matters too. Strive to eat nutritious meals with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
If you’re dealing with hot flashes and night sweats, prepare yourself by wearing light layers, and consider keeping washcloths in the freezer for quick cooling relief. Avoid spicy food and alcohol to keep hot flashes at bay.
Finding healthy ways to manage stress can also have a positive impact on menopausal symptoms. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can keep stress in check. If you smoke, consider quitting because tobacco use can make menopause symptoms worse.
As you get older, your risk of other health conditions may go up. Regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent some of these conditions, like osteoporosis and heart disease.
Hormone therapy for severe menopause symptoms
Many women find that lifestyle changes make menopausal symptoms more bearable. But if your menopause symptoms are so severe that they’re interfering with your day-to-day life, hormone therapy could be an option for you.
Hormone replacement therapy balances hormone levels as you navigate menopause. Dr. Coppa offers hormone therapy in oral tablets or topical creams, and treatment can reduce symptoms, from hot flashes to vaginal dryness.
We maintain regular appointments with you during hormone therapy to make sure you’re seeing results. In most cases, we recommend that women take a low dose for the shortest period of time needed to minimize symptoms and reduce the risk of side effects.
Menopause isn’t a disease, so you might not need treatment if your symptoms are mild or short-lived. But if you’re bothered by severe symptoms, you have treatment options.
Find the help you need to get your menopause symptoms under control. Contact us online or on the phone to schedule your consultation today at our Cranston, Providence, or Smithfield, Rhode Island, location.