|4 unique ways to chase away symptoms
"Post-menopausal zest!" That's how, anthropologist Margaret plead
described the renewed energy that many women experience when their menstrual
periods stop. As you reach the change of life, chances are you'll find it's
not as physically and emotionally distressing as you feared.
In a national survey of over 3,000 adults, the post-menopausal
women were asked how they felt when their menstrual periods
stopped completely. A surprising 62 percent said they felt only relief.
Another 25 percent reported having no particular feeling about it,
while a mere 2 percent said they felt only regret at reaching this stage
of life. The rest, about 11 percent, had mixed feelings.
The peri-menopausal women -- those in the process of the menstrual changes
-- and those who were premenopausal were asked
how they think they'll feel when their periods stop.
"The major difference by menopausal stage was that peri- and
premenopausal women were more apt to have mixed feelings than
post-menopausal women," said Dr. Alice Rossi of the University of
Massachusetts, one of the researchers.
In the survey, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, both
men and women were asked questions about symptoms related to
menopause and aging. You'll probably find their responses encouraging.
"Irritability was not related to menopausal phase. It's age related,
decreasing the older the person gets -- man or woman," says Rossi.
And only 30 percent of the women reported having hot flashes as
often as once a week, even between ages 50 and 55, the peak years for
symptoms during the menopausal transition.
Rossi analyzed the results of the study to learn what predicts
whether a woman experiences high or low levels of menopausal
symptoms. You might use what she found to minimize your own discomforts as you approach the change of life.
• Stay healthy. Women who rated their physical and mental
health as poor or moderate had more problems with symptoms than those who reported their health as excellent.
• Reduce stress. "High levels of stress in their family roles," says
Rossi. "trigger elevated symptoms scores for both sexes."
• Continue learning. Those who were better educated suffered
fewer symptoms. If you've always wanted to go back to
school, this may be a good time to go.
• Work on your self-image. "I asked women to rate the extent
to which they think their bodies have changed ... in terms of
energy, physical fitness, physique or figure, and weight," says
Rossi. She found more symptoms reported by those who felt
they were "worse now than five years ago."
If you have had a lot of problems with menstruation, pay special
attention to these suggestions. Rossi noticed that women who experienced a lot of discomfort with their monthly periods were more
likely to find the same with menopause.