Comment lutter contre les 3 principaux désagréments de la ménopause

How to fight against the 3 main inconveniences of menopause?

Oct 01, 2023

Menopause is an inevitable stage in every woman's life. However, more than 85% of women going through this period will present problematic symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, mood disorders or even weight gain. Managing these symptoms therefore poses a significant challenge for many women going through menopause. But then, how is it possible to better manage these uncomfortable manifestations?

 

Some reminders about menopause

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman's life, marking the end of the fertile period as well as the menstrual cycles . It usually occurs around age 50 , although the age can vary from woman to woman. Menopause before the age of 40 is generally referred to as “early menopause”. The main cause of this hormonal transition is the notable reduction in female sex hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, which are initially produced by the ovaries. Every woman is born with a limited supply of ovarian follicles. When this stock is depleted, ovulation ceases, thus leading to a drop and then cessation of hormonal production.


The diagnosis of menopause is based on the absence of menstruation for a period of 12 months in a woman of around 50 years old. No special medical examination is necessary to make this diagnosis, although symptoms can often be experienced during the period before menopause (a period called premenopause or premenopause).

 

The symptoms of menopause can be variable, including hot flashes, changes in sleep, mood swings, vaginal dryness, headaches, etc. Far from being harmless, these symptoms can quickly cause significant inconvenience. daily.

 

Hot flashes


Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. These vasomotor manifestations affect more than 80% of women in the menopausal period and are often the main reason for seeking treatment.

Hot flashes are mainly manifested by:

  • Shivers, tremors.
  • A feeling of unease and dizziness.
  • A sudden feeling of intense heat, rising from the chest to the face, followed by redness.
  • Palpitations accompanied by rapid pulse, sweating. Night sweats can be isolated and occur without hot flashes.

 

The duration of these hot flashes varies, ranging from 30 seconds to two minutes. They can be spontaneous or triggered by various factors such as spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, caffeine or stress. Initially, they tend to occur at night, disrupting the quality of sleep. However, they can also appear during the day. Although these symptoms may last for a few months, they can persist for 5 to 7 years, or even 15 years or more in some cases.

How to combat hot flashes?

To effectively combat hot flashes, there are various strategies and approaches to consider. First, dietary changes can play a significant role. It is therefore recommended to avoid spicy foods, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption, and favor cooler drinks and foods. Maintaining a balanced diet also remains essential.

Furthermore, several alternative medicines have shown effectiveness in the treatment of hot flashes. Hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are promising approaches. Hypnosis, in particular, shows consistent evidence for a clinically significant reduction in hot flashes. Studies have demonstrated that hypnosis intervention provides a notable reduction (50% or more) in hot flashes and their associated symptoms. These alternative methods thus offer additional options for women wishing to relieve the discomforts linked to menopause, in addition to lifestyle changes and traditional medical treatments.

 

Sleep disorders

In addition to the discomfort of hot flashes and night sweats, the hormonal changes associated with menopause can disrupt sleep. The resulting insomnia can have negative consequences on alertness and memory, thus affecting the quality of daily life .

How to improve sleep during menopause?


To guarantee quality sleep and promote restful rest, several measures can be taken. First of all, it is essential to establish a regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at set times. Creating a comfortable sleeping environment is just as crucial, making sure to maintain an appropriate room temperature and ensuring complete darkness in the bedroom.

Stress management also plays a fundamental role in the quality of sleep. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety that disrupts sleep.

Additionally, regular exercise is beneficial because it can help improve sleep quality. However, it is best to avoid strenuous exercise shortly before bedtime since it can stimulate the body and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Finally, dietary supplements can also play a beneficial role in improving sleep quality. These supplements may contain ingredients such as melatonin, a natural sleep hormone, or other plant extracts known for their calming properties.

Mood disorders

Mood disorders are also a suffering that many women encounter during menopause. They are mainly due to the hormonal fluctuations involved in this process. The fact that menopause marks the end of the ability to conceive naturally can also have a profound emotional impact. Common symptoms include mood swings, which can range from irritability to sadness to anxiety.

How to manage these mood disorders?

First, social support can be supportive. Talking openly about your emotions and difficulties with friends, family members or a healthcare professional can indeed be beneficial.

Regular exercise is also an effective way to improve mood. It promotes the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which can help alleviate feelings of sadness and anxiety. Yoga can particularly help treat these psychological symptoms.


Finally, food supplements have also demonstrated their effectiveness in the management of mood disorders induced by menopause. Increased emotional well-being, reduction of anxiety and stress... These food supplements constitute an interesting alternative to drug treatments.

 

The question of hormone therapy

The issue of hormone therapy is an important aspect to consider when addressing the symptoms of menopause. When these symptoms are considered major and have a significant impact on the quality of daily life , hormone therapy may be considered. This approach aims to correct symptoms associated with estrogen deficiency, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood disorders. However, it is essential to note that hormone therapy carries potential health risks, which may make this option unsuitable for some women.

The most important risks associated with hormone therapy include increased risk of breast cancer , endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, as well as thromboembolic and stroke risks. Therefore, the decision to opt for hormonal therapy must be carefully considered, assessing the benefit/risk ratio for each patient. It is essential to discuss this option with a healthcare professional, who can provide detailed information about the potential benefits and risks associated with hormone therapy.

The Haute Autorité de Santé recognizes the benefit of hormonal therapy in the management of menopausal symptoms, particularly when these symptoms are bothersome to the point of altering quality of life. The duration of this hormone replacement treatment (HRT), however, must be as short as possible. Its necessity must also be reassessed at least every year.

 

In short, menopause is a natural phase in every woman's life. However, this does not mean that the uncomfortable symptoms that may appear are without recourse. By adopting gentle lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, mind-body approaches and, in some cases, exploring medical treatments such as hormone therapy, alleviating the discomforts of menopause and experiencing this transition more peacefully is everything. entirely possible.

References :

Johnson A, Roberts L, Elkins G. (March 14, 2019). Complementary and alternative medicine for menopause.

Vidal. Menopause.

Health insurance Ameli.fr. Menopause: definition, symptoms and diagnosis.

High Authority of Health. (July 16, 2014). Hormonal treatments for menopause.

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