A Change for the Better?

15 things that help during the menopause, and one that doesn’t.

Another subject that, until recently, we didn’t really talk about. Can you remember when it was called The Change?? If it was spoken about at all?

What a lot of things us women never used to speak about. And thank god we’re speaking about them now.

My menopause started properly after I had my hysterectomy – but I’d been through two mini-menopauses before then, so I feel I have a bit of experience!!

I was diagnosed with fibroids, and was given hormone treatment to shrink them. It worked well, but the side-effect was menopause #1.

After 6 months, due to NICE guidelines, I had to stop the treatment. Menopause went away, fibroids came back.

My wonderful GP prescribed another course of hormone treatment.

The side-effect was menopause #2.

At the end of another six months, the fibroids came back with a vengeance, as if the rest had done them good – and a hysterectomy was the only option.

I came round from the anaesthetic with a hot flush.

So, here are my ideas and suggestions for coping with hot flushes – some of these suggestions are well known, some are things that I found worked for me, through trial and error. 15 things that work and one that doesn’t.

  1. Wear a cardigan. I’m sure the cardigan was invented by a menopausal woman, not an Earl. Easier to get off and on than a jumper, you can whip it off when you need to.
  2. Avoid caffeine (coffee, energy drinks etc).
  3. Avoid alcohol.
  4. Avoid spicy food. Or just have the coffee, alcohol and spicy food and accept that you might have a hot flush…
  5. Stop smoking.
  6. Wear cotton next to your skin – underwear, bedclothes. It absorbs the sweat better than man-made fibre. Lovely.
  7. Take a hot water bottle to bed, filled with cold water.
  8. When a hot flush hits during the night, turn your pillow over – it’s cooler on the other side.
  9. Exercise. Bizarrely, doing exercise that gets you hot and sweaty actually helps. And it will also help with 10 –
  10. Lose weight if you need to lose weight
  11. Drink plenty, and have a glass of cold water next to the bed overnight.
  12. Open the bedroom window at night as long as it doesn’t compromise your security. Or use a fan.
  13. See if you can find a pattern – when are your hot flushes at their worst? Mine would come on when I was stressed about something, to the point where I could actually bring one on by thinking about a stressful event from the past!! Try it – it gives you a feeling of control over the blighters.
  14. If stress is a major factor in the frequency and severity of your hot flushes, look in to sorting out the stress as well as the hot flushes – mindfulness, meditation, whatever it takes.
  15. Turn the heating down. Saves money as well!!
  16. Magnets. Magnets do NOTHING, apart from attracting money for the company that sells the magnets. They don’t work. Don’t buy them.

Now here I am at 58, and it’s women who are younger than me who are going through the menopause. That’s a sobering thought!!

I don’t often have one during the day any more – maybe one or two a month. And sometimes it’s hard to say if it’s a hot flush or if I’m just, well, hot. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. The menopause isn’t all bad – no periods, has to count for something!!

The real mystery with hot flushes is why you never have one at 6 in the morning when you’re in the kitchen without your slippers, making a cup of tea, and the heating hasn’t come on yet.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    Excellent advice. Being an old stager I can subscribe to the following 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 (failing), 11, 12 (difficult it’s a bungalow), 15 NEVER!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joan!! I never managed to avoid the caffeine, alcohol or spicy food – sometimes you just have to not mind having the hot flush!!

      Like

  2. anglosvizzera says:

    I have found that a cup of sage tea a day (just a spoonful of dried sage steeped for 5 minutes) really helps. Doesn’t taste too bad either.

    Also, I trained as a homeopath about 10 years ago after having used it for my kids from when they were babies and had experienced a homeopath whose prescription amazingly cleared up my son’s eczema.

    I don’t really practise much now, but have had several clients who were having menopausal hot flushes, amongst other issues – the individualised remedies I chose for them also got rid of their hot flushes.

    I know that homeopathy is pooh-poohed at the moment, but it’s worked wonders for my family and those people I’ve seen as a practitioner.

    In fact, I was diagnosed with fibroids about 8 years ago and my GP helpfully gave me the choice between a hysterectomy or HRT. I didn’t really fancy either prospect so made an appointment with the wife of the head of the School of Homeopathy. After a 2 hour consultation where she took all my family and personal medical history, along with loads of other questions, she worked on my case and sent me a remedy (just three little white pillules to be taken every 12 hours) and within a couple of weeks I had no more symptoms. I never did go back to the GP or have another ultrasound scan as everything cleared up as if by magic. I didn’t ask what my particular homeopathic remedy was, as I guessed that she deliberately didn’t tell me so I didn’t go and look it up. By the time I did contact her to find out what it was, she’d retired and disposed of her client notes. Anyway, if that was the placebo effect in action, which is what the critics put it down to, I’m glad it worked!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would never dismiss the placebo effect – it can be very powerful. And – and I find this the most amazing part of it – it can work even when you know you’ve been given a placebo!! My treatment wasn’t actually HRT, It was Zoladex, which is more normally given to men with prostate cancer!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. anglosvizzera says:

    I know that it isn’t just placebo in many cases, as it has worked on cats and dogs I’ve had or known, infants, on people who’ve been given regular medication of various types (which you’d think might also help them via the placebo effect if nothing else) especially for chronic things like eczema, asthma etc – and in lab experiments, on cancer cells in petri dishes! There is a lot of research going on in India where it’s been accepted for a very long time, with some interesting results coming out of that (more physics than chemistry, the latter being the usual ‘excuse’ for why it ‘can’t’ work!)

    Like

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