The Difficulties around Menopause and Andropause
Ever wondered why you feel tired and lost once you hit your late 40’s? The feeling of latergia, a mental block, some sort of a mental saturation or stagination? Yes, this is your very own hormones playing a role in making you feel this way.
Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycle. Is it marked after you've gone 12 months without bleeding; and this happens around your late 40’s to around your mid 50’s.
Andropause, also commonly known as male menopause, is the reduction in the level of testosterone in the body. This is a slow and gradual process and the onset is not sudden.
The symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, Vaginal dryness, Hot flashes, Chills, Night sweats, Sleep problems, Mood changes, Weight gain and slowed metabolism, Thinning hair and dry skin, Loss of breast fullness. The symptoms of andropause include, low libido, depression, lowered bone density, abdominal fat, breast enlargement, decreased motivation, decreased self-confidence, difficulty remembering things, increased nervousness, reduced muscle mass and strength, reduced body hair.
During this period people feel a sense mid-life crisis. A lack of motivation, latargia, sense of meaninglessness, hopelessness and sleep disorders. They require activities to keep them active and give them a sense of purpose. People during this age are settled with family, have a stable income, a stable group of friends and everything seems to be in order. This can lead to a feeling of monotony and this coupled with hormonal changes makes things inoperative to an extent.
Changes to incorporate during menopause:
Track your hot flashes: keep a track of when you feel these hot flashes. It could be during a particular time of the day or a certain food or beverage that causes this.
Wear comfortable clothing: during the days or the night time, try to wear cotton clothes or loose fighting clothes. Prepare for night sweats, keep a glass of water at your bead sid and a bag of cold peas.
Be aware of your products: over the counter viginal products and creams are available which will help with the dryness. A health care professional can be consulted for low doses of estrogen
Reach out: reach out for professional help. You owe it to yourself to feel good about yourself and you shouldn't let anything dim your spark. Keep a close circle of friends and women who are going through the same phase so you will be able to vent your emotions and receive validation.
Few treatments such as prescribed levels of antidepressants, hormonal therapy, veginal therapy, prescribed doses of Clonidine (used for BP, can be sometimes used for hot flashes) can be availed.
eat a healthy diet
get regular exercise
get enough sleep
reduce your stress
Testosterone replacement therapy
Something to keep in mind is that, it is normal to go through these and it is definitely helpful to
take professional help if needed. Every man or womans experience is unique. It is important to keep in mind that these are just phases in life like any other. You can cope with the changes leading up to it and after that with confidence and using strategies and a good group.