How to help your spouse through menopause without losing your mind
Aug 31, 2012, 8:14 a.m.
12 months after a woman has her last menstrual period she officially enters menopause. The big M can be a hormonal hurricane for both people in a relationship. Going through menopause together is the best way to weather this storm.
Although this change of life is a normal part of the reproductive cycle, the physical and emotional symptoms of going through menopause can be extremely distressing. Common side effects associated with menopause include disrupted sleep patterns, a lack of energy, hot and cold flashes and violent mood swings. Menopause and depression are common and the total effect can be devastating. "For better or worse," just might have been invented for this time of life.
Luckily there are several forms of therapy that have been proven to help relieve the worst symptoms associated with menopause. As a couple, it is often the husband's job to help his wife recognize when perimenopause and menopause is starting to cause severe problems in a woman's physical and emotional health. Going through the process together can bring a couple together and improve the overall health of both people.
Hormone replacement therapy is extremely common and very helpful for some women. The doctor will determine if hormone replacement therapy is the right course of action based on family history, the severity of symptoms and the health of the individual. Alternative therapies involving herbs and vitamins can also make going through menopause easier. All medications and "natural" cures should be taken under a doctor's supervision.
Many studies over the last decade have discovered effective wellness solutions for women going through menopause. These include eating a high fiber diet rich in lean protein and green vegetables. Dietary improvements where both people participate are more successful. Eating well while the other person in the relationship gorges on Twinkies and potato chips is almost impossible.
In addition, regular exercise and stress management has been proven effective for both menopause and depression. Regular exercise increases growth factors in the brain and releases dopamine, the brain's natural "happiness" drug.
Stress management techniques such as meditation and yoga not only help the woman going through menopause they also help the husband cope with the emotional changes in his spouse.
While menopause may be natural, it can also be uncommonly nasty. Face this time together and stay sane or suffer what could turn into a menopausal hurricane.
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