Overcoming the Struggle and Battle with Menopause

The message I would like to convey to women on the threshold of menopause is that at least now take time to care for yourself. We are always busy feeding husband, children, grandchildren, aging parents, etc. Now make time to feed yourself properly and eat healthily. It is a time when some women bleed heavily (before menopause) which leads to heavy iron loss from their body.

1) Foods rich in iron must be consumed. Eat plenty of whole pulses like channa, rajma, moong, peas, dhal, etc. Make it a must to eat whole-wheat atta chapatis or bread at least in one meal, preferably dinner. (atta contains a higher level of iron than rice and other cereals.) Fish and poultry are also good sources of iron. Besides this make sure that you eat plenty of fresh salad, fruits and vegetables as the vitamin B and C in these helps the iron in the food to be absorbed into the body more efficiently. Iron deficiency is one of the world's greatest nutritional deficiencies. It is mainly a result of imbalanced meals and skipping of meals. Most women in menopause tend to put on weight and resort to skipping meals or having only a plate of fruits or a glass of milk for a meal. This combined with heavy bleeding will definitely result in anemia.

2) Many women tend to put on a lot of weight as they enter menopause. This leads them into complications like high BP, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. They must follow a strict low fat, high fiber diet and bring down their weight. This is also a period when many women are prone to cancer. Latest research shows that those who have a high percentage of fat in their bodies have a greater chance of getting cancer as the fat provides a medium for cancer cells to grow. Also drinking atleast 2 to 2 and a half liters of water is a must to flush out toxic substances, which come into our body as pollutants and can also cause cancer.

3) Water is also very important during this time as many women are prone to hot flushes where they break out into a sweat. This frequent heavy perspiration can leave you feeling dehydrated and exhausted. Do not resort to drinking fruit juices or even carrot, beetroot, etc. juices as they contain a lot of calories and can result in weight gain. Plain, clean, fresh water, up to even three liters, will make you feel much better. Make sure you consume about two fresh fruits and two servings of salad daily to ensure that you replace the minerals that you may lose with the sweating.

4) Milk is a must during menopause as there is a depletion of calcium from the bones during this period and many are burdened with osteoporosis at this time. 500 700 ml of milk in the form of milk, coffee/tea, curd/butter milk must be consumed daily. However we have to be very careful to remove as much cream as possible from the milk or use commercially available skimmed milk. Cream of milk is very dangerous as it is highly fattening and also very high in cholesterol content which is dangerous for the heart.

5) Last but not the least is the need to go for a regular walk of 30 minutes daily or 25 minutes in the morning and 25 minutes in the evening. First of all the walk helps to calm you and relieve stress. Secondly it helps in balancing hormones and minimizing various symptoms of menopause. Thirdly it helps to strengthen the bones and muscles that become weak at this time. Finally it helps to control weight gain which is one of the worst problems of menopause.

Also set aside time for devotional reading and prayer, etc. to protect against depressions and mood swings.

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