Menopause is a time of life when women experience change on many levels. It is often a cause for reflection in her life as well. Both menopause and perimenopause are notable life events, acknowledges pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. In this brief Q & A, Ahlgrimm answers some frequently asked questions about the time in life that every woman will eventually experience.
Q: Does menopause usually occur all of a sudden?
Marla Ahlgrimm: No. For most women, menopause is marked by a long, slow transition where a woman’s periods appear with less frequency. At this stage, a woman often feels a sense of stress and anxiety that can make a major impact on her daily schedule. Mood changes are commonly noted as the most significant problem related to menopause.
Q: Why are mood changes so common?
Marla Ahlgrimm: A broad array of causes may result in an overall feeling of anxiety and nervousness. Hormone changes in particular have been shown to provoke the management and production of neurotransmitters in the human brain. When the brain’s chemicals are affected, it can lead to mental and emotional stress. However, hormones are not the sole reason why a woman’s body experiences a great deal of difficulty.
Q: What other factors may come into play during this time of life transition?
Marla Ahlgrimm: When a woman’s body is under any sort of stress, it’s only natural that anxious thoughts are going to rise to the surface. A proper health and wellness plan is necessary to combat these symptoms and create a comfortable routine.
Q: How can a woman alleviate such troubling symptoms during menopause?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Exercise is an important element in an overall health and wellness program. Hike, bike, take a yoga class or enjoy strolling on the beach with a friend. Exercise helps women stay healthy while reducing stress. Another advisable consideration is to talk about any concerns with a counselor, healthcare professional, friend or family member. Finally, adequate sleep is a smart idea as well: Most women require anywhere from 6 to 9 hours each night.