How to Adapt to Climacteric and Menopause

Adapting your lifestyle is essential to meet the health needs determined by the onset of climacteric and menopause. Do you know enough about it? Continue reading as this article describes it in detail.
How to Adapt to Climacteric and Menopause
Daniel Baldó Vela

Written and verified by Nursing Daniel Baldó Vela.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Climacteric and menopause are concepts related to the loss of a woman’s reproductive capacity. Both entail the appearance of certain symptoms, as well as an increase in the risk of experiencing various conditions. This is why adapting your lifestyle to this new stage is fundamental in order to maintain the quality of your health.

Knowing and understanding this new stage, readjusting the dietary pattern, increasing physical activity, applying sleep hygiene strategies, and carrying out a proper supplementation pattern are all key against the symptoms and risks associated with climacteric and menopause.

What’s climacteric?

This term refers to the physiological process by which women lose reproductive capacity. It begins between the ages of 40 and 45 and culminates at age 65, several years after the cessation of menstruation.

The main characteristic of this stage of a woman’s life is the progressive reduction in the production of estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones, as a result of ovarian aging.

Find out what are The First Symptoms of Perimenopause

Symptoms of climacteric and menopause

A woman concerned about climacteric and menopause.

The main component of the climacteric period is the appearance of menstrual imbalances. In fact, these are the first symptom in all women. Therefore, they’re the ones that alert that the climacteric has begun. Every woman experiences different symptomatology from this point on.

The variability of symptoms is determined by the drop in estrogens. Thus, no symptoms other than menstrual imbalances appear when progesterone drops and estrogens remain stable.

However, a more intense and varied symptom picture is evident when estrogens drop sharply. Symptomatology associated with estrogen drop includes:

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Night sweats
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional lability
  • Dryness of skin and mucous membranes
  • Dyspareunia (vaginal pain during sexual intercourse)
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Hot flashes

What about menopause?

Menopause isn’t a process, per se, but an event that ends a woman’s reproductive capacity. The diagnosis is retrospective and happens when a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 consecutive months. This woman is menopausal or postmenopausal from this point on.

The health risks of climacteric and menopause

The drop in estrogen associated with climacteric and menopause poses an increased risk for certain health problems. These include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, etc.
  • Metabolic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, etc.)

Thus, in order to minimize the symptoms and counteract the associated increased risk, it’s essential to readjust your lifestyle in order to adapt it to the new health needs.

Climacteric and menopause, and your lifestyle

Readjusting your lifestyle to face this new stage healthily involves adapting eating patterns, physical activity, sleep, and management of your emotions.

Healthy eating

At this point, you should design a dietary strategy whose priority objective is to address the associated drop in estrogen and bone demineralization (loss of calcium from the bone). In addition, together with increased physical activity, a healthy diet will contribute to maintaining optimal body composition.

In general terms, the diet must be balanced, fresh, varied, and rich in dairy products, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and seeds.

Two women holding fruit and vegetables.

Active life

Here, the main objective will be to stimulate the metabolism and counteract the tendency to accumulate body fat associated with the drop in estrogen. In addition, it’ll contribute to better stress management and mood.

Likewise, physical exercise will be essential to fix calcium inside the bone and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.

In addition, outdoor activity will also contribute to the intestinal absorption of this mineral. This is because vitamin D, whose synthesis is stimulated by the exposure of the skin to the sun, is essential for it.

Including physical activity in the framework of daily life is the most adherent and sustainable activity strategy.

Sleep hygiene

Sleep disturbances are often the most pronounced and most discomforting symptom in pre- and post-menopausal women. In addition, science indicates that poor sleep increases any risks already elevated by the drop in estrogen. Thus, there’s a clear need to implement strategies to improve it.

The solution is to establish certain changes related to bedtime and wake-up time as well as physical activity, dinner, habits before going to bed, and the conditions of the room in which you sleep. In addition, you could start a supplementation regimen with melatonin, GABA precursor substances, and B vitamins.

Read about The Role of Diet in Menopause Symptoms

Omega 3

Adequate consumption of omega-3 helps reduce cardiovascular risk and improves the cognitive and emotional symptoms associated with this stage.

This fatty acid is mainly found in fish and in some nuts and seeds. However, its availability is scarce in all of them.

Fish is usually cooked before consumption and the omega-3 it contains oxidizes when it comes into contact with heat. Similarly, nuts and seeds contain a type of omega-3 that cannot be assimilated by the human body.

This is why supplementation is essential. An adequate omega 3 supplement is one that is in triglyceride form, hasn’t been subjected to high temperatures, and contains little to no mercury.

A spoonful of vitamin capsules.

Understanding the process of climacteric and menopause

Explaining the process and ways to feel better is fundamental to reduce the anxiety these women experience as a consequence of the lack of knowledge and understanding of what’s happening in their bodies.

In addition, it’s essential to work so that women don’t see this period as a loss of health but as an opportunity to take care of it and improve it. Here, it’s essential to demonstrate that the proposed changes improve the symptoms and reduce the associated risks.

Adapting the lifestyle to your new needs is fundamental to enjoy good health and promote your well-being.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.