Menopause is a natural biological process occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. It is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, her body produces less estrogen and progesterone, and menstruation becomes less frequent, eventually stopping altogether.
Menopausal symptoms have one thing in common — they’re signs of hormonal imbalance. Symptoms tend to peak during the perimenopause and menopause years as your hormones begin to fluctuate. The most common symptoms of menopause are:
- Skin flushing
- Irregular periods
- Stiffness and joint pain
- Heart pounding or racing
- Insomnia or restless sleep
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Cravings for sweets or carbohydrates
- Diminished sexual desire, vaginal dryness
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Difficulty concentrating, memory problems
- Irritability, mood swings, depression or anxiety
There are several alternative treatments available to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. These include acupuncture, acupressure, herbal remedies and supplements. Dietary changes and regular exercise may also help reduce symptoms.