There are a number of steps women in postmenopause can take to stay healthy and feel better. It's as easy as remembering your ABCs, and D, E, and F.
Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol, excess salt, and sugar.
Balanced diet -- Nutritionists recommend whole grains, cold pressed oils, leafy vegetables, and nuts to help keep your body healthy and potentially help relieve hot flashes. Soy may also ease mild hot flashes.
Calcium to help keep bones strong.
Vitamin D also helps keep bones strong.
Exercise -- Weight bearing, daily, at least 30 minutes.
Fat -- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Menopause and weight gain: Do they always have to go hand in hand? It may seem that way, especially because gaining weight is so common after menopause. About 30% of women ages 50 to 59 are not just overweight, but obese. Here's what you need to know about the risks of weight gain and how exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off after menopause.
Hot flashes are probably the most common symptom of menopause. Here are tips for easing them:
Avoid getting too warm by dressing in layers and sleeping in a cool room.
Avoid eating hot and spicy foods.
Avoid alcohol, as it can trigger hot flashes.
Eat several servings of soy a day, after first checking with your doctor. There is some evidence that soy may relieve mild hot flashes, although the effects may take several weeks to realize.
Tips for Reducing Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal lubricants and moisturizers available without a prescription can help lubricate the vagina and make sexual intercourse more comfortable during menopause and in postmenopause.
If over-the-counter treatments don't work, ask your doctor about topical estrogen, available in creams, tablets, or in a vaginal ring. This type of estrogen will not improve other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.
Tips to Reduce Risk for Osteoporosis
To protect your bones and avoid osteoporosis:
Get adequate calcium and vitamin D.
Ask your doctor if you need a test to check your bone strength.
Tips to Reduce Risk for Heart Disease
The risk for heart disease goes up as we age. Tips for protecting your heart include:
Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly.
Take steps to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure if they are too high. If lifestyle changes are not enough to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and your blood pressure normal, talk to your doctor about prescription medication.