Ask Dr. Pat · Menopause

Menopause: Getting It Right

Eat mindfully at work.

  1. Choose to eat mindfully at work. Eat frequently and have small amounts. Carbs and sugar consumption often affect energy, mood and concentration.
  1. Create small breaks throughout the day. Find time during lunch to walk outside and be fully present in the joy of this experience. Take breaks every 30 minutes, if possible, to stretch and breathe deeply for just two minutes. Certainly take a breathing and stretching break every hour.  This prevents muscle tension and poor posture and reminds you, even for this short period of time, that you have given yourself the gift of mindfulness.
  1. Weight gain is more common as we age, and it often begins in midlife. The truth is, we need to consume fewer calories and exercise more after 40. Alcohol, processed foods, mindless eating, overeating, excessive nighttime eating, constant socializing where food and drink are the lubricants, all contribute to the problem of middle-age weight gain. Some women don’t mind the increase in midlife weight gain or the change in body shape, but weight gain is also a medical problem for many. Mindfulness and choices that support the goals that are yours will prevent weight gain.
  1. As you progress through the years of your menopausal transition there are many therapeutic choices available that you can discuss with a gynecologist who has an interest in the care of women in this life stage.  Each choice you make should be for a specific symptom, and each choice may have side effects that will inform your decision. A complete  review of options for medical choices available for menopausal management can be found  in the January 2014 issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Health-care providers should listen to their patients’ fears and symptoms, and work with patients to create symptom management necessary for each woman for this period of life when she needs to feel well and function at her best.

The interesting thing that I have found about menopause management is that the subject is never old, the information never final, and the recruits to this life stage come in day after day, year after year. Menopause may be old news to women in their 60s and 70s, but to women in their 40s and 50s it is news that is always  “hot off the presses.”

We at believe that excellent and timely information about health and hormonal change; general templates that can be personalized by each woman for her goals for management of symptoms; and a focus on self care and mindfulness, along with a relationship with a thoughtful and informed health care practitioner, will replace the old news that menopause defined women in only negative ways.

We know that informed management of the menopausal transition offers women the opportunity to move into the next half of life with awareness of confidence based on  personal strengths and perhaps the planned pursuit of new life goals. We are a community where this message is delivered whenever there is news or whenever someone wants to know “how to get it right,” once again.

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