1. Treat Breast Pain
Many women suffer breast pain during menopause. The breasts may be tender, sore, swollen and generally uncomfortable. Imbalanced hormones, especially the primary sexual hormone estrogen, are the main cause of female breast pain symptom.
A healthy diet is the first step towards relieving breast pain during menopause. This will ensure that your body has the support it needs to maintain good hormonal levels. Plenty of exercise may also help you maintain balanced hormones. If simple lifestyle changes don’t reduce your breast pain, natural therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology may help. Drugs like HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and surgery are a last resort.
2. Overcome a Painful Vulva
During menopause, many women seek treatment for pain associated with the vulva, the opening to the vagina. Symptoms can range from mild irritation to significant pain, especially during intercourse. In severe cases vulva pain can render a woman unable to have sex, and even unable to perform normal daily activities.
Medical research has shown that vulva pain may be associated with oxalate crystals, a by-product of food or drinks such as alcohol, chocolate and citrus juices. Avoiding these foods may bring a reduction in pain. If you only experience the pain during sex as a result of vaginal dryness, using lubrication can be an effective remedy. If estrogen deficiency is the cause of vaginal pain during menopause, it can be treated with hormone replacement therapies.
3. Target Joint Pain
Weight gain is a symptom of menopause, and excessive weight can put undue strain on the joints. If you are overweight and experiencing joint pain during menopause, adopting a healthy weight-loss diet and getting plenty of low-impact exercise may help alleviate the problem. Avoid joint-stressing activities, such as running and tennis, and opt for gentler forms of exercise like walking, water aerobics and yoga.
Cortisol, a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands, is an inflammatory agent that can be thrown off-balance during menopause. Engaging in proven stress-relief methods such as deep breathing, meditation, massage, walking and yoga can help lower cortisol levels, potentially relieving joint pain.
Insulin is another hormone that can become imbalanced during menopause and has been shown to increase inflammation. By cutting down on sugar and carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar levels to rise and insulin to be released, you may be able to reduce joint pain during menopause.
Naproxen and ibuprofin are over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications effective against joint pain. (Acetaminophen products, such as Tylenol, are not anti-inflammatory.)
4. Relieve Headaches
Headaches and migraines are another common and painful menopause symptom. Menopausal headaches are generally associated with hormonal imbalances, although some women get tension headaches from the emotional stress of going though the change. Reducing stress through exercise, favorite hobbies or meditation can be highly effective in treating menopausal tension headaches.
Declining estrogen is responsible for most migraines and headaches during menopause. Fluctuating hormones cause blood vessels in the brain to overreact, so when estrogen hormones start dropping, more intense, frequent headaches can occur. Keeping your hormone levels balanced through diet, exercise and natural therapies is the first line of defense in relieving menopausal headaches, while hormone-balancing drugs such as HRT can be used for persistent cases. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen are sufficient for treating most menopause-related headaches.