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Menopause & Medication

Here are my four major concerns about Menopause:

  1. Hot Flashes

  2. Night Sweats

  3. Sleep deprivation

  4. Joint Pain

My menopausal symptoms are consistent now, and it seems like my hot flashes and night sweats are worsening. As far as my joint pain, I choose to use over-the-counter arthritis pain reliever medication like Ben Gay or Aspercreme. After I had my knee surgery (Arthroscopy), I use Biofreeze that the Physical Therapist recommended. Sometimes no matter what you do, you cannot control any of the symptoms, which is okay. An increase in my exercise activity has made me feel better, as I am booking more than one Pilates class a week. The diet department is challenging, I will not lie to you, but I must stick to it. Mood swings almost made my list, but I have a handle on those. Wonder if CBD oil could help with any of these symptoms.

Getting more sleep is also a concern, and 24 minutes ago [8/16/21 9 o’clock p.m.], my Apple Watch reminded me to get ready for bed, yet here I am finishing this post. Most importantly, I want to do whatever I can to avoid taking prescription medication to maintain these symptoms. To help me with this quest, I have joined the Sharecare Scale Back program earlier this year with my health provider. The program is a yearlong commitment and begins with a Real Age Test (my results indicate that I am 49Y 2M). Ha! Since I am a few months shy of 52, I will take that. Next, participants attend virtual meetings with a Dietitian to discuss topics such as: how to improve diet, exercise, behavior, stress management, and other areas in which they may need to improve. The plan also provides you with a scale and Fitbit at no cost. So far, so good.

The Fitbit helps monitor your stress management, track mindfulness, monitor sleep, exercise, resting heart rate, menstrual health, water intake, and food log. Yes, we take pics of our plates and upload them into the app. I have learned so much about my sleep patterns since using the device. For example, since my menopause symptoms began, I find it hard to fall asleep most nights. Urinary incontinence, night sweats, and drinking a gallon of water throughout the day have kept me up many nights. Two to three mornings a week I wake up exhausted. When I thought I had plenty of sleep, I discovered otherwise with the Fitbit. For example, on an average night, I get 6 hours and 31 minutes, but only 1 hour and 49 minutes of Deep Sleep and 2 hours and 12 minutes in the REM stage.

It has been four months since I joined the program, and now, we are having bi-weekly meetings. Continuing to improve my eating habits, exercise more, and stay hydrated will help me to lose more weight and improve my blood pressure. Hopefully, I will be able to come off the BP medication. Also, creating different meals for my family has allowed me to cook just enough food for the four of us and control my portions. Throughout this phase of my life, I will remain positive and “I will make it work!”

Here are four resources to learn more about medication and menopause:

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