When you turn 35, you’re certainly not “old” – in fact, you’re still considered a “young adult” developmentally! But changes are in the making. Specifically, changes in hormone levels.
Coping with those changes and the symptoms they cause – from night sweats to hot flashes to increased osteoporosis risk – can be difficult and even overwhelming.
Here are some tips for coping with hormonal changes for women over 35.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Process
Knowledge is power, and knowledge may help you cope, too. Learn as much as you can about women’s hormonal changes after age 35 – research and understand the things that are going on in your body. Just like when you were 12 years old or so and you read a book or took a class on teens and hormones and what to expect, it’s a good idea to read up on what hormonal changes are in store as you age as well.
2. HRT – Benefits and Risks
Many women and their doctors think that HRT is the obvious answer for hormonal shifts. But it is not without risks. Some sources and experts contend that the risks of HRT actually outweigh the benefits. While HRT does tend to relieve symptoms of menopause in many women and even decrease the risk for some health problems such as colon cancer, studies have shown that HRT may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots.
3. A Natural Approach
Another way of coping with hormonal change is to take a natural approach. There are various herbs and nutrition tips for balancing hormone levels, and a qualified naturopathic physician, herbalist, or other alternative health professional can give you some excellent advice. You can also do your own research to learn about what foods and lifestyle habits promote hormonal balance or exacerbate hormonal imbalance.
4. A Health Lifestyle
Some things you can do to help your body stay in balance are:
* Get plenty of regular exercise.
* Eat a healthy diet composed primarily of fresh, whole foods. Also, experts warn of the hormone-disruptive characteristics of various pesticides and preservatives, so choose organic foods whenever possible.
* If you smoke, quit.
* Ask your doctor about tests such as DEXA-scans (a bone density test) and other tests that will help determine your risk factors for disease.
5. You’re Not Crazy
Sometimes, hormonal imbalances and changes can make you feel like you’re going crazy. Try to remember that it’s the hormones talking, and this too shall pass! It can be hard in the midst of the moment to remember this, but try to repeat a key phrase that you develop ahead of time, so you can use it during the tough hormonal times. Examples include, “This will pass. I am not crazy; it’s my hormones” or “I feel this way because of my hormones. I will take action to get my hormones in better balance.”