Research shows that seasonal changes can affect the timing of menopause. A menopause clinic study revealed that spring and autumn equinoxes are related to the timing of menopause thanks to a number of triggers, including melatonin — a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. Before reaching for pills and potions to tackle hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and night sweats, try the following:
- Join a yoga class: Yoga can strengthen bones and balance the endocrine system, which controls hormone production. Deep breathing exercises can reduce fatigue and calm the mind.
- Stick to a well balanced diet: Whole grains, leafy vegetables, cold pressed oils (like olive and walnut), and herbal teas may help relieve hot flashes and reduce mood swings. For some women, soy works wonders in maintaining emotional stability.
- Track your moods: Maintain a diary to keep track of how you feel emotionally and physically. Stay away from possible mood triggers like smoking, alcohol, salt, and spicy foods.
- Manage stress: Cry, laugh, talk to a friend, exercise, meditate — everyone has a different way of dealing with hormone–related stress. Find what works best for you.