Are you experiencing your own internal heat wave? Do you wake up at least once during the night in a sweat? Do you have to get out of bed, towel off, change clothes and then try to get back to sleep, only to experience a repeat performance?
A lot of women are entirely unprepared for the onset of menopause. And many will spend time researching what they can expect. Hot flashes and mood swings are the two most common symptoms. But about 61 percent of menopausal women also suffer from dry eye symptoms.
Caitlyn Jenner is making headlines. And, although the transgender aspect of her "change" is clearly being addressed, her physical appearance is what seems to be garnering the most interest. It brings into focus the premium we place on what we look like.
Try to avoid hot, spicy foods, warm beverages, caffeine and alcohol, as these are common hot flash triggers. When choosing clothing in the morning, dress in layers, so you can remove a layer if you get too warm. Pick light, breathable fabrics.
Before I ever had a hot flash, I heard women refer to them as power surges and tropical moments and while I never really found that hilarious, I figured they were probably pretty accurate descriptions of what a hot flash felt like. Then I had a hot flash.
Once I started getting regular hot flashes, I realized that anxiety frequently went along with them. I'd feel anxious about the hot flashes themselves: what would trigger them, would they embarrass me; how long would they last, would they wake me up in the middle of the night?
Think back to your PRE-menopause days. If someone told you they could trigger menopause for you, you'd hardly have jumped at the chance, right? But that's exactly what many cancer survivors younger than 50 -- or even younger than 40 -- experience.
Menopause crashed my hotness with a thud heard in three states. Suddenly I was more "Ma'am" than MILF. Men stopped whistling at me from the street and started helping me through the crosswalk. People no longer commented "You look so much like your mother" and started assuming we were sisters.
Menopause. There. I said it. Menopause is why I have been unable to focus for more than very short periods. It is why I have been staying in bed with my cats a lot. It is why I have had to carry a hanky with me everywhere I go and why I have claimed it's too hot when you are wearing a sweater.
Suffering from menopausal hot flashes? No problem! Just take some opium and call me in the morning. Or perhaps you'd prefer a little cannabis? Sounds crazy, huh? But back in the 1800s, that's what doctors prescribed for their menopausal patients.
You may have Freddy Krueger-style cramps, or no discomfort whatsoever. Just as women's periods differ greatly before menopause, their menses symptoms will differ greatly during perimenopause and menopause.
Hot flashes, insomnia and foggy brain can drive you over the edge, so you consider hormone therapy or HRT and then remember about the things you've read about HRT and heart disease. What is that all about and which part is factual?