Menopause Kuel Category Expert: Lorraine Miano
Since 100% of women will experience menopause in one form or another, it is understandably important that the people in their lives, including their children and partners have a clear understanding of what exactly this means.
Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, (which is actually just one day: the 12-month anniversary of when a woman’s menses ceases). This time of a woman’s life can last anywhere from 2-15 years, beginning as early as in her late 30’s. Once a woman reaches menopause, the very next day she is considered post-menopausal. And, will be for the rest of her life. So, in essence, the “menopause” years can last more than half of a woman’s life.
“Perimenopause quite frequently happens at the same time that our children experience puberty.”
Perimenopause quite frequently happens at the same time that our children experience puberty. Both are normal life processes. Both can cause emotional disruptions due to fluctuating hormones. A good understanding of what is happening in a woman’s body will help her loved ones be more empathetic, and less likely to cause an escalation of stressful situations within the family. This is why men and children need to know more about menopause.
Unfortunately, according to a recent survey I did of 100 women, 86% of them did not know anything about menopause before entering this phase of their lives. Another 88% said they received no guidance from their doctors. So, generally speaking, not only do men and children need to know more about menopause, but women must be educated themselves.
How Can We Learn More About Menopause?
With a wide variety of books about menopause on the market, I highly recommend that spouses/partners take the time to read the same books that their wives are reading. A wonderful website with an abundance of information and resources is menopause.org, the home of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Couples can also visit a menopause specialist together. There they can learn more about the process, resources, and how to provide support. This can be a gynecologist, certified health coach or another health professional who specializes in menopause.
What Can We Tell Kids About Menopause So They Understand?
“I like to consider Menopause the 2nd talk”
I like to consider Menopause the 2nd talk, with puberty being the first. We should explain to our children that a woman will experience menopause in much the same way that everyone experiences puberty. It is a natural process of life. It is a time when there will be hormone fluctuations that can lead to different symptoms in our bodies.
In puberty we may experience emotional ups and downs, as well as in menopause. We can describe the other symptoms associated with perimenopause such as hot flashes and anxiety. As we are each bio individuals, this phase of our lives may look different from each other. Symptoms of perimenopause, may be minor for some women, and extremely debilitating for others.
As a holistic health coach, I like families to know that much of this can be directly related to our lifestyles. Our exposures to bad diets, lack of exercise, environmental toxins, elevated stress levels, and a negative perception of the menopause years, can contribute to extreme hormone imbalances. What we should also share particularly with our daughters, is that the earlier they pay attention and create their own healthy lifestyle habits, the better their own menopause experience will be.
What Can Everyone Do To Support Menopausal Women?
“DO NOT dismiss a women’s feelings or emotional episodes by “blaming” it on her menopause.”
Being empathetic and understanding would be a great starting point. DO NOT make light of a woman’s symptoms. DO NOT make jokes about menopause. And, DO NOT dismiss a women’s feelings or emotional episodes by “blaming” it on her menopause. Educate yourself on what menopause is, no matter who you are. If men and children know more about menopause, they will be more likely to be empathetic.
We all have either a mother, sister, aunt, daughter, boss, girlfriend, niece or other female acquaintance in our lives. Our daily interactions will most likely cross paths with a menopausal woman. Quite often these women are in the “sandwich” generation. They care not only for their own children, but for their aging parents as well.
Stress Is A Main Trigger For Symptoms:
Stress levels can be extremely high, leading to even more symptoms of hormone imbalance. Covid-19 has added another layer of stress. Especially for women who now have to work from home, while also helping with their children’s education. Symptoms that might have been bearable before, may be escalating. Stress is one of the main triggers for hot flashes, a symptom at the top of the menopause list. Help to reduce the daily overload of these women. What could you take off their plate? Offer support and kindness. Maybe gift your wife or mom some “cooling” items to help with hot flashes. Hubbies…a massage may be nice!
About the Author:
As a post-menopausal woman herself, Lorraine Miano discovered her passion of offering menopause advocacy, support and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back!
Lorraine loves to encourage her clients with her mantra “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!” When she’s not advocating for “the change”, you can find Lorraine traveling with her husband Richard, quite often to visit her 5 grandchildren who call her “Nonni”.