Beyond Hot Flashes
/ Author: CLAC Staff
/ Categories: Guide magazine /
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Beyond Hot Flashes

Is it getting hot in here? For approximately 10 million Canadian women over the age of 40, hot flashes are just the tip of the iceberg

According to the Menopause Foundation of Canada (MFC), roughly 95 percent of menopausal women experience symptoms—many of which can impact their work lives. While menopause is an inevitable stage of life, 46 percent of women reported feeling unprepared for it, and 54 percent believe it’s still a taboo subject, especially in the workplace.

While every woman experiences menopause differently, make sure you know the signs and symptoms, and how you can cope with them at work.

Menopause Common Signs and Symptoms

Physical

• Irregular or stopped periods

• Hot flashes

• Chills

• Night sweats

• Weakened bones

• Aches and/or joint pain

• Changes in cholesterol levels

• Weight gain and slowed metabolism

• Thinning hair and dry skin

• Headaches

• Heart palpitations

Cognitive

• Insomnia

• Poor concentration

• Short term memory loss

• Fatigue

• Lower energy

Emotional

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Mood swings

10 Coping Strategies

  1. Be prepared! Dress in layers and keep the following items handy for unexpected hot flashes and/or chills: hot water bottle, scarf or shawl, portable fan.
  2. Request a flexible schedule or extra recovery time between shifts in case of insomnia and disturbed sleep.
  3. Avoid triggers such as hot drinks or hot food.
  4. Reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking, as these can worsen symptoms.
  5. Incorporate more healthy habits in your lifestyle such as healthy eating, exercise, and stress management.
  6. Drink more water to reduce bloating and regulate your internal temperature.
  7. Set up alerts and reminders on your phone to help with brain fog or memory issues.
  8. Spend time in nature. Walking, gardening, or simply being outdoors can greatly support your well-being.
  9. Get support. If you’re unable to cope with the emotional symptoms that result from rapidly shifting hormone levels, talk to your family doctor or speak to a therapist or counsellor.
  10. Talk about it! If you’re going through it, chances are someone at work may be going through it too. Talking to someone who can empathize with you not only strengthens social bonds but helps reduce the stigma around menopause.

“I have been treating menopausal women for decades and know the serious toll symptoms can have on their health and quality of life. Menopause is seen as something women must endure, like a women’s burden. This is unacceptable. Women deserve to feel healthy and they should not suffer in silence.”

—Dr. Wendy Wolfman, MD, FRCS(C), FACOG, MSCP, MFC Medical Advisory Board Member

Sources: CCOHS, Menopause Foundation of Canada, verywellhealth.com

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