Some women sail through their menopause with barely a symptom, but it is not an easy transition for all. Dr.Divya P. helps us understand how Ayurveda can help in managing menopause at workplace so that it is no longer an issue at all.
Dynamism and creativity of women play as big role as those qualities of men in any profession in the modern world.Work participation rate of women, though still low, has gone gone up substantially over the years. We have acknowledged and understood the needs of pregnant and lactating women at work places, but those who have reached the other end of the voyage, the women in the menopause stage,are neither honoured nor accepted.
The main reason for this is that women are able to conceal their symptoms and manage their work, but they do so at a heavy cost to their health and well-being. Research suggests that menopause need not necessarily affect job performance. But there is a strong association between the severity of symptoms and reduced participation and contentment with work. The situation can at times be really bad forcing women to call it quits at the work place and hence menopause is regarded as a ‘silent career killer’.
Stress at work might exacerbate symptoms since there is a complex interrelationship between both. There is a lack of awareness and communication about menopause generally at work sites. Scientific evidence suggests that women find menopausal symptoms hard to manage at work and that certain work situations such as formal meetings, working with men and/or younger colleagues, and working in hot or poorly ventilated environments, increase the intensity of menopausal symptom. Some women even experience panic attacks at this time.
Common Menopausal issues at Workplace
Approximately, 75% of women experience symptoms like hot flashes, palpitations, and migraines.
- Hot flashes often last approximately three to four minutes at unpredictable intervals. They may be worsened by alcohol, emotional stress, and exertion.
- Migraines may change in intensity and severity. Other types of headaches may also increase with a change in hormone levels.
- Approximately 60% of women experience symptoms of dryness and itching of vagina, increased frequency of urination and painful urination.
- Approximately 45% of women experience psychogenic symptoms including anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, loss of concentration, and loss of self-esteem.
Lifestyle modifications to tackle menopausal symptoms
- Follow healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
- Avoid processed food and minimize the use of spicy acidic and salty food
- Get adequate sleep and go to bed early
- Use of clothes which are heat and sweat-friendly
- Maintain a healthy weight and have daily exercise.But too much exercise may cause an increase in menopausal symptoms.
- Yoga and Meditation helps to get a balanced emotional state
Attention to workplace temperature and ventilation: Poor ventilation, high temperatures and unsuitable clothing can aggravate common menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, sweating and dry skin and eyes. Simple measures such as having suitable clothing, access to cold drinking water, adjustable workplace temperature and additional ventilation or flexible rest breaks can help.
Flexibility in working hours and arrangements: Lack of adequate rest and long working hours may increase risks of ill health, lethargy and tension. Menopause can make women temporarily more susceptible to fatigue and stress at work, which can further lead to reduced immune response and increased susceptibility to infection. Work environments and shift patterns may prevent access to natural light which affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Ready access to suitable washing and toilet facilities is important for women, particularly during menopause.
Greater awareness: There must be greater awareness within organizations about menopause as a possible occupational health issue. Sickness absence policies should be flexible enough to cover menopause-related sickness absence.
Herbal Supplements in Menopause
- Trigonellafoenum (Fenugreek)seeds is particularly helpful in hot flashes and metabolic syndrome. Rice gruel prepared with it is a traditional Ayurvedic diet.
- Nigella sativa (Black cumin)is efficacious in the treatment of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women; thus, regulating blood sugar and lipids. It may be roasted, powdered and added to regular food preparations.
- Foeniculumvulgare (Fennel seeds) which is also a spice have been investigated in hot flashes and vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women.
- Glycyrrhizaglabra (liquorice)is effective in mitigating hot flashes in menopause. However, prolonged use of this herb is not advisable without the prescription of an Ayurvedic Practitioner.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a rich source in Phytoestrogens and a good supplement for menopausal symptoms.
- Khus Root (Vetiverazizanoids) can be put in drinking water and will help to reduce hot flashes
- Juice of Gooseberry and Aloe Vera is a very good supplement to reduce the menopausal symptoms
Menopause is a physiological condition and not a disease and creating general awareness about the physiology of menopause is important. Most of the symptoms can be managed by lifestyle modifications and only those who are not able to tolerate the symptoms should be treated. Hormonal agents should only be used for short periods and at the lowest dose to avoid complications.
Chief Innovation Officer,
Dr Krshna Life Science Ltd, &
Associate Professor, Muniyal Institute of Ayurveda Medical Sciences