A woman has a distressed expression as she's surrounded by heat waves and symptoms of her hot flashes.

Overcoming Menopause in My 30s

Menopause was the furthest thing from my mind before cancer. I have minimal experience with women going through the "change." Everything that I knew about menopause centered around having hot flashes and mood swings. The information I knew would soon become my reality, amongst other things. Being 32 years old and having menopause has been one of my biggest adjustments.

After surgery, the hot flashes began

I remember waking up from surgery and learning I had a total abdominal hysterectomy. The following day the provider asked me if I had any hot flashes overnight. I then learned due to my age. My menopausal symptoms would be more severe. I inquired if I would start hormones but was not. When I was discharged, I ordered a silver bell to ring for assistance at home. I shortly ordered a small table fan after getting home. The hot flashes were severe.

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Going through menopause at 32

Combatting hot flashes was an easy fix while at home. But I soon had to overcome insomnia, lack of attention, and irritability. Another life-changing thing was I no longer had a menstrual cycle. I went and bought books to learn how to make it through my new way of life. I wanted to know what natural things or lifestyle changes I could make. Menopause is different for every woman, and my journey has been one big fun lesson.

The challenges that come with menopause

The challenging thing with menopause is the way that it impacts my weight loss and gain. It has been a challenge working out and trying to keep weight off. I worked to lose nearly 50 pounds prior to my cancer diagnosis. But since the surgery, I have struggled and gained much of the weight back. I am still working to determine what will work best for me. I read once that a high-protein diet worked best, and another said fasting works, as well. My goal is to do what will be best for me and my health journey. For now, I try different things by the month to see if it makes a difference. So far, the Mediterranean diet showed the best results for me.

It has been an adjustment, but I make light of my menopause because I know what I have been through with my cancer journey. Wearing a fan around my neck at work, keeping active, and having fun with different foods are how I manage. I continue to read different perspectives from women going through menopause because it is a fascinating experience. About 2 years in, I can safely say that for every symptom I had, there was a resolution.

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