Menopause isn’t an illness; it’s a natural stage of a woman’s life. However, the symptoms that accompany this transition may require treatment. Treatment depends on how much discomfort you’re experiencing. It can range from simple lifestyle changes, such as avoiding spicy foods, to taking prescription medications. For the most part, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly will help you stay healthy, ward off symptoms, and prevent complications. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), antidepressants, blood pressure medication, and anti-seizure medication are sometimes necessary for treating symptoms like severe hot flashes and mood swings.

During menopause, your estrogen production declines. At this time, your risk increases for certain conditions, including: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, and colon cancer. In addition to treating symptoms, you may want to take preventive measures to offset this increased risk. Once you get your symptoms under control, menopause won’t seem quite so scary.