The age at which a woman reaches menopause is determined by a variety of factors including genetics, health, weight and nutrition. Dr. Minkin says American women on average are living into their 80s and not reaching menopause until age 51. "Women are living a good third or half of their lives post-menopausal, and that was not the norm of nature until fairly recently."
The symptoms of menopause also affect women differently. Some women have a variety of symptoms and others never get as much as a hot flash, Dr. Minkin says. She suggests a few nonmedical ways to deal with symptoms at the first signs of menopause:
- Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing if you get a hot flash.
- Keep your house temperature cool at night so you don't wake up sweating.
- Avoid food or drinks that trigger symptoms.