Menopause is different for each women. Each person goes through it a little different than the other. There are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, depression, and sometimes loss of sex drive. All due to the raging hormones going on inside. Kind of like when we were teenagers, only backwards.
Although I have had issues with hot flashes, many of my friends have not. I went through it 2 years ago, and am now post menopausal, and I still have hot flashes. I find for some reason, they are worse in the winter, which I guess living in the North helps with the heating bill.
Emotions can run wild, and you think you are going crazy, but you're not. It's just the hormones. They do "settle", and it's all natural.
Exercise can help with all "symptoms" of menopause. Of course, eating healthy is also very important. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, grains, and lean meats. Some vote for soy as a phytoestrogen, but soy is not for everyone.
HRT can help, but it increases too many risks for other complications. It's not worth it in the long run. It only tricks your body's hormones, and you have to stop at some point. When you stop, you'll go through menopause then. There are many natural remedies such as pills, creams and others.
I told a friend once that "I hope I come back as a man in my next life". She asked "Why, do you think you would get more respect?". I said, "NO, I won't have to go through menopause!".