Menopause management tips to help you through this transition
Does your approaching menopause have you anxious and confused? Here's all you wanted to know about menopause and tips to help you get through the menopause transition.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the complete absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. Menopause happens because the ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Once you have gone through menopause, you can't get pregnant anymore. Usually, menopause is natural. However certain surgeries and medical treatments like removal of the ovaries and chemotherapy can induce menopause too.
What is perimenopause?
Menopause is a gradual process and does not happen overnight. The transitional period between normal menstrual periods to no periods at all is called perimenopause. Perimenopause could last anywhere from two to eight years. During perimenopause, the ovarian production of the female hormones estrogens and progesterone become irregular as a result periods become erratic and fertility diminishes.
What is the age for Menopause?
No one can predict when menopause will arrive. The age of menopause differs in every woman. Though the average age for menopause is 51, it could happen plus or minus several years either way. As an unsubstantiated, yet, commonly believed "thumb rule"; a woman's age for menopause can be estimated by knowing her mother's menopausal age; as they would both be same more or less. Menopause before the age of 40 is called premature menopause and is rare.
What are the common Menopausal Symptoms?
There are in all 34 menopausal symptoms women may experience. Some of these are common while others are rare. Almost 70 percent women experience some or the other menopause symptoms which are caused on account of fluctuating hormonal levels.
|Common menopause symptoms are:||Common changes due to menopause:||Aches and pains due to menopause are:|
Loss of libido
Dryness in vagina
Change in body odour
Irregular heart beat and palpitation
|Aching, Sore Joints,
Muscles and Tendons tension,
Migraine and headaches
Breast tenderness and pain
Burning sensation in tongue
Teeth and gum problems
Feeling of electric shocks
What are the health effects of menopause?
Menopause affects the bones and the heart the most. During menopause weakening of the bones and susceptibility to heart ailments increase manifold.
Osteoporosis- Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disorder which causes thinning and weakening of the bones, and a general decrease in the bone mass and density. This makes one more susceptible to breaks and fractures. Menopause affects the bones. Estrogen is involved in the process of calcium absorption into the bones. With menopause the ovaries stop producing estrogen which in turn leads to bone density reduction.
Cardiovascular disease-Risk of cardiovascular disease increases around menopause. This again is linked to reduction in production of estrogen.
What are the treatments for severe symptoms?
One can employ any of the three methods below to tackle problematic menopause symptoms:
1. Adopt a healthy lifestyle: Bringing about simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in relieving you of menopause symptoms. Avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine; eating a healthy diet, especially one rich in foods that promote estrogen levels (soy, apples, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams); taking additional vitamin supplements ; staying hydrated at all times will help alleviate many symptoms.
2. Alternative Medicine: This includes therapies like acupuncture, biofeedback, massage and aromatherapy. Herbal supplements can also be taken, but only after consultation with your doctor.
3. Drugs and surgery: Women with severe menopause conditions may have to resort to medications and surgeries. In some cases the doctor may recommend Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that reduces hormonal imbalance; but has side effects too.
It is of utmost importance that a woman upgrades her diet, physical activity, and stress management skills around menopause. It is also important that one visits her doctor for regular check-ups and advice on additional nutritional supplements.