- 1 Menopause: From A to Z
- 2 What is menopause and when it happens?
- 3 Early Menopause Signs And Symptoms
- 4 What is a menopausal transition?
- 5 What happens during menopause?
- 6 Menopause Treatment
- 7 Menopause Diet
- 8 Life After Menopause
- 9 References:
Menopause: From A to Z
Menopause is a natural period in a woman’s life when her reproductive and menstrual functions are fading away. The time of occurrence of this condition is very individual, on average, it occurs after 45 years.
Menopause meaning: A natural decline in reproductive hormones when a woman reaches her 40s or 50s.
There is natural and artificial menopause. Natural menopause is associated with age-related depletion of follicles in the ovaries. It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, but maybe early (40-45 years) or late (over 55 years of age). In the case of menopause up to 40 years talking about ovarian exhaustion syndrome.
Artificial menopause can be caused by surgical removal of the ovaries, radiation or drug exposure.
Menopause is defined as the point in time when menstrual cycles permanently cease due to the natural depletion of ovarian oocytes from aging. The diagnosis is typically made retrospectively after the woman has missed menses for 12 consecutive months. It marks the permanent end of fertility and the average age of menopause is 51 years.
What is menopause and when it happens?
Normally, menopause occurs at the age of 46-54 years, which is considered normal with the current life expectancy.
Around the age of 35, women’s ovaries begin to change the amount of estrogen produced. Estrogen is the hormone necessary for menstruation and pregnancy.
With age, estrogen levels become smaller. Until the menstruation stops and the woman loses her childbearing function. Changes in the level of estrogen in a woman’s body affect many organs, including the heart, bones, genitourinary tract, skin, hair.
This is a normal physiological process that every woman comes at a certain time. Menopause is characterized by the attenuation of all hormonal processes and termination of a reproductive function. Basically, a woman ceases to be able to be a mother.
This process affects the whole body, all systems are being rebuilt. That is, when we talk about the onset of menstruation – there is restructuring in adolescence – the body is adjusted to the birth of a child.
Here, the reverse process occurs: female hormones cease to be released. The activity of both ovaries and the pituitary gland stops. The gland that regulates the production of hormones stops completely menstruating and changes the reproductive organs of a woman.
In many cases, the causes of early menopause – a disorder in women’s body. Sometimes early menopause can occur due to genetic predisposition.
- Dysfunction of the menstrual cycle
- Tides of heat and chills, replacing each other, more often such sensations are observed in the face and neck
- Excessive sweating
- Sleep disorders, irritability, aggression, nervousness
- A migraine, severe headaches
- Burning or itching in the vagina, dryness of the mucous membrane
- Frequent urination, often urination will be false
- Increased fatigue
During menopause, the female body suffers not only from physiological changes but also from violations of the nervous system. There are symptoms such as depression, apathy, a woman loses the ability to enjoy the events in her life, even new purchases do not bring pleasure. Reduced self-esteem, there are symptoms such as irritable anxiety, irritability, sleep disorders.
Often there are signs such as headaches, leg cramps, painful sensations in the joints, which are caused by a lack of calcium in the body. During hormonal changes and the cessation of estrogen production, symptoms such as dizziness, deterioration of memory quality and concentration appear.
What is a menopausal transition?
A woman can usually tell if she is approaching menopause because her menstrual periods start changing. The medical terms used to describe this time are the “menopause transition” and “perimenopause“.
Perimenopause can begin 8 to 10 years before menopause when the ovaries start to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s 40s but can start in the 30s as well.
In the last 1-2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women can experience menopause symptoms. Women are still having menstrual cycles during this time and can get pregnant.
The changes of the menopause transition (perimenopause) typically begin several years before the natural menopause. Menopause transition is a time when the levels of hormones produced by the aging ovaries fluctuate, leading to irregular menstrual patterns (irregularity in the length of the period, the time between periods, and the level of flow).
Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until menopause, so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes.
They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion.
Although the physiology of hot flashes has been studied for more than 30 years, no one is certain why or how they occur.
Other changes that may be associated with the perimenopause and menopause include night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, fluctuations in sexual desire (libido), forgetfulness, trouble sleeping, and fatigue, probably from loss of sleep.
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The menopausal transition is an excellent opportunity for a general health assessment including assessment of cardiometabolic risk, bone density and osteoporosis risk factors, cervical screening, and breast screening. Early adoption of healthy eating and exercise regimens and limitation of alcohol consumption is indicated for all women.
What happens during menopause?
Some women experience few or no symptoms; others experience various symptoms ranging from mild to fairly severe. About 75 to 95% of women experience some symptoms; up to 50% and more report that symptoms interfere with daily life. They may last from a few months to several years.
What is Hot Flash?
A hot flash is a feeling of intense heat, not caused by external sources. Hot flashes can appear suddenly, or you may feel them coming on. When it happens you may feel tingling in your fingers, faster heartbeat, skin, warmer than usual, red face, sweating in the upper body area.
How Long It Last?
Some hot flashes pass after a few seconds, while a long hot flash may go on for more than 10 minutes. On average, hot flashes last about four minutes.
The frequency of hot flashes also varies. Some women experience a few hot flashes per week, while others may have several an hour. Depending on where you are in perimenopause, that can change. There is a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that may help lessen the symptoms and frequency of your hot flashes.
What Triggers Hot Flash?
Not all woman created equal, and each woman’s triggers may be a little different. These are the most common ones:
- Drinking Alchohol
- Spicy Food
- Tight clothes
- Being in a hot room(sauna)
- Bending Over
Hot Flashes And What You Can Do?
- Keep your weight down. Some studies show that overweight women tend to have more frequent hot flashes.
- Stop smoking and stop or limit your alcohol intake.
- Keep cool water with you.
- Control air temperature.
- Keep calm and relaxed.
Menopause Weight Gain
With age, starting from 27 years, every 5 years metabolic activity slows down by 10%. In the climacteric period, there is a slowdown in metabolic processes in the body by reducing the content of sex hormones in the blood and as a consequence leads to the redistribution and accumulation of adipose tissue in the waist, thighs, and buttocks. After the onset of menopause in 60% of women, body weight increases. This is no accident.
Many people mistakenly believe that weight gain in the menopause is an irreversible process, so it makes no sense to fight it. This is not true!
Tune into your body, take all the changes with your body calmly. Yes, menopause cannot be prevented, it is just another stage in a woman’s life. Do not worry about it, know that you can and should look good.
No single product diets or starvations. The body should receive a complete list of vitamins and minerals, without which health is subjected to serious tests. It is enough to adjust the diet, which should consist of most of the proteins (reduce the number of carbohydrates and fats).
Exercise. As mentioned above, at the age of 45 years woman increasingly leads to a more passive lifestyle, a lot of sitting or lying. There is also a weakening of muscle tone, muscle tissue is replaced by fat. Therefore, sports exercises contribute to greater consumption of calories, maintain muscle tone.
To begin, start a food diary, in which you enter the dishes you eat during the week and calories.
Prohibited products that need to be reduced as much as possible include:
Alcohol. Limit yourself to 1-2 glasses of wine on holidays. Exceeding this limit will increase the number of calories.
Animal fats. They are worse absorbed, quickly deposited in the form of extra pounds, so you should abandon the fat, butter, ice cream, other fatty dairy products, especially those containing sugar.
Baking. Rich flour dishes are a huge source of carbohydrates.
Sweet fizzy drinks. Water based on CO2 at any age is harmful to the figure-the so-called “empty” calories. Sugar in them makes such drinks even more harmful.
Jam, chocolate, other sweets. They contain a large number of carbohydrates.
Canned goods. They contain a large amount of salt that accumulates liquid, causing swelling, excess weight.
Smoked, fried dishes. These are carcinogenic, fatty products that negatively affect the functioning of the body.
Salt causes the body to retain fluid.
Menopause And Anxiety
And I will cite one purely medical fact: more than half of the women surveyed experience stress associated with the onset of menopause, 52 percent of women surveyed indicate that this new stage of life has a negative impact on their emotional state, 88 percent (the figure is huge!) are depressed during this period, 87% of women – fatigue and decreased performance, again 88% of women become irritable and 85% of women complain of a feeling of lack of energy and memory impairment. These are the facts.
It should be noted that stress reduces immunity and can lead to further health problems. Constant anxiety, problems with concentration, frustration, suspicion, frequent bouts of anger, forgetfulness, low self-esteem, depression. Another symptom of stress may be a lack of appetite or, conversely, increased craving for food. Faced with a stressful situation, a woman feels a sense of helplessness.
In most cases, simple but effective self-help methods can help in dealing with stress:
- Support from family and friends greatly helps in dealing with stress. Women, surrounded by friends and family, are much more likely to quickly get out of a stressful situation.
- Balanced diet and exercise, as well as meditation and yoga, play an important role in the fight against stress. Deep breathing exercises are very effective and can be performed in all conditions: at home, in the car and even at work;
- Escape from the daily routine and unpleasant thoughts, you can devote more time to your hobby, spend more time with your family and friends, relax in nature, organize a holiday, go on a trip or just relieve stress in the spa.
Menopause and Acne
With the introduction of menopause, you may suddenly encounter new changes affecting your skin, as well as recall problems that are mistakenly considered to be peculiar only to adolescence, such as acne.
Dry skin in menopause gives a woman a lot of discomforts, and itching of the skin in menopause can significantly reduce the quality of life.
Maintaining the highest possible level of collagen and elastic fiber reproduction in our skin cells is the best way to keep it young. During the onset of menopause, our skin begins to produce a little less collagen and elastic fibers. Collagen is a protein of the skin needed to maintain its structure, and elastic fibers provide the possibility of self-recovery of skin tone. Thus, the aging of collagen and elastic fibers accelerates the formation of wrinkles and subsequent sagging of the skin.
If you, or someone you know struggles with acne, check out my other blog posts about acne and how to deal with it naturally. To Learn More Click Here.
One of the best and most effective vitamins for menopause acne is DIM.
DIM is a dynamic supplement that may support the body’s estrogen balance. DIM supplements may provide support for women for menopause, PCOS, acne, weight loss, and skin care. DIM supplements may also provide support for men as an aromatase inhibitor and estrogen blocker.
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How to Reduce Menopausal Acne
At-Home Test Kits
Many women are not sure when menopause begins. For help in figuring that out, women can turn to over-the-counter menopause test kits, which have been on the market for the past few years. It tests the level of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) in the urine. You are advised to test yourself in the morning when FSH levels are at their highest. If positive – you’re advised to test yourself again one week later using a second dipstick. They are sold at drugstores for about $20 but some could be $150.
FSH levels fluctuate throughout the month – so catch it at the wrong time of your cycle and you’ll get a false reading. Bottom line they are expensive and not really reliable. When a woman suspects she’s in perimenopause, it is a good time to have a complete medical examination by a qualified health professional.
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Menopause therapy includes recommended vitamins. The inclusion of useful microelements in the treatment regimen will speed up metabolic processes, increase protective forces, facilitate climacteric manifestations. Some vitamin complexes are designed specifically for the female body.
Natural supplements appeared to be effective in healing hormonal imbalances which are thought to be responsible for the experience of almost all menopausal symptoms. Here are the most effective supplements available online:
Restore: It is one of the best natural menopause supplements that helps to deal with almost all symptoms related to PMS and menopause. It contains several natural ingredients such as Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, Licorice, Red Clover, Sage, Chasteberry, Blessed Thistle, Red Raspberry, and Mexican Wild Yam. Helps restore hormonal balance.
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Amberen: Amberen is an effective alternative for HRT treatment. According to the manufacturer Amberen is responsible to deal with 35 menopausal symptoms. Again it contains certain natural ingredients excluding black cohosh. Amberen changes menopause for the better by providing a safe and clinically tested relief for hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, low energy & other symptoms in a single formulation. It primarily targets the root cause of menopause – hormonal imbalance – and restores it.
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Estroven: It is specially designed to reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms. This product contains clinically proven Soy Isoflavones, Magnolia Bark, and twice as much Black Cohosh as other leading brands, supporting menopausal health. Naturally sourced Green Tea and Yerba Mate help boost energy.
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Vitamins For Menopause
The most important in menopause vitamin A, vitamins B and B-6, tocopherol, vitamin E, vitamin D3, ascorbic acid, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
There’s a broad range of supplements available to women who are interested in managing their menopause symptoms as naturally as possible. Here are the most effective vitamins for menopause:
Rainbow Light Menopause One Multivitamin – is a once-daily tablet that delivers key nutrients and helps ease common menopause symptoms. Made with probiotics and enzymes, this multivitamin is easy to digest and can be taken on an empty stomach. Each tablet is gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, and iron-free, and contains no artificial additives.
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Actif Organic Menopause Advanced Support is the most comprehensive and advanced menopausal support with 20 factors. Features a patented science-based formula, containing antioxidants, organic-sourced vitamins, organic herbal blend (Organic Spirulina, Flaxseed Oil, Ginkgo, Milk Thistle, Black Cohosh).
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Profema contains a complete array of vitamins and minerals – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin B12 – Vitamin C. Includes Chaste Tree Fruit, Kudzu Root, Burdock Root, Motherwort, Dong Quai Root, Black Cohosh, Eleuthero Root, Wild Yam Root, and White Peony Root. An ideal blend of calcium and magnesium provide the structure needed to build strong bones.
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Many women who are interested in boosting their estrogen levels during and after menopause, but don’t want to use hormone replacement therapy, turn to phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are chemical compounds found naturally in plants—compounds that both act like estrogen and affect the body’s own estrogen when ingested. Phytoestrogens imitate estrogen because their chemical structure is very similar to that of estrogen from the body.
Here are some natural food sources from which you can get phytoestrogens:
- Soy and soy products
- Peanuts, beans, and peas
- Vegetables and fruits, including oranges, broccoli, and carrots
Phytoestrogens may be beneficial for women looking to rebalance their hormones as they approach menopause.
doTERRA is the most effective vitamin complex that provides supplemental dietary phytoestrogens that help balance and supports normal hormone levels. Ingredients include Soy extract, Flax seed extract, Pomegranate fruit extract, Flax seed powder, Vegetable hypromellose, and Silica.
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Risks and Side Effects
Estrogen is increasingly recognized as a cause of breast cancer. Both elevated concentrations of endogenous estrogen and hormonal therapy with estrogen for menopause are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer
More research is needed to fully understand how phytoestrogens work, as it is not clear whether consuming them in high levels carries any health risks. Always consult your doctor before taking phytoestrogen supplements.
Herbal supplements for menopause
Many people use black cohosh to reduce hot flashes, although little evidence exists as to how effective it actually is. Still, some swear that black cohosh provides effective relief from these and other symptoms of menopause, including headaches, heart palpitations, and anxiety. According to the North American Menopause Society, despite the lack of definitive evidence, it would seem that black cohosh is a safe, herbal medicine. There is still a lack of good evidence that it works. It is not recommended for anyone with liver problems.
A study published in Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation found that Vitamin E may help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats during menopause.
Home Remedies For Menopause
Folk treatment of hot flashes involves the use of natural remedies: herbs, fruits, juices, bee products. The most popular folk remedies for menopause – decoctions, and infusions of herbs. They are able to reduce the manifestations of unpleasant symptoms and maintain the body during hormonal changes.
The cheapest and relatively effective folk remedy for tides in menopause is dill. Its seeds are used to prepare the infusion. Dill water solves a whole range of problems: relieves anxiety, eliminates flatulence, has a diuretic and mild laxative effect. In addition, dill seeds contain vitamins, mineral salts that have a beneficial effect on the body. Women with unstable or low blood pressure should consult a doctor before you start taking the infusion of dill seeds.
From the list of herbs used in menopause with tides, red clover is worth noting. The abundance of phytoestrogens in the composition, as well as the presence of selenium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin C, makes it a useful ally in the fight against tides and other symptoms. Receiving a decoction of red clover normalizes sleep, improves the condition of the mucous membranes and skin, restores sexual desire.
Another useful folk remedy for tides in menopause – sage. Sage is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it to be used for colds. However, the content of phytoestrogens made it also a “female drug” that can affect the hormonal background and eliminate the signs of menopause: hot flashes, anxiety, mood changes, insomnia. Sage is especially valuable for its ability to get rid of sweating that accompanies attacks of tides.
Herbal teas may be also used for elimination of tides. Herbal teas based on oregano, mint, chamomile, St. John’s wort, Hawthorn. Herbs and tinctures with a calming effect not only “tame” the nervous system, but also help to improve sleep, mood and, as a result, – a quality of life.
Black cohosh tea and raspberry leaf perfect for settling menopause symptoms.
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It is impossible to avoid menopause, but every woman can facilitate its manifestations and live a full life today. Doctors believe proper nutrition is one of the important ways to alleviate the symptoms of postmenopause.
First of all, menopause is the fading of the ovaries and the end of the production of female sex hormones. These processes, on the one hand, cause a slowdown in metabolism.
And on the other hand, the body tends to increase adipose tissue, which also produces estrogens (although to a lesser extent than the ovaries), so women’s appetite increases sharply.
There is a third aspect: menopause leads to a decrease in emotional background and depression, and food for many is the most affordable and fast antidepressant.
The combination of these factors is often accompanied by intensive weight gain. That is why the primary task of the diet in postmenopause is to prevent a sharp increase in body weight.
Tip # 1. Divide the portions into two, but increase the number of meals.
Tip # 2. Weekdays only chicken and fish, meat only on weekends.
Tip # 3. Increase calcium intake with food.
Tip # 4. Replace the pan in the kitchen with an oven or a steamer.
Tip # 5. Reduce salt intake.
Tip # 6. Fruits and vegetables – the basis of the diet!
Tip # 7. Include soy products containing phytoestrogens into your diet.
For example, for Japanese women hot flashes are a very rare phenomenon, it may be due to genetics or maybe with the peculiarities of nutrition because they often used soy products, seafood, and very little meat.
During menopause sugar (as well as salt) in large quantities is not recommended. That is why women should prefer juices from vegetables, especially carrots, beets, spinach, celery, and parsley. Fruit juices will also benefit the body, but do not abuse pure fruit juices – it is better to add them to vegetables.
Postmenopausal women are at increased risk for a number of health conditions, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Pay great attention to your diet and your routine doctor’s visits and blood tests.
Women also should have their bone density checked once every two years to spot early signs of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women are particularly at risk for this condition: Research shows that up to 20 percent of bone loss can occur in the first five years of menopause.
Women ages 50 and up should consume at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium every day to maintain bone health. This can be accomplished with supplements, by consuming calcium-rich foods.
Calcium-rich foods include poppy, sesame, celery and chia seeds, almonds, cheese and yogurt, sardines and canned salmon, beans and lentils, leafy greens, tofu, and figs.
Balance exercises can lower your risk of falls and aerobic exercises help improve your cardiovascular health. Walking can also decrease your risk of osteoporosis.
Regular health screenings can often prevent a health concern from becoming a bigger issue later.
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Medical Definition of Menopause transition
Menopause: Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis http://obgyn.ucla.edu/menopause