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For many women, menopause is a nightmare but it doesn't have to be.
With more knowledge on how to get through menopause well, it becomes easier. We brought in a specialist, Dr. Armando Farmini, from Salzburg, Austria. He helped us create this overview of what you should know about menopause.
Perimenopause often begins in the mid-40s, for some it begins earlier than that. Other women skip perimenopause and enter menopause,directly. About 1 percent of women enter menopause before age 40.This is known as premature menopause or primary ovarian failure. About 5 percent of women go through early menopause between the ages of 40 and 45.
Breaking the taboo of menopause:
What is Menopause?
The three stages of menopause
Perimenopause (pre-menopause) is a time when your hormones start to change in preparation for menopause. It can last anywhere from a few months to several years. A woman goes through perimenopause when her ovaries start producing fewer female reproductive hormones. During perimenopause, menstrual periods can become irregular. Your period may be late, the bleeding may get heavier, or you may skip one or more periods.
Most women have their first menopausal symptoms around four years before their last period. A small number of women experience menopausal symptoms for up to 10 years before it occurs. Symptoms often last until about four years after a woman’s last period. 1 in 10 women experiences menopausal symptoms for 12 years after their last period.
Menopause occurs when a woman has stopped menstruating for 12 consecutive months and is unable to conceive naturally. Many factors determine the age when menopause begins, including genetics and ovarian health. In some other cases, menopause is triggered by external factors or caused by injury or surgical removal of the ovaries and associated pelvic structures (including prematurely). The average age for menopause is 51 years.
Menopause, i.e., the transition from the fertile to the infertile phase of life, begins around 45 to 55 years, earlier for some women and later for others. Menopause is a clearly defined point in time during menopause, namely, from a medical point of view, the last menstrual period after which there has been no further bleeding for a year.
Postmenopause refers to the years after menopause has occurred.
Why does menopause happen?
Menopause is a natural process in everyone’s life. In women, it occurs when the ovaries produce fewer reproductive hormones. The body begins to cope with the decline in various hormones. These decreasing hormones are:
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
There is also a loss of active ovarian follicles that produce eggs and enable menstruation and fertility. The first thing most women notice is that their periods become more irregular. This usually occurs sometime in the mid to late 40s.
What are the symptoms?
For many women, medical treatment for menopause is not necessary but menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Factors that affect ovarian health, such as lifestyle habits, hysterectomy, cancer, can increase the symptoms. Read on to learn what you need to know about menopause symptoms.
An estimated 75 percent of women experience symptoms during menopause. The most common symptoms of menopause can include:
Dry skin, mouth, and eyes
Vaginal dryness and atrophy
Weight gain & reduced muscle mass
Depression & Anxiety
Difficulty concentrating & memory problems
Decreased libido or sex drive
Increased hair growth on other parts of the body (face, neck, the chest)
Painful or stiff joints
Reduced bone mass
Complications that can occur more frequently during menopause:
Slowed metabolic function
Osteoporosis or weaker bones
Heart or blood vessel disease
How is menopause diagnosed?
Dr. Armando Farmini, an OBGYN and specialist in bioidentical hormone therapy, explains, “There are three ways to diagnose menopause. What does the patient tell me? What does the patient look like, and what are the laboratory test results? You can see an incredible amount by looking at people. Connective tissue, eyebrows, and skin reveal the conditions of patients coming to my practice. The laboratory results usually confirm what the body shows and what the patient says.”
Tests can help show perimenopause, which can also have adverse health effects. Your doctor may order a saliva or blood test that measures levels of certain hormones, usually FSH, and a form of estrogen called estradiol. A constantly elevated FSH blood level of 30 mIU / ml or higher, combined with the absence of menstruation for a year, is usually a confirmation of menopause.
Going through menopause doesn’t automatically mean seeing your doctor. Whether you need treatment depends on one factor: Do you have symptoms, or are you symptom-free?.
What are medical treatment options available for menopause symptoms?
Seek medical help if your symptoms are bothersome or affect your quality of life. Hormone therapy can be an effective treatment for reducing or treating a variety of symptoms. These include hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, or osteoporosis. Other medications can be used to treat more specific menopausal symptoms, such as hair loss or vaginal dryness.
The importance of progesterone
Progesterone is an essential hormone, but it is only part of the hormonal puzzle the body needs. It keeps the balance with many other hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and insulin. Without progesterone, balanced hormone therapy cannot take place. But why do progesterone supplement creams sometimes not work?
“It’s the processing,” says Dr. Farmini. “All hormones,given transversely, must be highly micronized (reduced in size). An important point for hormone therapy to work properly is the right amount. There is no fixed dosage.” The doctor must gradually determine this until the patient is symptom-free. According to Dr. Farmini, the cream is the more efficient way. As capsules, the hormone goes through the stomach to the liver so there is no optimal utilization of the progesterone.
Natural remedies & tips to get through menopause
You can increase your well-being with a healthy lifestyle. But practical tips can also help to make everyday life as pleasant as possible. Here are a few ideas to help you get through menopause more easily.
Manage hot flashes by wearing loose, layered clothing, especially at night and in warm or inconsistent weather. Keep your bedroom cool and avoid heavy blankets at night to reduce the risk of night sweats.
Movement is “King”
Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a dayand reduce your daily caloric intake by 400 to 600 calories. You will have more energy, sleep better, your mood wil rise and you will feel more comfortable in your skin.
If mood swings and depressive moods are bothering you, don’t let that sit on you. Get support by communicating your needs more. Talk to a therapist or psychologist about your feelings. You should also try to talk to your family and loved ones about how you are doing.
Pay more attention to your diet!
Take a closer look at how nutritional your diet is. Which eating habits are draining your energy? Take care of yourself and bring quality to the plate.
Healing herbs for menopause
Supplement your diet. Take calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium supplements to lower your risk of osteoporosis to improve your energy levels and sleep. Studies also recommend herbal remedies for menopausal symptoms caused by a lack of estrogen. Nutrients that can help include flaxseed, melatonin, soy, and isoflavones. Talk to your doctor about dietary supplements that can help you with your individual health needs.
Treat your skin to the care it needs
Menopause is not a reason to develop worry or grief lines. On the contrary, it depends on the inner attitude, and a confident and relaxed charisma makes you attractive, regardless of the year of birth. Instead, check your care routine and ramp it up.
Clean and moisturize daily to reduce skin dryness. You should also avoid excessive bathing or swimming as this can dry out or irritate your skin.
Stay away from nicotine and too much alcohol
Nicotine is not good in any phase of life. If you have not stopped smoking, you should quit by menopause at the latest. Cigarettes make menopausal symptoms worse. Incidentally, this also applies to passive smoking. Heavy alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of menopausal health problems.
Hydrate and drink the right thing!
Especially during menopause, you should be careful to drink enough. That means two to three liters of liquid such as water every day. Drinking fluids not only helps the general metabolism but also prevents the skin from drying out.
A current study shows what women should drink before menopause occurs: tea! Previous research has indicated that tea consumption is linked to better bone density in postmenopausal women.
A new observational study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that women must start drinking tea before menopause for significant differences to appear. No partriclar type of tea stood out. Green or black tea,the positive effect on the bones was observed independently of the kind of tea.
Do not forget: every persson and every body is different. Each and reacts individually to external influences. Therefore, let your doctor assist you to get through menopause more easily.
Menopausal symptoms are as varied as the people who experience them. And there are just as many ways and means with which you can approach them. Take advantage of this phase. If other people, your job, or your children were the focus in the earlier stages of life, then perhaps the time has come to embark on the most exciting journey of discovery of your life: yourself!
Shutterstock, Kotin, Nr. 1130130428
The statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the products of this company are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Please consult your physician before implementing any new diet, exercise and dietary supplement programs, especially if you have pre existing medical conditions or are taking prescribed medications. The statements made on this website are for educational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider.
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