Menopause and all its effects are not an illness, but a natural process in a woman’s body. These effects of menopause are just indicators of changes which every woman experiences in her own way.
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The decline of estrogen results in a hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body and causes the common effects of menopause on women.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of Menopause:
- A decrease in libido which is accompanied by drier vaginal mucous membranes. This causes vaginal dryness which can interfere with sexual relations and make women more susceptible to bladder infections.
- A tenderness of the breasts is not uncommon as is the appearance of lumps and cysts. To combat anxiety and the fear of cancer, regular mammograms and ultrasound are recommended.
- Anxiety is a feeling of restlessness, uneasiness and fear of something intangible, that you cannot quite put your finger on, often accompanied by sleeplessness and fatigue.
- Mood swings are often triggered by anxiety, where feelings of happiness are followed by a sudden change to sadness or depression. Mood swings are often the result of hormonal imbalance or an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Hot flushes, also known as ‘hot flashes’ are feelings of being extremely hot and perspiring for a minute or two at a time. Hot flushes can be brought on by stressful situations, but some women suffer from them throughout the day during menopause and often into the night, resulting in night sweats.
- Night sweats lead to restless nights and sleep disruptions for many menopausal women resulting in fatigue and irritability the following day.
- The renewal of bone tissue is a process dependent on hormones. When bone tissue begins to weaken and lose its strength, it bonds less with calcium. The loss of bone density can precipitate osteoporosis, a serious condition that increases the risk of bone fractures. It affects one in three women after the age of 50 and one in ten men.
- A risk of developing cardiovascular disease. These risks increase with cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar and homocysteine levels, weight, tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, stress and an excess of refined sugar and fat. Whilst the best preventative strategy is a healthy lifestyle that combines a balanced diet with exercise, and relaxation, studies carried out on humans demonstrate that isoflavones also help decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Other less common symptoms of menopause which can be missed or simply dismissed include:
• Hair loss
• Brittle nails
• Changes in body odour
• Burning tongue
• Electric shock sensations (in the head and inner layers of the skin)
• Tingling extremities (hands, feet, legs and arms)
The stages of Menopause
Symptoms of the onset of menopause are due in part to the decrease in the hormone levels of estrogen and are manifested in hot flushes and night sweats. The frequency and severity varies from one woman to the next. Stress, fatigue and nervousness aggravate this phenomenon, as does the consumption of alcohol, coffee, spices and tobacco. The drop in estrogen levels makes room for the male hormones secreted by the adrenals. This explains the possible loss of hair on the head and the appearance of hair, especially on the top lip. Also, skin loses its elasticity and thins to form more lines and wrinkles.
Pre-menopause is marked by a phase of hormonal disruptions, it is the time before the definitive end of menstruation. During this stage, menstruation becomes erratic. This time period varies from 6 months to 10 years and begins on average at the age of 48.
Peri-menopause is the period of time that includes pre-menopause and the year following the end of menstruation. Menopause is the definitive end of menstrual periods and is determined by the cessation of periods for at least one year.
Change of Life
Many women opt for HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) for its aesthetic and specific health benefits (though it is also not without its risks), whilst other women prefer to use natural remedies to get them through the change of life.
By combining a natural soya-based supplement with exercise and an appropriate diet, the risk of experiencing heart and bone problems is also reduced and is why we sell, and believe in, Arkopharma Phyto Soya Menopause Capsules.
Have you missed this week’s episode of Wellness with Liz Earle? Liz is joined by the fabulous Niamh Barker, founder of The @travelwrap Company. Be sure to tune in for a frank discussion about how symptoms of the menopause can be mistaken for depression. You can download the episode in iTunes or Stitcher or listen live over on our website (link in bio!) #lizearle #wellnesswithlizearle #podcast#newpodcast #wellness #wellbeing#wellbeingwarrior #wellbeingwednesday#niamhbarker #travelwrap #thetravelwrapcompany #cashmere #menopause #depression #running #perimenopause #hotflush #anxiety