As a woman, you pass through tough stages in life such as adolescence and menopause. Among the phases, menopause has a dreaded experience that every woman if asked would want to skip. You might think childbirth could be the worst but the experience of birth last only for hours.
The symptoms that develop during the menopause can be varied and unpredictable. Emotions are frayed with roller-coaster rides of happy to irritable. Detailed below is information regarding menopausal symptoms and how to manage them.
What is the Menopause?
The menopause is the stage where your menstrual period ends. When your menstrual cycle begins, the symptoms are usually mild but with menopause symptoms are apparent they can last for more than five years. The absence of periods for more than 12 months is a clear indication you have reached menopause. It usually starts between the age of 40-50years, and in rare cases, it can begin as late as 80 years.
What causes the menopause?
1. A decrease in reproductive hormones. As a woman reaches 30 years, the production of progesterone and oestrogen hormones decline . The two hormones decrease in quantity produced, thus reducing fertility. The ovaries are the primary producers of reproductive hormones, and when they stop producing them it leads to irregular menstruation.
2. Ovary dysfunction . The ovaries fail to produce the oestrogen and progesterone hormones earlier than expected (before 40 years). Only 1% of women experience Ovary dysfunction and in most cases the condition is managed until an individual reaches menopausal age. Ovary dysfunction is caused by an autoimmune disease.
3. Induced menopause (hysterectomy) . This is a medical procedure whereby the ovaries are surgically removed. The ovaries are the primary source of oestrogen and progesterone and when they are removed menopause starts immediately. In this case the symptoms can be more severe than when the hormones decline naturally.
4. Radiation and chemotherapy treatment  can cause temporary ovary dysfunction. The ovaries stops producing the reproductive hormones resulting in premature menopause. If the patient is below 40 years it can be reversible when the treatment is stopped. If the patient is above 40 years the likelihood of reversal is minimal.
The menopause presents with many symptoms including;
- Dry Skin
- Thinning Hair
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular periods
Other more common symptoms include:
It is a sense of extreme heat that is sudden and may last from a few to many hours. It is characterized by high body temperature leading to sweating, a fast heart rate, redness on the face and hands.
Hot flashes are caused by a decline in the oestrogen hormone which makes the body function abnormally . Dong Quai is a Chinese medicine used to treat various issues related to women’s health. It is used to normalise female hormones , thus reducing hot flashes. Sage leaf extract is another effective natural remedy for balancing female hormones and suppressing the effects of the menopause.
Bone and Joint problems
During menopause, the bones and joints start to ache. This is typically concentrated around the knees and hips. It is known as menopausal arthritis because of how it presents with stiffness around the joint. It may also present as swelling. Oestrogen is responsible for regulating fluid levels in the body. When oestrogen decreases the fluid around the joints also reduces, and the bones start to create friction when a person walks . This can cause the pain and swelling. Due to the decrease in oestrogen, Calcium absorption also decreases. Calcium is an essential component of bone, used to maintain its rigid nature. Since the calcium isn’t absorbed during the bones become thinner and brittle.
Eating food rich in calcium and vitamin D is recommended. It is advisable to take step to increase dietary intake such as taking supplements that are rich in calcium, and vitamin D. Also, recommended is a joint and bone support supplement to reduce the effects of bone friction.
For anyone to have a healthy sleep it is essential there are no external or internal disruptions. During menopause, a woman might experience hot flashes during the night that may last for minutes at a time. When the body temperature rises an individual sweats and becomes uncomfortable, which may lead to disturbed sleep.
Since sleep is disturbed an individual may want to supplement to their diet with natural sleep aids. 5-HTP is natures sleep remedy, extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia. It naturally stimulates the biological mechanism required for sleep throughout the night leading to a more restful sleep.
Mood and depression
Oestrogen levels drop during the onset of menopause. Research has shown that when its levels drop mood swings occur leading to sudden changes in moods. A rapid decline in oestrogen can eve lead to Depression.
Since oestrogen is the causative agent to a change in mood the best remedy is to target this. Dong Quai has been shown to regulate hormone production and normalise it thus, reducing symptoms a such as mood swings. Furthermore, sleep disruption may also lead to an irritable mood.
Menopause is a stage every woman has to undergo. Some women don’t experience any symptoms and some experience a whole heap! Fortunately, with optimal nutrition and supplementation of the diet many symptoms can be reduced or controlled.
If you have any more questions about the menopause please contact Oxford Vitality for advice.
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