How to Cope With Menopause

symptoms of menopause
Ovaries begin to decline in hormone production during the mid-30s and typically continue to decline to around the age of 47; this phase is called perimenopause. During this phase, the process accelerates and hormones fluctuate more, causing irregular menstrual cycles and unpredictable episodes of heavy bleeding. By the early to mid-50s, menstruation ends; this phase is called menopause. Two or three years following menopause is the phase called climacteric.

Healthy lifestyle habits will help you reduce menopause symptoms. These habits include eating a balanced diet; reducing stress; getting regular exercise; and avoiding smoking, heavy caffeine, and heavy alcohol use. An unhealthy lifestyle can make symptoms worse.

Meditative breathing, as well as supplements such as black cohosh or soy, may help relieve symptoms.

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period stops. It is a normal change in a woman’s body. A woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for 12 months in a row (and there are no other causes, such as pregnancy or illness, for this change). Menopause is sometimes called, “the change of life.” Leading up to menopause, a woman’s body slowly makes less and less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Bisphosphonates. Doctors may recommend these nonhormonal medications, which include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel) and ibandronate (Boniva), to prevent or treat osteoporosis. These medications effectively reduce both bone loss and your risk of fractures and have replaced estrogen as the main treatment for osteoporosis in women.

Menopause: menopause occurs when a woman has her final period. Menopause is the permanent termination of a woman’s period and her fertility. This stage is confirmed when a woman doesn’t have a period for twelve consecutive months. Most women experience natural menopause, but some may experience artificial, or premature menopause. Natural menopause is caused by aging and occurs after a natural decline in estrogen and progesterone production. Artificial menopause usually follows a medical intervention, such as a hysterectomy, radiation treatment to the pelvic area or the removal of the ovaries. Premature menopause refers to when a woman stops menstruating before she is forty years old and can occur due to smoking, heredity or exposure to chemicals.

Characteristically, a hot flash (also called hot flush) is a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating usually confined to the upper half of the body (chest and up), neck, face and head. There is an intense feeling of heat and the face head and neck can turn red. When they occur at night, they are called “night sweats”. It can be difficult to distinguish them from a low grade fever such as that seen with the flu, a cold, a urinary tract infection or a more serious cause of fever such as tuberculosis or cancer. Fevers usually cause the sweating to last longer than the typical few seconds or few minutes that hot flashes last. Non fever caused hot flashes can occur rarely or every few minutes.

Keeping the temperature cooler in your home will help with the hot flashes as well as keeping plenty of cold water available. If you feel that you are having mood swings or are suffering from depression, do not hesitate to seek medical advice. Many women feel strongly about not wanting medication, but a short-term dose of mild antidepressants may be needed just to get you through a rough period.

By: peterhutch

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