Menopause- It’s Not So Scary! by Magda Austin
Like every woman, I always believed that menopause is a fearful and stressful period in life. Hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, weight gain, and loss of libido were my only associations when I thought of menopause. However, recently I read an interesting article which completely changed my point of view; I no longer think about menopause as the end of the world. “Menopause- Time for a Change” is an article which shares a different and modern approach to menopause. The symptoms are still the same, but proper education, an optimistic attitude, and determination can make them less severe.
Menopause is a natural stage of aging, and simply means a transition in a woman’s reproductive life. Ovaries, while decreasing in size, produce a different amount of estrogen and progesterone, two significant hormones. Estrogen is very important and has influence on many cells in different parts of woman’s body including reproductive organs, heart, bones, brain, and blood vessels. Thus, as the levels of circulating estrogen in the body go down over time, women may experience negative changes in their cardiovascular system and bone density.
Daily exercising by the age of thirty helps to build bone density as much as possible, and at the same time prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D helps to keep our bones in good condition. An active lifestyle and proper diet has a huge impact on our cholesterol level, which also changes during menopause: total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and triglycerides may go up, while HDL (high-density lipoprotein) goes down. It is important we keep those numbers under control and within normal range, since high numbers of LDL’s and triglycerides result in clogged arteries which leads to a heart attack or stroke.
Menopausal symptoms may occur earlier than expected as a result of radiation treatment, medicines used in chemotherapy, genetic errors, or surgery. Surgical menopause, called hysterectomy (removal of uterus), or bilateral oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries), stops menstrual periods right away. If the uterus is removed, but one or both ovaries are left, they may still produce estrogen and progesterone. However, these hormones may stop production sooner than expected. Studies suggest that women who have had a hysterectomy will experience much more severe menopausal symptoms than women who stopped producing hormones naturally. Some women may choose hormone replacement as a way to reduce menopausal discomfort while also preventing osteoporosis.
A healthy lifestyle, good diet, exercise, and an optimistic attitude have the most significant influence on how a woman feels during menopause.The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.