Menopause is the result of fluctuation in hormone levels, a natural occurrence in many woman but not for those who experience surgical, medical or early menopause. Many women don’t think about the menopause until it actually hits them.
I believe we should all be PREPARED FOR THE PAUSE; Peri menopause Menopause and Post menopause.
Let’s face it, it’s the ONE thing that EVERY ONE OF US WILL EXPERIENCE so this is why I believe knowledge and preparation is KEY.
I like to look at Menopause as 3 PHASE of the PAUSE .
In my opinion this is the least spoken about phase ….I like to refer to this Phase as the silent PHASE and when is all start to quietly happen so to speak as this is when the hormone levels START to fluctuate and i n some women this can start to happen as early as they start their 40s.
lets talk a little about the hormones ,PROGESTERONE levels are usually the first to start to fall. Progesterone act as one of the bodies main calmers so when these start to decrease some women can feel tense ,nervous, anxious, panicky or irritable. While the Progesterone levels continue to fall the OESTROGEN levels start to fluctuate this in turn leads to a host of more symptoms which unless recognised and associated to “Meno pause” can go unconnected some of these most common unassociated symptoms are broken sleep, brain fog, joint pain, tiredness, irritability, hot flushes loss of libido, dry lack lustre skin, lack of plumpness, dark circles, lines and wrinkles.
TESTOSTERONE is a hormone in both male and female again a reduction in testosterone not only leads to lack of libido but also less muscle strength and energy levels.
Fluctuating Progesterone oestrogens and testosterone levels can be responsible for stress, plummeting self esteem ,poor concentration so not knowing or understanding what’s happening to your body during these “ PAUSE” stages can all lead to a over whelming sense of further loneliness and anxiety. Blood Hormone tests for women over 45yrs aren’t always appropriate SYMPTOMS are key .When presenting these emotional and mental symptoms many associate these with depression whilst the 1st line treatment could be to actually address the rebalance of these fluctuating hormones rather than that of anti-depressants.
Menopause simply means the end of the montly period.
Once the ovaries stop producing eggs the hormone level start to drop and the cycle that used to produce a montly period eventually stops.
Medically menopause is defined as ONE DAY, the day 12 months after the day of your last period. On average this happens between 51 – 52yrs.
This is EVERYTHING after POST menopause after 12months and one day without a period. However a few symptoms do continue for many years.
This PAUSE Journey can be a tough time for women nobody likes the thought of getting older and unfortunately up until recently there has been a old age stigma attached to the menopause.
I believe the more we do ahead of time on both the physical and emotional level the better prepared and easies this elevitable transition will be.
You may be Surprised to hear just how many symptoms of the menopause there are. Doctors have identified 34 signs however luckily not every woman will experience these changes:
- Hot Flushes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Vaginal Dryness
- Decreased libido
- Breast soreness
- Burning Mouth.
- Joint Pain
- Digestive problems
- Electric Shock
- Muscle tension
- Gum problems
- Dry itchy skin
- Disrupted sleep
- Hair loss
- Memory lapses
- Poor concentration
- Weight gain
- Dizzy spells
- Stress incontinence
- Brittle nails
- Irregular heartbeat
- Body odour
- Panic disorder
The good news is, most of these symptoms can be treated or even avoided with the correct treatment.
Physically the average woman gains 1.5 lbs per year and is hard to get rid of. Oestrogen reduction causes our energy to work less efficiently so our metabolic rate slows. reduced oestrogen is a contributing factor to body fat being redistributed which can cause these unexpected changes in the body shape as in the 40-50s the excess body fat tends to go to the middle first hence the unattractive and somewhat cruel expression “middle are spread” . Its important to remember to try to limit your intake of sugar caffeine and alcohol as the liver is already working hard.
Exercise is one of the most powerful tools in the hormonal journey as it not only helps to improve you physical health but your mental health also.
A daily brisk 1/2hr walk helps stimulate endorphins (sometimes known as our happy hormones)making you feel good, helps keep weight gain at bay, strengthens bone density, improved heart function while supporting the adrenal glands in dealing with stress.
Skin Dryness is yet another symptom of the menopause. Caused by a drop on oestrogen which acts as a natural lubricant.