YOU KNOW WHEN YOU START A SENTENCE, AND THEN JUST TAIL OFF AND START DOING SOMETHING ELSE… IS THAT THE MENOPAUSE?
This isn’t just the classic open the cupboard or go into a room and completely forget what type of thing. This is a whole-scale brain and body rebellion. I am so so so very tired from sweating throughout the night, clearly purging the very essence of womanhood from my body.
I ache, constantly, and get regular headaches, which I’ve been lucky enough to never really suffer from previously. The periods I have been erratic in their timings and strength.
Aren’t any Hormones confusing? they’re good for glowy skin and strong bones, but are also the culprit of bloating, PMS, and when menopause causes them to fluctuate a host of sometimes unpleasant symptoms.
Whether you think you know the answer
You can start having symptoms 10 years before menopause: True! Your ovaries start producing less estrogen 2 – 10 years before your period stops for good. These hormonal fluctuations can cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Menopause refers to that time in every woman’s life when her periods’ stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function.
Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but in a few exceptional cases, women may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Menopause is influenced by hormones or more correctly, by a change in hormone levels. During a woman’s fertile years, her ability to produce an egg each month is associated with the release of three reproductive hormones (oestradiol, oestrone, and oestriol) that are referred to collectively as estrogen.
Oestrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries, though small amounts are also made by the adrenal glands and by the placenta of a pregnant woman.
As women get older, their store of eggs in the ovary decreases, and their ability to conceive diminishes. At this time, less estrogen is produced, causing the body to behave differently. However the body does not stop producing estrogen overnight, and the process can even take several years, during which symptoms arise gradually. This gradual change is called the ‘peri-menopause.
SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE:
- Irregular periods,
- Hot flushes,
- Night sweats,
- Irregular heartbeats,
- Anxiety especially at night which adds to palpitations and gastric pain,
- Irritability, temper tantrums, mood swings, tearfulness,
- Feeling of doom, dread, and depression,
- Difficulty in concentration. Mental disturbances and mental confusion,
- Memory lapses, forgetfulness,
- Loss of libido. No mood for sex and sexual pleasures,
- Extreme tiredness with no energy to do routine tasks. Finds it unable to get through the day with restlessness and listlessness.
- Dry vagina and loss of lubrication: This causes painful sexual activity which when added to the loss of libido makes a woman turn off sex completely. She may even experience chaffing of the vaginal skin, burning and tearing, and bleeding of the vaginal tissue.
Basic Dietary Guidelines for Menopause:
During menopause, eat a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Since women’s diets are often low in iron and calcium, follow this guideline:
After age 35, women start to lose bone mass. Estrogen is key to protecting bone health, and the loss of estrogen during menopause is directly related to bone loss and osteoporosis. If you’re over 50, take action by consuming between 1,200 and 2,000 milligrams of calcium daily. Low-fat dairy, such as milk and yogurt, provides calcium for strong bones, along with the vitamin D necessary for calcium absorption.
Peel off pounds by peeling into this kitchen staple. During menopause, women tend to lose the muscle mass that burns calories, leading to weight gain. Bananas are rich in potassium, which builds muscle and also regulates blood pressure. Other potassium-rich foods include apricots, avocados, and sweet potatoes.
The soluble fiber from oatmeal and other whole grains can help combat the increased cholesterol levels that can come with menopause. All of your cholesterol numbers-total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides may go up during menopause, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind that keeps your heart healthy, may go down.
Salmon provides a plethora of good benefits. As an oily fish, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help to raise good cholesterol. One study found that EPA, a certain omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, may lessen the number of menopausal hot flashes. Eating lean proteins like salmon can also head off the weight gain many women experience during menopause when metabolism slows down.
An antioxidant-rich indulgence, dark chocolate works wonders on both your brain and body. Cocoa flavonols can help reduce emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression, as well as improve short-term memory lapses and mental fatigue associated with menopause. The darker the chocolate, the higher the beneficial flavonols – but watch your portions. Chocolate is still high in fat and sugar, so a little goes a long way.
To cool the burn of hot flashes, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated help reduce headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. Without enough H2O our gastrointestinal system gets backed up, causing constipation and bloat.
Keeping hydrated also combats symptoms of “brain fog” some women experience during menopause. Only women who are unable to cope with these symptoms need medical treatment.
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