Menopause: What Every Woman Needs to Know
Hormones are crucial to every single function of the human body, yet women are expected to live without them for more than half of their life--due to menopause.
Menopause. It’s the dreaded “M” word that middle-aged women would prefer not to discuss as much as young girls hate discussing getting their period. But understanding menopause now can help you avoid the uncomfortable symptoms later and live a healthier, more energetic life.
What is Menopause?
Also called the “change of life,” menopause is when a female’s ovaries produce lower levels of estrogen hormones. Monthly menstrual cycles become erratic and eventually stop altogether when hormone levels decline past a certain point. The medical definition of menopause is when a woman stops having her period for 12 months.
Menopause usually starts in a woman’s late 40s or early 50s. The keyword is usually. Menopause can actually occur as early as the mid-30s. When menopause occurs, women are no longer fertile, and hormones tend to be imbalanced. Some studies suggest as many as 80% of women suffer from hormonal imbalances that lead to everything from joint pain and rashes to restlessness and low sex drives.
Unfortunately, estrogen levels rapidly decline in women at the onset of menopause. In most cases, women lose up to 90% of their all-important protective estrogens within a few years. That’s when the symptoms intensify. All this begins with perimenopause.
The Many Symptoms of Menopause
The symptoms of menopause can begin long before the actual onset of the dreaded “M” word-- as soon as the late 30s. At that age, it’s common for testosterone levels to decline, followed by progesterone (this is when perimenopause sets in), and finally a decline in the most potent of the estrogens, estradiol. Menopause symptoms vary widely in manifestation and intensity among women.
Women often notice a change in their bodies before the actual onset of menopause, such as shorter periods, decreased strength and energy, a lower sex drive, and moodiness. But here is a Ageology’s list of the most common symptoms of menopause:
Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Although you can’t stop menopause altogether--it is a natural part of life--you can manage the symptoms and the impact of naturally declining hormones. Hormonal imbalances can be corrected with proper diet, exercise, stress management, cleansing, and bioidentical hormone therapy.
Not to be confused with synthetic hormones that carry the risk of heart attacks, breast cancer, and strokes--and are typically manufactured from pregnant horse urine--bioidentical hormones support a woman’s natural hormone structure without the unwanted side effects. While synthetic hormones can actually make hormonal imbalances worse, bioidentical hormones can be compounded in pharmacies according to the specific needs of individual women.
Menopause can actually be an enjoyable passage once the body is in perfect sync using nutrition, fitness and bioidentical hormone therapy to optimize your overall health.
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