Health Tips to take care during Menopause
Menopause is a physiological phenomenon occurring in all women. It is the time of cessation of ovarian function resulting in permanent amenorrhea. Simply to say that you will not be able to get pregnant again and your periods will stop. It takes 12 months of no-periods duration to confirm that menopause has set in. Sixty million women in India are above the age of 55.
Now that medical advances has prolonged the duration of life, almost all women spend one-third of their life in the post-menopausal stage. An average woman, here in India, lives up to 65 years and where as to 80 years in developed countries. The process of menstruation, menopause and the health issues that creeps up in a female after menopause are well obvious and better understood, it is important therefore to address the menopause related diseases and apply proper measures so that the woman can lead an enjoyable and healthy life.
Few Facts about Menopause
- Menopause sets in in the age of 45-50 years.
- Delayed menopause is related to good health and good nutrition.
- Risk factors that lead to early set-in of menopause: Smoking, alcohol, diabetes, radiation exposure.
- All the female reproductive system undergoes symmetrical atrophy or shrinking.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
There are three ways menopause can start
- Sudden cessation of periods.
- Gradual diminution in the amount of blood loss in periods
- Gradual increase in spacing between the periods.
Health problems seen at menopause and tips to overcome them
Problems in menopause mostly occur due to imbalance and gradual diminution of hormone levels mainly Estrogen and Progesterone.
- Don’t let your bones cry!
Osteoporosis: It is a slowly progressing disease in a female where in the bones lose their mass resulting in fragile bones. Hence the woman is very much prone to fractures and concussions. There is also deformity of the bones and pain due to arthritis changes in the joints. Having a proper exercise schedule and nutrition filled with necessary supplements will prevent bone damage and preserves joint function. Supplements such as calcium, glucosamine sulfate, collagen, Vitamin D improve the bone health if such essential minerals and vitamins cannot be consumed through diet.
- Your heart can slow down!
Cardiac disease: Estrogen is known to protect the heart. Because women become high risk candidates for heart diseases soon after menopause which involves reduction in estrogen levels drastically. Although, estrogen hormone replacement has not been proven to be of benefit in prevention of heart disease, maintaining proper diet, regular exercise keeps the heart as healthy as ever.
- Remember, happiness can be found if only one knows where to find it.
Mental Depression: It is common to see women of menopausal age group suffering from depressive mood disorder. An atmosphere of love and happiness within the family and understanding the problem can benefit the women to a great extent. Occupying oneself with activities and work they are interested and enjoy, will prevent the person from depressive disorders.
- Go for it!
Libido: Decreased libido or sexual desire is seen in menopausal women due to various causes like atrophy of vagina which causes decreased lubricating fluid leading to dry vagina that can lead to painful coitus. Hence a fear of pain could deter the patient from the whole sexual experience. A lubrication will help the lady to continue to enjoy her sexual life.
- Stay Beautiful. Forever!
Thin Skin: Postmenopausal women face dryness of skin, decreased elasticity and thinning. This is known to expose the person to UV radiation leading to various skin diseases. Estrogen creams are known to offer temporary benefit in withholding the undesirable changes in the skin. Moisturizing lotions, sunscreens help prevent skin damage.
- Heat Waves!
Hot Flashes are known to be very common sign of menopause. It is a heat wave extending from face to the neck lasting for 2 to 5 minutes, accompanied by redness and excessive sweating which can be very disturbing to the patient. It is usually due to dilation of blood vessels due to asynchrony in nervous activity. This is only during the initial stages of menopause and will eventually stop on its own.
Recently there has been a trend to initiate Hormone Replacement Therapy by giving estrogen supplements so as to prevent these complications. It is better to know about HRT before initiating HRT. It is a drug and it comes with a price.
Hormone Replacement Therapy and the risks associated with it.
Not all women need HRT. The benefits are not worth the complications and risks. 80% of the women only need good support and nutrition to lead a healthy life.
Candidates for HRT
- Patients at risk of severe osteoporosis
- Alzheimer’s disease, stroke patients, Colon cancer
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Women who attain menopause very early
Risks of HRT
- Endometrial Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Liver Diseases
Every menopausal woman if she takes care of these following tips throughout her life, she will be less likely to face any health issues in her future.
- Proper Nutrition: Increased protein – Soya beans, Paneer, Chicken, Fish, and Sprouts must be your proteins of choice. Eat extra veggies and fruits than usual. Keep the oil for a minimum and the weight gain to a bare minimum. Increase your water intake.
- Exercise: A good body will remain good with a daily dose of exercise. That’s the magic pill.
- Smoking: Never touch a cigarette. Never ever.
- Get Routine Medical Checkups for – Breast cancer, colon cancer, Osteoporosis.