Am I In Menopause?

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Posted on: 30 September 2014 by Patricia Eifert

One of the many things that control not only physical functions of both males and females, but mental and emotional temperaments as well, are hormones, which rise and fall as they are released into the body by adrenal glands.

These unique hormones appear during puberty and help develop the body physically, manage the sex drive and reproduction systems and other organ functions until age makes these hormones either decline or cease production altogether. The production of oestrogen and progesterone in the females help keep an important balance in women's’ bodies and allow a nourishing environment for new life, but it can also cause monthly mood swings, irritability or anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraine headaches and other symptoms known as post-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

Onset of Menopause

As women experience a decline in oestrogen and progesterone hormone production, beginning around the age of 45 or 50, the symptoms related to PMS increase in intensity which can greatly impact your daily habits and even alter the personality. This transition period is called perimenopause, a phase leading into menopause, and may last for up to 10 to 15 years during which many physiological changes take place. During the adjustment process the levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop too low or get a sudden upwards surge leading to symptoms such as raging mood swings, hot and cold flashes, poor sleep, memory problems, low libido and anxiety which can come on quite abruptly and be difficult to deal with.

Since these symptoms are caused by a decline of more than one hormone, finding a way to balance the production of both hormones can help women get through perimenopause feeling healthier and more active than was previously thought possible. Many women find it helpful to include lifestyles changes to help cope with menopause and there are a variety of effective treatments for menopausal symptoms which work for many who are suffering. Both conventional medicines and natural remedies, when combined with healthy habits of regular exercise, diet changes which include more vitamins and minerals and plenty of fibre, along with finding relaxing hobbies and maintaining a positive outlook on life, can help the transition phase to go smoothly.

Menopause Treatments

For some of the symptoms the best way to cope is through adjusting your schedule, for example if you have difficulty sleeping at night or are inordinately tired in the day, schedule naps or change the time you retire. Using relaxation techniques such as a foot massage, home spa or lower back massage can help soothe the nerves and regular workouts or yoga can relieve joint pains, muscle tension or tingling extremities, keeping the heart functioning properly and the bones strong.

In a bid to help bring relief to hormone fluctuations and their symptoms many popular brands combine natural herb supplements in different variations, allowing you to find the combination that works best for you, as each woman is affected by these herbs differently. Effective herbal preparations which help balance the hormone levels can be found in angelica, evening primrose oil and black cohosh which when combined with other herbs like St. John’s Wort, can reduce  hot flashes or night sweats by 40 percent.

Dietary supplements such as isoflavones which replicate the oestrogen hormone are also used as ingredients in many menopause treatments and can also be taken separately as a supplement or by including soybeans, tofu and other soya based products in your daily menu plan. Since each woman goes through varied levels of menopausal symptoms, what works well for one person may have no affect on someone else. Fish is also a valuable addition to your diet, adding omega-3 oils that help keep your body’s functions running smoothly and dairy products will provide needed calcium and manganese to counteract osteoporosis during this time.

The most important thing to remember is that menopause is a naturally occurring process, it hits every female in the world, and it does not last forever. It is merely the birthing pains of a new phase in your life and once completed, will enable you to go further than you ever thought possible without PMS or other female complaints. Many woman rediscover a new passion for life, a renewed sex dive, and freedom in seeing the many accomplishments achieved, including crossing this hurdle into the golden years of life.

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Patricia Eifert

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