This article is intended to provide you with new knowledge, there is no medical advice, the opinion of your doctor is always to be preferred for everything that is diagnosis, treatment, prevention of disease, a new diet, a sports activity fitness as well as any prescription of drugs.
What is menopause and at what age does it begin?
by Dr. Mariangel Leota
Are you over 45 and you begin to notice changes in your body?
Are you beginning to notice the absence of menstruation?
Have you felt “hot flashes” and sudden mood swings recently?
It is necessary for you to learn everything related to menopause, what its symptoms are and how it can influence your life.
Menopause is the stage of women’s lives where a series of hormonal changes that generate the end of menstruation occurs. These hormonal changes bring with them a series of symptoms that are very characteristic and that you must be able to recognize in order to treat them.
This process of hormonal changes is completely normal and occurs in 90% of women older than 45 years. The process of hormonal change is characterized by being quick and by manifesting with one or several symptoms that are characteristic.
In menopause, ovarian function is lost, losing the production of female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
In addition to the loss of menstruation, low levels of female hormones generate a “domino effect” causing another long series of symptoms that you need to learn to recognize.
What are the most characteristic symptoms of menopause?
Some common symptoms of menopause are the following:
Irregular menstrual period to disappear
The loss of menstruation is the most characteristic symptom and should be the warning symptom to consult with your doctor and evaluate your hormone levels by means of a blood test. The menstrual period becomes irregular, the periods are shortened and bleeding begins to be scarce, until it disappears completely. This process can last from 8 months to 1 year.
Intense heat sensation or “hot flashes”
Another symptom very characteristic of menopausal women is the sensation of a rep in a tub of intense heat, even when they are in cold environments. These heats focus on the face, arms, chest and shoulders. Its sudden appearance can be at any time of the day and its duration can be from 5 to 20 minutes.
Hot flashes may also appear at night while you are sleeping and are known as night sweats. Later we will explain how to prevent and alleviate this annoying symptom.
What is the cause of night sweats?
During sleep, many important metabolic functions are fulfilled that are necessary of the total rest of the body, the “hot flashes” produced by the menopause can appear suddenly at any time, even when you are asleep. The effect of these “hot flashes” is coupled with the process of metabolic functions, intensifying still more the sensation of heat and producing strong sweat, for which, you should not be surprised when you wake up.
Dryness and vaginal changes in menopause
As we speak of the “domino effect” of the scarce production of female hormones, we speak of a long series of changes that happen from this point, and as the most Characteristic of this hormone is the sexual characterization in women, what we can expect are vaginal changes.
Vaginal dryness is imminent in menopausal women and this is another totally characteristic symptom. It also is, the decrease in the thickness of the vaginal membrane and the loss of elasticity. This symptom can cause a lot of discomfort and directly influences sexual relationships. But you should not worry, it is a totally treatable symptom and you should consult with your gynecologist.
Recurrent urinary infections
When we talk about recurrent urinary infections we talk about constant infections. In women, the frequency of urinary tract infections can be up to 30% higher over men, due to the characteristic anatomy of the urinary tract that makes it a more prone to infections.
Hormonal changes can also cause you to go to the bathroom frequently due to increased urine volume. The frequency of urination can increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
Sudden mood changes
Sudden hormonal changes can change your mood at any time, so you know that this is completely normal. To this we must add the strong “hot flashes” that also generate situations of stress. It is normal to feel anxiety, fatigue or irritability during these episodes of hormonal changes. Your sexual appetite can also be affected and decrease considerably.
Weakness in bones and osteoporosis
It is normal for your bones to begin to weaken during menopause, which is why it is important to control this condition with your gynecologist as soon as possible. The osteoporosis is much more common in menopausal women because sex hormones found in low amounts have important roles in regulating mineral responsible for forming bone.
The most advisable thing is that you incorporate to your diet foods with high content of calcium or vitamin D. It is also advisable to consult with your doctor the use of supplements of these vitamins and minerals.
Insomnia and fatigue
If you think about how uncomfortable the sudden sensation of heat can be, it distressing that means hormonal changes and how they affect your life and the effect of these hormones on your mood generating anxiety, insomnia will soon be manifest. The loss of dream hours is common in premenopausal and menopausal women, generating heavy exhaustion and fatigue.
It is not healthy to lose sleep, it is advisable to be calm, learn to accept the situation as normal changes in the female organism, that you can accept help from your gynecologist and with the correct therapy can be easily alleviated.
Until what age menopausal symptoms last?
Pre-menopause (the onset of the onset of symptoms) can be difficult and in some women this period may be longer than a year. These common symptoms of menopause are not eternal, and under the therapy that your gynecologist gives you much less. Its symptoms can last from 3 to 5 years.
How to prevent and relieve episodes of intense heat during menopause?
Episodes of intense heat are a very uncomfortable symptom during menopause and the anxiety that it generates can be very irritating. There is no way to eliminate them, but there are certain habits that you can modify so that these intense heats are not so exhausting and you can alleviate them.
- Healthy eating: If you still do not take care of your diet, it’s time for you to learn how to do it. A diet rich in healthy fats, many vegetables that provide the necessary antioxidants and good hydration will undoubtedly reduce the effect of intense heat episodes.
- Cold shower before going to bed: Take a relaxing shower, if you prefer, that is cool to be cool and relieve the effect of intense heat.
- Avoid smoking: The nicotine is deeply harmful to health and one of its effects is to accelerate the symptoms of menopause
- Take a meticulous record: Record the time and activity you are doing when you suffer from heat. Avoiding triggers can reduce the frequency of the intense heat.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages: Excess alcohol directly affects the liver and its metabolic functions causing the triggering of the heat.
- Take a break and avoid stress: It may be meditating, playing sports or reading your favorite book, take some time for yourself and rest, free yourself from anxiety and stress.