Menopause tends to be viewed as something that affects only our sex hormones, however, hormones work synergistically and can affect many other systems within the body. Post-menopausal women are at significantly greater risk of osteoporosis due to a decline in oestrogen levels. As the ovaries stop producing oestrogen it is then left to the adrenals, meaning adrenal support is necessary for ensuring a healthy menopause. There is also increased cardiovascular risk, altered brain functions, and continued hormonal imbalances affecting the overall health of a woman.
It is important to get one’s self into a healthy state before the menopause to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life post-menopause. If you are soon approaching menopause, in the midst of it, or post-menopausal and require professional advice please contact a registered nutritionist. There no time like the present to start prioritising yourself and looking after your health.
Below are a few common symptoms:
Insomnia: Is reported as a common symptom during menopause. It’s unlikely for a woman to get into a deep sleep that will last for an entire night. This lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, lowered immune system, and digestive issues. This is linked to a decrease in progesterone, and high levels of cortisol in the former years.
Hot flushes: show a significant decrease in cardiac vagal control. Oestrogens are also neuromodulators that may affect hypothalamic temperature control. Important to support the cardiovascular system. and Support the adrenals.
Emotional: psycho-emotional changes during menopause can be linked to cultural perceptions of aging, preconceived cultural ideas, on the other hand, it could also be due to physiological changes in metabolism as well as hormones.
Lifestyle factors such as Smoking will affect their transition from peri-menopause to menopause, smokers tend to have not only an earlier but also a shorter perimenopause. No other factors have been found to affect the transition period which has been estimated from 51-55 years.
Optimism and sense of coherence affect menopausal health directly, evidenced by lower cases of symptoms being reported, however, symptoms seem to be exerted via problem-focused coping. It is therefore important that these dispositional factors are taken into consideration. Using combined therapies and tailoring to specific needs is a must. Whether or not you take HRT is a choice only you can make, but it is important to be aware of all factors and side effects. HRT is normally prescribed for the relief of Menopausal symptoms or the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis some of the side effects are Breast cancer, clotting problems and cardiovascular disease. I have not listed these to alarm anyone it is about making an informed decision of the risk and benefits on an individual basis.
Afghari, A. and Ahmad Shirvani, M., 2012. Psycho-emotional changes in menopause: A qualitative study. Journal of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, 22(93), pp.27-38.
Berent-Spillson, A., Marsh, C., Persad, C., Randolph, J., Zubieta, J.K. and Smith, Y., 2017. Metabolic and hormone influences on emotion processing during menopause. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 76, pp.218-225.
Mishra, G.D., Brown, W.J. and Dobson, A.J., 2003. Physical and mental health: changes during menopause transition. Quality of life Research, 12(4), pp.405-412.
Caltabiano, M.L. and Holzheimer, M., 1999. Dispositional factors, coping and adaptation during menopause. Climacteric, 2(1), pp.21-28