Lifestyle

What you should know about menopause

Menopause is a sensitive and life changing matter. The average age a woman goes through menopause is that of fifty-one. The majority of women go through menopause at ages between forty-five and fifty-five. The age when menopause hits is determined by genetics, however lifestyle factors such as smoking can accelerate it.


The phase where the body starts to transition to menopause is referred to as perimenopause. During this stage the production of ovaries begins to decline and symptoms commonly associated with menopause may be experienced. Such an example would be hot flashes. In this phase, the menstrual cycle may become irregular. Once a woman maintains a cease of twelve months of her menstrual cycle, it means that she has entered in the menopause phase.

Hot flashes are common throughout menopause and are one of the symptoms which help to identify it. These make one feel an instant increase in temperature, impacting the top half of the body. When the body goes through these flashes the skin may turn red or become blotchy. They can also make one sweat and dizzy, with palpitations. Following a hot flash, one may feel cold. These may be frequent, taking place every day and for several times. To avoid these flashes, one should avoid indulging in spicy food, alcohol and caffeine. Stress can play a part in inducing them. Smoking and excessive weight also correlate with hot flashes.

Menopause brings about a decrease in the production of estrogen. This can negatively impact the calcium in bones, leading to density issues and hence injury. In this regard, women who are at the beginning of their menopause should consume calcium, through dairy products and certain vegetables. Vitamin D supplements, together with a solid exercise routine can also contribute positively.

Menopause can also cause heart issues due to the reduced estrogen, which may hinder the body from maintaining flexible arteries. Here again, the importance of a healthy diet coupled with exercise cannot be understated. This is especially the case as those who are going through menopause can experience weight gain due to changes in hormone levels.

One may be inclined to believe that menopause will impact her the same way it does to close relatives such as a mother or sister. Symptoms however vary and what worked for your mother or sister might not be suitable for you. Menopause needs to be addressed individually and any queries should be directed to a doctor.

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