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Symptoms of Menopause

April 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 192

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women. The medical definition of menopause refers to no longer having the inability to reproduce and have children. A woman is no longer fertile. Menopause also involves hormonal changes and a drop in estrogen levels. There are many symptoms associated with menopause which can be uncomfortable or unpleasant for women. There are numerous things that you can do to feel better during this natural life cycle change.

Menopause Symptoms: Over 70% percent of women experiencing menopause will have symptoms related to the condition. There is the pre-menopause state known as "perimenopause" where hormone levels already begin their decline. This usually begins in your early 40s. Hot flashes and night sweats are the more common symptoms associated with menopause. Additionally you may experience a lower libido and irregular menstruation. The hot flash is similar to a warm sensation that may feel like a flushing over the entire body. These can be mild or more severe. If they occur at night they can also induce the common night sweats associated with menopause. Irregular menstruation means you may have your period twice in a given month or skip a month or two between cycles. The lightness or heaviness of your period can also vary. Loss of sexual interest: This can lead to a lack of interest in sexual activity due to the hormonal imbalances that are occurring.

Fatigue: This is also common. Many women will feel consistently tired and weak. This can have a very negative impact on their lives as it makes it difficult to keep up with daily activities. There can also be an increase in facial hair with some women as well as thinning of the hair on the scalp. Irritability: Many women suffer from moodiness with changing emotions that can be rather intense at times. In more severe cases a woman may feel a sense of panic. This could lead to panic disorder which is associated with feelings of intense anxiety. This could be a brief episode or become a more serious problem. Depression can also occur with menopause.

Difficulty Sleeping: You may experience frequently waking up at night and in general your sleep may not be as restful. Memory Lapses: There can be some mental confusion that occurs and difficulty concentrating. This can also be connected to not getting enough sleep. Weight Fluctuations: Many women will gain excess weight particularly in the stomach region. This is in part due to the slowing down of the metabolism and the natural redistribution of fat that occurs as women age. You can prevent this from happening by changing your diet and exercising to increase your metabolism.

Some women experience varying levels of incontinence where they will urinate accidentally during common everyday activities such as sneezing or laughing too hard. This can be terribly uncomfortable and embarrassing for many women. The reason that this can occur varies. It could stem from a loss of sensation that you need to urinate to a weakening of the bladder muscles themselves.

In addition to weight gain you may have abdominal bloating and some fluid retention. Irregular Heart Rate: Another common complaint is rapid or irregular heart rate. If this occurs you need to be careful and see a doctor immediately if you experience any discomfort.

Changes in Skin and Nails: Menopause will signal the more rapid onset of aging which will affect the skin and nails. As collagen levels decline the skin will develop increased wrinkles. Fingernails may become dry and brittle and break more easily.

Lifestyle Factors to Make Menopause more tolerable: Good nutrition is essential. Healthy eating can lessen many of the symptoms associated with menopause. Having adequate amounts of calcium is important for bone health and to prevent osteoporosis. Some good food choices include yogurt, cheese, sardines and dark green vegetables. Avoid consuming bad fats but eat good fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, olive and flax seed oils. Increase Vitamin C by eating fresh fruit such as oranges. Include foods high in fiber to help your digestive track and bowels stay regular. Limit your intake of processed foods such as hot dogs and premade frozen and canned meals. Excess sugar can be very unhealthy and can lead to weight gain and blood sugar fluctuations which could make your other menopause symptoms seem even more uncomfortable.

Exercise: Getting regular and appropriate exercise is such an important factor in your good health. It goes without saying that exercise is important at every age and will help to naturally boost your mood and increase your energy levels. Women's bones become frailer with menopause and regular exercise helps to strengthen them. Exercise will also help with the dreaded weight gain that is common. When you exercise your body releases endorphins which make you feel happier and less stressed. Try to find an exercise program that you would enjoy participating in. It could be as simple as walking every morning for 20 to 30 minutes. Or you might like to join a gym and find classes and programs that you could commit to on a regular basis. Remember as with any lifestyle or dietary change always consult with your medical doctor before undertaking particularly if you suffer from any disease or ailment or are taking prescription drugs.

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By Tina C. Loren

Source: EzineArticles
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