Menopause is a phase of life in every woman when menstruation stopped naturally, however for some women this process is a time for anxiety and depression. Menopause usually occur at the ages of 45-55 years However, the average age for menopause in the UK is 51 years.
Physiology of Menopause;
Estrogen is a female sex hormone produced by ovaries. This hormone is responsible for secondary sexual characteristics in female ;like breast enlargement, broadening of the pelvis. However, estrogen receptors are also located in brain, skin, blood vessels and bones.
- Estrogen is instrumented with VitaminD, calcium and other hormones to effectively breakdown and rebuild bone.
- Estrogen has antiaging effects as it promotes collegen formation which is essential for skin elasticity.
- Estrogen plays an important role in blood clotting. It also, relax, smooth and dilates blood vessels so blood flow increases.
Symptoms of Menopause;
As there is shift of hormones like estrogen and progesteron ,women may experience different symptoms like hot flushes,weight gain and psychologicl issues. Estrogen production gradually decreases so these symptomst appears slowly .
- Hot flushes;most common symptom, around 75% women reported hot flushes .it is warmth sensation over face and upper body along with sweating and increased heart rate.
- Psychological problems like depression and anxiety are common during this phase of life. As estrogen has an important role in serotonin production, modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. Estrogen also protects nerves from damage and possibly stimulating nerve growth.
- Weight gain; Low levels of estrogen cause muscle wasting and fat deposition in postmenopausal women which may result in weight gain.
- Bone loss /osteoporosis ;The bones of the female skeleton depend on oestrogen to maintain their strength and resistance. Low levels of estrogen increase bone turnover and this results in severe reduction of bone density. Postmenopausal women are more likely to get fractures as reported by some studies.
- vaginal dryness; cessation of estrogen production buy ovaries may result in vaginal atrophy(thinning of walls) and dryness.
How to manage symptoms of Menopause naturally;
Menopause is a natural phenomena and there are healthful, natural ways to manage the change it can bring. Life style interventions like diet,physical activity, and good sleep can minimize the symptoms of Menopause.
Diet; Diet play an important role in overall health in every phase of life. similarly Menopause symptoms can be reduced or minimized by taking balanced healthy diet consist of varied food groups.
- Fresh fruits and vegeatbles; Fruits and vegetables are the source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. several vegetables like spinch argula and kala are loaded with mineals like calcium, magnesium,Zinc, iodine and folate.
- vitamin D rich food ; As bone become week and fragile which may increases chance of fracture in postmenopause women. Food rich in vitamin D like dairy products,low fat yogurts and salmon may hepful .
- Eat your phytoestrogens ;These are plant derived chemicals, mimic the action of human oestrogen and may help in reducing severity of hot flushes, and mood swings in some women. Foods like soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas are a rich source of isoflavin( one of Phytoestrogen).
- Low sodium die; Avoid added salt as sodium increases calcium loss via the kidney. snack food,canned food and meat has high sodium content. Try to incorporate grains, vegetables, fruits and beans in your diet as they are low in sodium.
Moove your foot Exercise is another important pillar of a healthy life. Regular daily activities like walking and aerobic exercise are helpful in maintaining healthy weight, boots mood and improve blood circulation. A review of studies correlates the greatest likelihood to reduce symptoms of menopause with women who have the greatest physical fitness.
Sleep well ; During this phase, women experience insomina (lack of sleep) or disturb sleeping habits.To overcome this issue, follow a regular sleep including weekends, block out all light sources and sleep in a cool environment to promote healthy sleep habits.
Stop smoking; women who smoke might reach menopause earlier then who never smoke. Giving up smoking may reduce the risk of other complication like cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
”Menopause is definitely a time of choice and should really be about finding out what you really want. It is time to take charge and shape the remaining chapters of your life.”