Effect of Menopause?
The effects of Menopause can vary considerably, but you need to understand that the menopause is the exact point in your life when you have stopped having periods for a total of 12 months.
The menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but the average age in the UK is 51 and exactly the age that I first started to get signs. The effects of menopause cause changes in your hormone levels. When your body is at its most fertile, oestrogen and progesterone keep your periods and production of eggs regular. However, when you get older, you simply can’t store as many eggs in your ovaries and it is, therefore, harder to conceive. Your body is now producing less and less oestrogen and this gradual process is called the perimenopause.
Effects of menopause are very normal and are a natural process that every woman will eventually go through. Some people will have a very difficult time, while others may sail through it. Your experience of the menopause will greatly depend on a number of things including body type, family history and lifestyle. Did you know there are 34 common symptoms of menopause? Some of these include hot flushes, vaginal dryness, depression, memory fog, low self-esteem, aching muscles, itchy skin and fatigue as the more typical obvious symptoms all due to the natural decline in oestrogen. Fortunately, all symptoms are manageable through lifestyle and diet changes, as well as natural and medical treatments.
Early and Premature Menopause
In some instances (around 1 in 100) women may experience the menopause in their 30s or 40s or even younger. This is known as early menopause if you are under 45 or premature menopause if you are younger than 40. Early or premature menopause happens when your body stops producing hormones a while before it is meant to.
We do not always understand why premature menopause happens, but it can be caused by enzyme deficiencies or autoimmune diseases that affect hormone production in your body. Sometimes cancer treatments including radiotherapy and chemotherapy and surgical procedures such as a hysterectomy can trigger early menopause, or having children later in life. I had a hysterectomy when I was 39, but my ovaries were left, so I knew I would go through the menopause at some point, but if your ovaries are removed then you go straight into it menopause after surgery.
If you want to check if you are in premature menopause, your doctor can take a blood test to measure your oestrogen levels. More specifically, blood tests can determine the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your body, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produces oestrogen. A high level of FSH suggests low levels of oestrogen, which can indicate a woman may have early or premature menopause.
Perimenopause happens before the menopause and it usually lasts a number of years (the average is four). It often begins in your 40s but can happen earlier or later. There is no set rule as to what age this will happen, but there are factors that are worth mentioning if you are in your 30s or 40s as symptoms can be blamed onto stress or other life events without realising you are actually perimenopausal. Many women don’t know that there is a difference between perimenopause and menopause.
In the first few years of perimenopause, oestrogen levels fluctuate, leading to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. One of the biggest symptoms of perimenopause is irregular periods, where your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, or become overall more erratic. At this stage of your life, you could be really stressed and anxious with work, kids, money, life in general etc. You may think that all these symptoms you are experiencing (tiredness, mood swings, low self-esteem, aches and pains in joints) are all related to the stress in your life and not realise that you could be experiencing the perimenopause.
During the final two years of perimenopause, your oestrogen production slows down rapidly. It is at this stage that many women start to experience more symptoms of the menopause, like hot flushes and fatigue. Perimenopause ends at the start of menopause when the ovary stops producing eggs and so during perimenopause, you can still become pregnant.
If you have not had a period for 12 months, you are considered post-menopausal and your symptoms may gradually decrease with time. Unlike perimenopause and menopause, the start of postmenopause is not signalled by distinct physical symptoms but is a permanent state following menopause that lasts the rest of your life. (unfortunately!) These symptoms of postmenopause can vary from woman to woman. Some women feel a renewal of energy, while others continue to have menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats. Since your oestrogen levels are permanently lowered, it’s normal to feel changes in the body too, like dry skin and lack of tone in the body!
It is important therefore that you look after your health. You do not want to get osteoporosis and heart disease due to reduced oestrogen production. Your risk depends on factors such as your medical and family history. Fortunately, postmenopausal risks can be managed through a healthy lifestyle and diet (including regular exercise and vitamin intake.)
Weight gain can be another symptom that you suffer post menopause, and the diet that you were once able to eat suddenly is not working for you anymore. Eating correctly for your hormone imbalance is key, as it trying to lower your stress levels, and menopause puts your body into a continual state of stress. Therefore, being kind to yourself and making sure you give yourself the timeout is vitally important. You need to get plenty of rest (especially when tired) go to bed earlier and try to get into a night time routine. Epsom salt bath, reading and meditation can certainly help with insomnia (another horrible symptom).
I believe that if you take a holistic approach to health during this stage of your life, you will help to reduce these symptoms considerably.
Cutting the CRAP which stands for Caffeine, refined sugar, alcohol and processed food will help to cleanse the liver.
At Lifestyle Studio, we can offer you the “Hormone Rebalancing Programme” where you will be hormone screened and prescribed a healthy eating programme specific to you. We do exercise specifically not to stress the body and finish with meditation or reiki healing to lower the stress levels to help with healing the body. We believe in uniting the mind body and soul for ultimate well being. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, please contact us for a free hormone screening.