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Natural Menopause Relief Secrets » 2006 » August

Archive for August, 2006

What is Menopause?

Posted in Menopause on August 26th, 2006

Like all major turning points in women’s lives, reaching menopause can be challenging and even a little frightening. Like puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth, menopause carries with it a whole host of natural, but nonetheless challenging and sometimes uncomfortable, physical changes. Moreover, it also carries with it a plethora of normal emotional and spiritual reactions, ranging from denial, confusion and even grief.

After all, menopause marks a completely new phase in a woman’s life. It heralds the end of our childbearing bearing years and ushers in a different phase of deep female maturity. And, since unfortunately we still live in a culture that equates femininity with sexual fertility, it’s no wonder that many women regard menopause as a negative thing. Sadly some regard it as a nullification of their worth as women, something that couldn’t be further from the truth. Menopause also reminds us we are getting older and our are bodies are naturally aging. That fact in itself can be a difficult to accept.

But what is menopause exactly? Menopause is an intermediary stage that takes place when a woman’s reproductive organs fail to produce eggs, causing her menstrual cycle to stop. Typically menopause begins after or around the age of 50, however there are exceptions with some women commencing menopause earlier or later in life. And, more often than not the symptoms of menopause begin some time before onset.

There are a whole host of symptoms that can accompany menopause. Some of the more common signs are hot or cold flushes; weight gain; mood swings and irritability; emotionality; decrease in libido; muscle and joint soreness; depression; rapid or irregular heart rate; disordered sleeping patterns and irregular periods as well as lighter or heavier menstrual bleeding. In fact, the symptoms of menopause are so many and so individual that it is almost a case of “expect the unexpected”. Some women even say they feel as if their skin is crawling!

The truth is that menopause should not be feared. Instead we should embrace and celebrate it as a normal stage in our cycle of health and wellness. That said, the symptoms and signs of menopause can be difficult to live with, and women should not face it alone. Think about it this way. If men had to go through menopause, just imagine the level of support, public awareness and caring workplace practices that would be established to help them through it! As it is, women have to muddle through menopause as best they can, dealing with it day-by-day, with their friends and sense of humor as their best allies.

Like all health matters, being well-informed about the sorts of symptoms you might experience allows you to physically and mentally prepare. Indeed, some women do not even realize they are going through menopause because they simply lack the information to explain what they are feeling! It’s not until they research and explore the signs that they make the connection. And it’s no wonder, given that the list of potential symptoms is so long and diverse.

There are also many more resources and lots of information about controlling and treating Menopause symptoms in my e-book, Natural Menopause Relief Secrets.

When You Find An Article On This Site Helpful Please Buy Me A Coffee To Fund Further Research.

Understanding Peri-Menopause

Posted in Menopause on August 19th, 2006

There is little doubt that menopause is a momentous and life-changing episode in a woman’s life. After all, menopause marks the end of menstruation, and in turn, the conclusion of our child-bearing years. In fact the word ‘menopause’ says it all, breaking up into two Greek terms, namely ‘mens’ (meaning monthly) and ‘pausis’ (meaning cessation). Although menopause has been demonized over the years, in fact it is really just another natural stage in a woman’s life cycle. And although it can present challenges such as new and sometimes unpleasant physical symptoms, as well as emotional upheavals, it is something that should be embraced with positivity, understanding and humor.

There is some confusion though between what constitutes menopause proper and what is ‘peri-menopause’. Menopause is the single day when a pre-menopausal woman has failed to have a period for more than twelve months. Confused? Don’t be! It’s actually really simple. You see, leading up to menopause a woman’s ovaries stop producing the regular amounts of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. When levels of both these hormones drop, menstruation ceases and hence a woman’s fertility ends. Officially a woman is said to have gone through menopause if she has failed to menstruate for an entire year. So from a medical point of view menopause takes place on the day when a pre-menopausal woman has missed 12 periods running. .

What many women do not realize is that there is a stage leading up to those twelve months in which her period becomes absent. This phase is known as “peri-menopause” (also known as “pre-menopause”) and it can begin many years before menopause take s place. It is the period in which women undergo most of the symptoms of menopause. So in fact, when a woman says ‘I am going through menopause”, generally what she really means is that she is going through peri-menopause.

Technically speaking, peri-menopause starts when a woman’s body begins to produce less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Once this process starts, a woman’s general fertility begins to diminish, and her ability to fall pregnant is affected. Ultimately this culminates in her final period, which is the complete end of her reproductive years. Peri-menopause can start as early as age 35 sometimes even younger, but typically it begins several years or some months before menopause. Given that most women go through menopause between the ages of 50 and 52, typically peri-menopause will start during a woman’s 40’s.

During peri-menopause, the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone will become inconsistent and gradually diminish, causing disruption to the usual menstrual cycle. Many women report having irregular periods during peri-menopause, something that is a direct reflection of their changing hormone levels. In addition, some women find their periods will be shorter or longer, and that bleeding may be either heavier or lighter. Likewise it is during the peri-menopausal stage that women will tend to experience the other symptoms which include amongst other things, hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain, depression, migraines, unclear thinking patterns, lethargy and decreased libido.

Like the symptoms of menopause, women have very different and individualized experiences of peri-menopause. What is crucial to remember is that irrespective of the symptom, peri-menopause is a perfectly normal process that simply reflects our natural aging as women.

You can also get access to further support and information in my ebook Natural Menopause Relief Secrets. Don’t forget to read through the rest of the blog for more resources on menopause.

When You Find An Article On This Site Helpful Please Buy Me A Coffee To Fund Further Research.

The Symptoms of Menopause

Posted in Menopause on August 11th, 2006

Overall, medical professionals agree that there are at least 37 indicators of menopause, ranging from the mild and easy-to-overlook, to the more dramatic and potentially disruptive to your lifestyle. While the average age of onset for menopause is between 50 and 52, bear in mind that most women start experiencing the symptoms several years beforehand. Here is brief information about the more common symptoms, followed by a list of the remaining ones. When you read this, don’t be worried. Every one is merely a sign that your body is functioning like a normal woman’s body should!

1. Hot or cold flushes:
Many women report having hot of cold flushes, as well as feelings of associated clamminess or sweatiness. Indeed the hot flush has become one of the more ‘stereotypical’ signs of menopause. Both hot and cold flushes reflect a change in your body’s internal thermostat, a factor that is regulated by the hypothalamus. During menopause, less estrogen is produced by the ovaries. The hypothalamus detects this drop in estrogen levels, and responds by altering your body’s temperature hence causing these otherwise unexplained feelings of hotness or coldness.

2. Periods of rapid or irregular heart rate:
This is one of the lesser-known and more frightening symptoms of menopause. In fact, some women say they feel as if they are having heart failure, palpitations, or a panic attack. Despite research into this matter, the medical community has no clear answer as to why heart arrhythmia occurs in some menopausal women. It often begins during the lead-up to menopause proper (during the “peri-menopause” phase) and naturally it causes concern. It is important to report this symptom to your physician to eliminate other, potentially more serious causes.

3. Moodiness, ill temper and feelings of irritability:
See-sawing emotions can make menopausal women feel as if they are on a rollercoaster they can’t control. Like pre-menstrual-syndrome, feelings of irritability or moodiness during menopause are very common and easily explained. They are caused by natural hormonal fluctuations. Most women learn to cope with mood swings by doing regular exercise, or performing relaxation techniques such as meditation, and yoga.

4. Becoming easily upset and teary:
Because their hormones are changing so dramatically, menopausal women can also find they become teary and emotional at the drop of a hat, and sometimes for no reason at all. Again, dealing with unpredictable mood swings isn’t easy but by learning coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, you can start to lessen the impact.

5. Disrupted or disordered sleeping patterns:
For various reasons, menopausal women can often develop calcium deficiencies. Because calcium acts as a sedative on the human body, this deficiency can lead to restlessness, an inability to fall to sleep, as well as poor sleeping patterns throughout the night. Naturally, this can be extremely frustrating and tiring for women. Not surprising, a lack of quality sleep can also compound other problems such as feeling emotional or experiencing moodiness. The answer for many women is a calcium supplement, as well as engaging in gentle relaxation exercises to help them better sleep.

6. Unusual or irregular menstrual cycles, including lighter or heavier bleeding:
Since menopause is the cessation of menstruation, it seems self-evident that women would experience changes to their menstrual cycle, finally culminating in a failure to menstruate at all. What women might not know is that disturbances to their periods can occur well before menopause begins. Indeed some women report unusually long or short periods, different bleeding patterns, as well as skipped periods well before menopause takes place.

7. Decrease or loss of libido:
With menopause comes a decrease in hormonal levels, including a drop in estrogen levels. This can cause a reduction in libido or lowered interest in sex. That said, some research points out that although many menopausal women report having a lower libido, their level of sexual activity nevertheless remains steady, suggesting the relationship between normal menopausal hormonal changes and libido is a complex one.

8. Vaginal dryness:
As mentioned earlier, menopause involves a reduction in estrogen. Estrogen is the so-called “female” hormone, which amongst other things, is responsible for maintaining healthy, supple vaginal tissue and lubrication. When estrogen drops, as it does during menopause, this leads to vaginal dryness. An unfortunate consequence can be painful sexual intercourse.

9. Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating:
Many women aren’t aware that balanced hormones help keep their gastrointestinal tract functioning normally. Indeed, it’s not until there is an imbalance (such as there is during menopause) that they come to realize how important hormones are to digestion. For instance, estrogen is a stimulant for the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore the drop in estrogen levels can cause any number of symptoms, such as gas, constipation, diarrhea and indigestion. Likewise changes to progesterone levels during menopause can cause disruptions to your usual bowel patterns. Menopause also places pressure on your liver, leaving it less energy to do its usual cleansing duties.

Other symptoms of menopause include:
10. Anxiety
11. Morbid thoughts and feelings of dread and apprehension
12. Mental vagueness and inability to concentrate
13. Memory loss
14. Incontinence and “frequency” of urination
15. Unusual sensation on one’s skin, such as phantom itches, and crawling skin
16. Sore joints
17. Muscle tension and soreness
18. Tender breasts and hypersensitive nipples
19. Headaches and migraines
21. Feeling bloated
22. Depression
23. Changes to, or worsening of, existing health problems
24. Exacerbation of allergies
25. Weight gain and metabolic imbalances
26. Thinning or loss of hair on the head
27. Increase in facial hair
28. Giddiness, loss of balance and light-headedness
29. Strange or unpleasant body odors
30. Increased perspiration
31. Poor circulation, tingling sensation in limbs and extremities
32. Sensitive and/or bleeding gums
33. Gingivitis
34. “Burning Mouth Syndrome” or the sensation of one’s tongue, or mouth burning as well as strange taste in the mouth
35. Osteoporosis
36. Tinnitus (ie. Ringing or strange noises in the ears)
37. Lethargy

Not all women will experience everything on this list or may go through a combination of several. The secret to getting through menopause is to remember that each symptom is normal and will eventually pass.

You can also get access to further support and information in my ebook, Natural Menopause Relief Secrets. Don’t forget to read through the rest of the blog for more resources on menopause.

When You Find An Article On This Site Helpful Please Buy Me A Coffee To Fund Further Research.

Managing Menopause Through Diet

Posted in Menopause on August 4th, 2006

Coping with menopause can be a real challenge. There are just so many different feelings and symptoms that women can experience. In fact, like puberty and childbirth, most women find menopause to be one of the most life-altering periods of their life. And it’s no mystery why. As well as the many physical symptoms women can go through, there is an emotional side to menopause that can easily be overlooked. It is, after all, the transitional phase in which a woman’s reproductive life comes to an end. And for many women this can be deeply upsetting. It brings to an end their propensity to bear children, and reminds women of the inevitable passing of time.

What many women don’t know is that you can manage, and in some cases minimise, the symptoms of menopause through diet and proper eating. The golden rule to diet during menopause is to make every meal an opportunity to eat healthy, fresh foods that will really nourish your body. Ideally your diet should already be a balanced and diverse one that incorporates plenty of whole grains, low-fat proteins and unlimited amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. If your eating patterns are poor or lacking, menopause is the time to revamp them. Use this moment in your life to usher in a new phase of nutrition and conscientious self-care. Not only will it help your body weather the unexpected and sometimes unpleasant symptoms of menopause, it will stand your health in good stead for the rest of your life.

Since many women report weight gain during menopause, do not be tempted to go on a restrictive or radical calorie reduced diet to combat this problem. It will only deplete your energy reserves, slow your metabolic rate and potentially cause dietary deficiencies. Instead, make sure you eat three regular and wholesome meals a day, as well as a few nutritious snacks, such as fresh fruit or raw vegetables, yoghurt, seeds or nuts. Eating regular smaller meals helps boost your metabolic rate, which in turn will help fight any natural metabolic slowing during menopause.

Drinking plenty of water (ideally 8 glasses or more per day) and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks will help you manage hot and cold flashes. Avoiding spicy foods can also help minimise the impact of hot flashes.

Many women say they feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster during menopause, and indeed some even experience more serious problems such as depression. Again, a focus on a healthy balanced diet can alleviate these symptoms. For example, it is well established that regular moderate exercise helps people cope with depression. Moreover, when people are depressed, serotonin levels in the brain tend to drop. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can help lift serotonin levels, thereby helping to reverse this trend. If you are experiencing depression or mood swings make sure to include foods that are high in complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, cereals and brown rice in your diet.

Another common complaints for menopausal women are headaches and migraines. If these are a problem for you, avoid caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, chocolate and peanuts since these are all known ‘trigger’ foods for migraines.

All menopausal women should try to include soy products and fish oils into their diets since they both have fantastic health properties. Soy in particular contains qualities that are similar to female hormones that can potentially help balance the normal hormonal changes that occur during menopause. A good multivitamin is also a sensible idea to supplement your diet. But remember, no multivitamin is a substitute for nourishing, wholesome eating habits!

Don’t let menopause rule your life. By adopting a healthy and balanced diet, you can control the signs of menopause and reinvigorate yourself for the next phase of wellness. So use food as your medicine during menopause – you’ll reap the benefits both through menopause and beyond! 

For more information on the benefits of soy during menopause have a look at the following link: 

RevivalSoy.com

When You Find An Article On This Site Helpful Please Buy Me A Coffee To Fund Further Research.

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