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Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
Gaps In Knowledge And Future Directions
It has been difficult to distinguish between symptoms that result from loss of ovarian function and those from the aging process or from the socio-environmental stresses of midlife years. Symptoms which result from loss of ovarian function should resolve by hormone replacement, but it has not been found so. Further research is required in this direction.
Symptoms have variable onset in relation to menopause. Some women experience symptoms earlier during perimenopause while some experience them at a later time. When should treatment start is also an issue for debate.
As recent data from the WHI establish the risks of long-term HRT use, concern about using HRT, even as a short-term intervention, has increased substantially. Although HRT remains the first-line treatment for hot flushes, the WHI findings have drawn attention to nonhormonal treatments of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. Growing evidence to support the efficacy of serotonergic antidepressants and other psychoactive medications in the treatment for hot flushes suggests that nonhormonal interventions will prove important alternatives to HRT. As further evidence of the benefits of psychoactive medications for menopausal symptoms is established, the choice between using hormonal and nonhormonal therapies for the management of menopausal symptoms will continue to evolve.
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How To Lose Weight After Menopause
You can lose weight after menopause, contrary to popular opinion.
You may have heard weight gain in middle age is unavoidable, or that weight loss is impossible after the transition. However, research has shown it is possible to lose weight after menopause, and it’s a smart choice if you’re overweight and want to improve your health.
Pros And Cons Of Birth Control Pills Vs Injections
Birth control pills and injections work in a similar way. The main difference is how the hormones are delivered.
Birth control pills:
- may be more expensive than Depo injections
- may cause milder side effects because the hormones are delivered gradually on a daily basis
- can be risky because you have to remember to take them.
Birth control injections:
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Why Do Breasts Enlarge After Menopause
Many overlapping factors could contribute to a size increase, including changes in levels of hormones, a tendency to gain weight in all parts of the body, and water retention. With the menopausal drop in estrogen, which affects all body tissues, the texture and composition of the breast tissues change.
How Long Does Menopause Last On Average
If you are going through menopause, youre probably wondering how long the symptoms will last. While the answer to this question is different for every woman, it lasts an average of four or five years. The nature of the symptoms also varies from person to person, and the specific timeline of symptoms is highly variable as well. Heres what you need to know.
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Are There Any Health Risks Associated With Postmenopause
People in postmenopause are at an increased risk for several conditions:
Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart disease and stroke. It is also common for people in postmenopause to become more sedentary, which contributes to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These factors combined can increase a womans risk for cardiovascular diseases after menopause. A healthy diet, not smoking and getting regular exercise are your best options to prevent heart disease. Treating elevated blood pressure and diabetes as well as maintaining cholesterol levels are also ways to lower your risk.
People lose bone more rapidly after menopause due to decreased levels of estrogen. You may lose up to 25% of your bone density after menopause . When too much bone is lost, it increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures. The bones of the hip, wrist, and spine are most commonly affected. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, can be done to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.
Mental health issues
Will My Hot Flashes Stop After Menopause
Some people still experience hot flashes after menopause. Postmenopausal hot flashes are caused by decreased estrogen levels. It is not uncommon to experience a random hot flash for years after menopause. If your hot flashes are bothersome or intensify, speak with your healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
Menopause Symptoms After Menopause
What I would sort of like to give you as far as information goes is that if your symptoms continue after the two-year mark all told, if your symptoms start to get worse, if you start to get new symptoms, if you feel that there isn’t an end to all the symptoms that you’re experiencing, very often, other health issues creep in.
The menopause takes a great deal out of you, as I’ve said before, and sometimes, our bodies just don’t bounce back quick enough once all the hormonal turmoil is over. And what happens then is we get things like adrenal stress, we get the constant fatigue, our joints don’t recover, our muscles don’t recover, our skin doesn’t recover, our hair doesn’t recover, and that can then just basically end up on a slightly downward slope as far as our health is concerned.
So it is really important if things are going on too long for you, please go back to your doctor, ask for a general health check. Very often, and you know I talk about this on a regular basis, it can be things like low iron, poor thyroid function, low vitamin D and even possibly low vitamin B12 as well.
Now, please let me know if you are through the menopause, if you feel better. What great things have you done? And it’s, I find it absolutely heartening that so many women post-menopausal are telling me of all the things that they’ve done that they’ve never done before, that they wouldn’t have dreamt of doing before they got through the menopause.
Does Menopause Weight Gain Go Away
As you get older, you might notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, many women gain weight around the menopause transition. Menopause weight gain isnt inevitable, however. You can reverse course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.
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Other Drugs Used For Menopausal Symptoms
Despite its risks, hormone therapy appears to be the most effective treatment for hot flashes. There are, however, nonhormonal treatments for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
The antidepressants known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors are sometimes used for managing mood changes and hot flashes. A low-dose formulation of paroxetine is approved to treat moderate-to-severe hot flashes associated with menopause. Other SSRIs and similar antidepressant medicines are used “off-label” and may have some benefit too. They include fluoxetine , sertraline , venlafaxine , desvenlafaxine , paroxetine , and escitalopram .
Several small studies have suggested that gabapentin , a drug used for seizures and nerve pain, may relieve hot flashes. This drug is sometimes prescribed “off-label” for treating hot flash symptoms. However, in 2013 the FDA decided against approving gabapentin for this indication because the drug demonstrated only modest benefit. Gabapentin may cause:
What Is The Average Weight Gain During Menopause
As if the hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and sexual challenges weren’t enough, now you can add weight gain to the menopausal whammy. That’s right. In case you hadn’t noticed , women tend to gain about 10 to 15 pounds on averageâfrom 3 to 30 pounds is the typical rangeâduring and after menopause.
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Factors That Affect Desire
Your estrogen takes a nosedive during menopause and the years leading up to it, called perimenopause. This change has a huge impact on your sexual function. It can lower desire and make it harder for you to become aroused. It can also make the vaginal canal less stretchy and you may experience dryness, which can cause intercourse to be painful. More than a third of women in perimenopause, or who are postmenopausal, report having sexual difficulties, from lack of interest in sex to trouble having an orgasm.
Additionally, with age youre more likely to experience health problems. Chronic illness and injuries can deplete your energy, cause physical pain and lower your body image all of which affect your sex drive.
No It’s Not Entirely Your Fault Yes You Can Shed Those Extra Pounds
by Hallie Levine, AARP, July 30, 2018
As you hit your mid-to-late 40s, you may notice that besides battling the occasional hot flash or mood swing, your favorite black go-to pants are starting to feel noticeably more snug. This time it’s not your imagination.
The average woman gains about four-and-a-half pounds as she starts the transition to menopause in her 40s, according to a landmark study. And it’s a trend that doesn’t slow down, either: Women continue to put on about a pound and a half each year in their 50s and 60s, according to a new review published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
“The main reason is the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs with age,” explains Jo Ann Pinkerton, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Virginia Health System. “Since muscle burns more calories than fat, your metabolism slows down, causing you to put on weight.” Starting at age 30, research shows that you lose on average about a half pound of muscle each year and that number rises to almost a full pound once you hit 50.
Sounds daunting, but there are expert-approved ways to reverse your scale’s upward spiral. Here’s how:
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Herbal Helpers For Back Pain
Herbs you can look at, if you’re getting a lot of inflammation, a lot of pain, there’s a herb called devil’s claw, which is a nice natural anti-inflammatory. And we have an arnica-based gel that’s for pain relief on the joints, so that’s something that you could try as well if you wish to go down that route.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Another routine youll want to adopt? A healthy bedtime. When women go into menopause and their hormones are out of balance, they may have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, Dr. Richardson says. Study after study shows that sleep really helps your metabolism, so not getting the right amount and type of sleep can really affect your ability to lose or maintain weight as you age and in times of stress.
Get into bed early, aim for seven hours, and make your bedroom a place where you can achieve undisturbed sleep, if possible. She recommends taking L-theanine in the evening to calm you down and achieve deep sleep, but check with your doctor first. Try to think of your bedtime as a respite from the daily anxiety of a global pandemic.
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How Often Do I Need To See My Doctor After Menopause
You should still see your healthcare provider for routine gynecological care even though you aren’t menstruating. This includes Pap tests, pelvic exams, breast exams and mammograms. You should continue to schedule annual wellness appointments. Since you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, providers usually recommend bone density screenings as well. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine how often you should make check-up appointments based on your health history.
What Is Perimenopause Or The Transition To Menopause
Perimenopause , or the menopausal transition, is the time leading up to your last period. Perimenopause means around menopause.
Perimenopause is a long transition to menopause, or the time when your periods stop permanently and you can no longer get pregnant. As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual.
Irregular periods happen during this time because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter than usual. You might skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flashes and other menopause symptoms during this transition.
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Hormone Therapy Phytoestrogens And Antidepressants
If the above interventions do not provide relief, talk to your doctor about treatment with phytoestrogens, hormone replacement therapy and/or antidepressant therapy. HRT with estrogen will help to raise serotonin which will likely improve mood, sleep, appetite, and sex drive according to Dr. Gottfried. Estrogen therapy will help with the emotional and physical depressive and/or anxiety problems you may be experiencing. The drawback is that hormone replacement therapy comes with side effects, and this is the reason doctors are likely to pushback against it, if they even provide it at all. If you have a history of fibroids or blood clots in the leg or lungs, if you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, active gall bladder disease, or liver disease you should not consider HRT. Taking estrogen can worsen symptoms in some cases. However, despite the possible risks, many women find relief using HRT. Estradiol patches are FDA approved and considered safe when used appropriately. Estrogen needs to be used in combination with progesterone to protect from breast cancer and other risks of unopposed estrogen.
Here are some of the potential risks associated with longterm use of HRT based on Womens Health Initiative studies:
A few interesting trends that the researchers also found:
Women who used HRT for less than 2 years reported higher satisfaction with its efficacy than women who used it for over 2 years
When Does Menopause Occur
Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to have an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often have a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did.
Menopause can also happen for reasons other than natural reasons. These include:
Premature menopause. Premature menopause may happen when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40. It may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply. Premature ovarian failure is also called primary ovarian insufficiency.
Surgical menopause. Surgical menopause may follow the removal of one or both ovaries, or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause. These women often have more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to have menopause naturally.
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Stick To A Routine Or Establish A New One
Beyond working out to maintain weight, regular, routine workouts help stabilize hormone levels, according to Dr. Richardson. When you stay in a fitness routine, the adrenal glands, which control our stress pathways, stay calm. I know a lot of routines have been disrupted by this pandemic so you may even need to create a new routine to stay healthy.
Beyond regular movement, your routine should also include self-care and drinking loads of water, she says. Water is the fuel the body runs on. I suggest taking your body weight and dividing it in half. Thats how many ounces per day you need.”