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Is Menopause Bad For Your Health

Can Eating Alone Be Bad For Your Heart

How much alcohol is too much during menopause?
Date:
The North American Menopause Society
Summary:
As women age, their risk of cardiovascular disease exceeds men’s largely because of decreased levels of estrogen that regulate vascular function. As a result, much research is focused on various risk factors. A new study suggests that eating alone may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease in older women.

As women age, their risk of cardiovascular disease exceeds men’s largely because of decreased levels of estrogen that regulate vascular function. As a result, much research is focused on various risk factors. A new study suggests that eating alone may contribute to an increased risk of heart disease in older women. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society .

As part of the overall effort to reduce the incidence of CVD, there has been a growing awareness of healthy eating habits however, the importance of having an eating companion has been largely overlooked in previous studies. Recent changes in society have meant that more people than ever are eating alone. Some of the primary reasons include a rise in the number of single-person households. Social distancing protocols introduced in response to the COVID19 pandemic have further restricted eating meals with others. Additionally, mobile platforms for food delivery services have become more popular, further motivating people to eat alone.

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Your Libido Might Dip Thanks To Menopause

Its not universal, but some people with menopause report decreased libido, says Dr. Pizarro. Issue is, it’s tough for doctors to figure out how to combat a lowered sex drivethe cause isnt exactly easy to pinpoint. For decades, weve blamed loss of libido on a womans ovaries or hormones, says Libido is such a complicated thing that goes way beyond issues of the ovaries, uterus, and hormones, says Dr. Pizarro.

Beyond whatever mysterious physiological changes might affect someones libido at this life stage, adjusting to menopause’s physical changes might play a role. Adequate exercise helps make sure your blood is flowing properly, which is an essential part of getting wet during sex.

Drivers Of The Damaging Effects Of Menopause On Gut Health

Insulin resistance

There is a robust, almost comical, amount of evidence on the protective effects of estrogen on insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Premenopausal women have better insulin sensitivity than postmenopausal women AND men. This is pretty incredible since men have more muscle mass which is the primary tissue that disposes of glucose.

Giving male and female mice without ovaries estrogen improves their insulin sensitivity. A recent review of human studies shows that estrogen protects against insulin resistance in many ways. And giving men and women with poor estrogen synthesis estrogen corrects insulin resistance.

The reason this is important is because insulin protects against hyperglycemia-induced leaky gut. Ive covered that a million times, if you havent read about it, . The basic jist is if youre insulin resistant, you have to fix it. Otherwise your gut will suffer.

As we all age, insulin resistance gets worse. This data shows that menopause independently decreases insulin resistance regardless of age. So women suffer a double whammy when they go through it.

Autonomic imbalance

The autonomic nervous system is essentially the control center for all automatic processes. This includes all aspects of gut health. We have 2 arms of our autonomic nervous system:

Researchers believe this is why pre-menopausal women have a much lower risk of heart attack than men. Conversely, postmenopausal women have the same risk as men.

Circadian disruption

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Menopause Is A Natural Part Of Lifeand Full Of Benefits

Menopause isnt as bad as you may have heard, and I speak as someone who made it through her own menopause. I can assure you that beyond the temporary physical discomforts some experience, there are important benefits to the new stage of life into which youre headed. .

While menopause is discussed more openly today, there are still persistent myths that leave some women dreading this change of life. But there is no reason to dread menopause, which is a perfectly natural state that all women experience as they cease to menstruate.

Women are born with a finite number of eggs in their ovaries, most of which naturally die off through a process called atresia. During menstruation, the ovaries release a mature egg during the ovulation phase of each cycle. If the egg is not fertilized, it is flushed from the body. During menopause, this process stops, meaning women can no longer become pregnant.

As another benefit, if you have children, in all probability they are in school or even out of the nest, and you may finally have enough time and resources to turn your attention to yourself. When youre no longer caught up in monthly moon cyclesthe hormonal surges and drops that precipitate the emotional ups and downs, the PMS from hell, the mood swingswhat a relief. Youre on a more even keel, and you can move into a more balanced way of being.

Best Foods For Menopause

Pin on Perimenopause

    When you’re going through menopause, diet can help alleviate the symptoms that come with it: Mood swings, hot flashes, weak bones, slower reaction times. While most of us focus our thoughts on what we can’t change, there are actually a number of things that can be done to help us age gracefully and healthfully and work through menopause with ease. One of which is changing up your shopping list!

    With that in mind, we reached out to some of the wellness industry’s leading experts and asked them what women should load our plates with to mitigate the symptoms often associated with menopause. And while you’re tweaking your diet, scrap these foods that age you 20 years from your routine, too!

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    Tips For Talking With Your Doctor

    Talking about sex with your doctor might make you uncomfortable, but remember that its their job to take care of all aspects of your health and well-being without judgment. If youre uncomfortable with this topic, here are some tips to help:

    • Bring notes. Be specific about what your concerns are. It will help your doctor if you have notes on your symptoms, including what makes them better or worse, and how you feel when they occur.
    • Write down questions to bring with you to your appointment. Once youre in the exam room, it might be hard to remember everything you wanted to ask. Writing down questions beforehand will help make sure you get all the information you need and help guide the conversation.
    • Know what your doctor might ask. While every situation is different, understanding what your doctor might ask can help calm your nerves. They will probably ask how long your symptoms have been going on, how much pain or distress they cause you, what treatments youve tried, and if your interest in sex has changed.
    • Tell the nurse. Youll usually see a nurse before the doctor. If you tell the nurse that you want to talk to the doctor about sexual issues, the nurse can let the doctor know. Then they can bring it up with you, which may be more comfortable than bringing it up yourself.

    There are many ways to treat libido changes due to menopause.

    Is Having A Hard Time Concentrating And Being Forgetful A Normal Part Of Menopause

    Unfortunately, concentration and minor memory problems can be a normal part of menopause. Though this doesnt happen to everyone, it can happen. Doctors arent sure why this happens. If youre having memory problems during menopause, call your healthcare provider. There are several activities that have been shown to stimulate the brain and help rejuvenate your memory. These activities can include:

    • Doing crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities like reading and doing math problems.
    • Cutting back on passive activities like watching TV.
    • Getting plenty of exercise.

    Keep in mind that depression and anxiety can also impact your memory. These conditions can be linked to menopause.

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    Can Menopause Cause Facial Hair Growth

    Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you dont pick a product that could harm your skin.

    Fiber Water And Protein Make A Winning Combo

    3 more menopause symptoms which might surprise you

    After menopause, women find it easier to put on weight and harder to take it off. In addition, postmenopausal women’s figures begin to change as they gain more weight above the belt. “The good news is that a few extra pounds in the hips and thighs might dent a woman’s vanity, but they won’t hurt her health,” says Somer. “On the other hand, gaining weight in the tummy and chest could signal post-menopausal health problems, from heart disease and breast cancer to diabetes and hypertension.” Health-wise, she says, apple-shaped women derive the greatest benefits from weight loss even a 10 percent reduction in weight significantly improves a woman’s health status.

    How should menopausal women do this? Focus on real, unprocessed foods that are rich in the three magic ingredients for weight loss: fiber, water, and protein. “These fill you up on fewer calories, so you push away from the table before over-consuming. Cooked dried beans and peas, such as black beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas, and garbanzos, contain all three. Old fashioned oatmeal cooked in milk also is the perfect breakfast food for weight management.” Speaking of, make the most of these ways to lose weight with oatmeal.

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    What Can Be Done

    Lifestyle factors

    A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of the menopause, helping to keep the heart and bones strong. Many women feel that this is a good time to review the way they treat their body. Here are some tips to consider:

    Complementary & alternative therapies

    These have become a popular choice and many women use them, although limited scientific research has been done to support their effect or indeed their safety. They may sometimes help with troublesome symptoms, but they are unlikely to have a significant impact on bone strength, the heart or blood vessels.

    Choosing a complementary or alternative therapy can be a challenge so many different ones exist. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal treatments, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, yoga and reflexology have all been reported as being helpful in the menopause.

    To find out more about available therapies, please consult the WHC fact sheet Complementary/alternative therapies for menopausal women.

    Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective and widely used treatment for menopausal symptoms. As its name suggests, it is simply a way of replacing the hormone oestrogen that is lost during the menopause.

    Will I Start Menopause If I Have A Hysterectomy

    During a hysterectomy, your uterus is removed. You wont have a period after this procedure. However, if you kept your ovaries removal of your ovaries is called an oophorectomy you may not have symptoms of menopause right away. If your ovaries are also removed, you will have symptoms of menopause immediately.

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    Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause

    Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:

    • A loss of energy and insomnia.
    • A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
    • Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
    • Headaches.
    • Aggressiveness and irritability.

    All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feeling you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.

    Toward A New Understanding Of Menopause

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    For thousands upon thousands of years, menopause was seen as a natural part of life. Then, beginning in about the 1960s, our society began to view it is an illness, a deficiency. More than hot flashes or weight gain, women fear losing vitality, losing femininity, and losing youth. But if we can look at menopause in a different way, then we may begin to move towards a new understanding of it, and a new acceptance.

    Many healers have explored the connection between menopause and kundalini. Kundalini is energy that rests in the body. The word kundalini is Sanskrit for serpent-power and it is useful to picture this energy as a coiled snake or as energy that is sleeping. It rests at the base of the spine, waiting for us to awaken it and use its great potential. Perhaps a better way to think of it is as a heightened sense of awareness and consciousness. People who have awakened kundalini within themselves report experiencing increased clairvoyance, clarity, ecstasy, and transcendence. It is similar in concept to having a fully integrated seventh energy center, or crown chakra, and of having a great level of inner knowledge.

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    Diet And Age At Menopause: Is There A Connection

    ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

    A study published online by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found a link between the type of food that women regularly ate, and the age they went through menopause. Specifically, they found that women who regularly noshed on servings of refined pasta and rice went through the change earlier, while women whose diets focused more on fish, beans, and other legumes started menopause at a later age.

    Each daily serving of oily fish, beans, and other legumes that a woman ate was associated with an average 3.3-year delay in the start of menopause. And for every additional serving of refined pasta and rice a woman ate each day, menopause was on average 1.5 years earlier.

    Researchers also found that a higher intake of two nutrients, vitamin B6 and zinc, also appeared to delay menopause by 0.6 and 0.3 years, respectively. In addition, vegetarians in the study reached menopause at an earlier age than meat eaters.

    What Are The Long

    There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.

    Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.

    If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.

    Coronary artery disease

    • The loss of estrogen .
    • Increased blood pressure.
    • A decrease in physical activity.
    • Bad habits from your past catching up with you .

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    Osteoporosis Screenings And Testing You May Need

    If you are postmenopausal and have other risk factors, including rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, alcoholism, a low BMI, or a parent with a history of a hip fracture, talk to your doctor about having a DXA test before age 65.

    You can also use an online tool called FRAX to estimate your fracture risk in the next 10 years. This takes into account your age, gender, BMI, and alcohol intake, if you smoke or take certain medications, and other risk factors.

    Foods To Include In Your Menopause Diet

    Common health problems made worse by menopause

    Your overall focus should be on broadening your diet in the menopause, says Laura Southern, nutritional therapist at London Gynaecology. The nice thing about supporting hormone health when thinking about the menopause is we can focus on including lots of foods, rather than removing them, she says.

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    What Triggers A Hot Flash

    There are quite a few normal things in your daily life that could set off a hot flash. Some things to look out for include:

    • Caffeine.
    • Tight clothing.
    • Stress and anxiety.

    Heat, including hot weather, can also trigger a hot flash. Be careful when working out in hot weather this could cause a hot flash.

    Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire

    Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.

    However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.

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