Ovarian And Uterine Cancers
Cancer of the ovary or uterus can cause abdominal cramps. Your risk for these cancers increases in your 50s and beyond. Cramps alone arent reason to assume you have cancer. Women who have cancer usually have other symptoms along with cramps, such as:
- vaginal bleeding
- unexplained weight loss
Any worrisome symptoms warrant a visit to your doctor just to make sure theyre not due to something serious.
You may be more likely to get one of the conditions that causes cramps after menopause if you:
- took estrogen for menopause symptoms
- have a family history of ovarian or uterine cancer
- got your first period before age 12
- started menopause after age 52
- used an IUD to prevent pregnancy
Think about whether you have any of these risk factors. Then, discuss them with your doctor.
Pelvic Pain During Menopause
Change is the inevitable truth that nature teaches us! As we age, bodily changes may be very difficult to accept for some, especially if you are not well informed with how your body would change, creating possible pain during menopause. Our bodies go through cycles of change, and oftentimes, change can be both painful and scary. Staying informed and educated about these changes is empowering.
Puberty is openly discussed in school and we seem to be better educated with puberty, however, it is surprising to discover in the clinic, how misinformed women actually are when it comes down to menopause, which in turn leaves women suffering from pelvic pain during menopause.
Very often we start getting intrigued by the word menopause only when our inner clock starts calling its dues. We learn that our fertility starts to slow down, our periods get irregular and very often around the age of 50, the menstrual cycle slows down to its ultimate stop.
However, menopause can occur earlier for a variety of reasons, some of them could be hormonal, genetic predisposition, surgical, in the form of a hysterectomy and many more. It is important to know about menopause and what to expect so that we can seek medical advice and avail Pelvic PT services at the earliest if need be.
Through menopause, female bodies experience many changes, these changes can be associated with a variety of symptoms, often painful and sometimes puzzling.
How To Calm Your Gut During Menopause
Menopause is a significant event in every womanâs life and can be both physically and mentally taxing on your well-being. The first step to soothing gut symptoms is to speak openly and honestly with your healthcare provider so that they can help guide you through this new chapter of your life and advise on appropriate treatments or management tools.
In addition to speaking to your doctor, there are some simple at-home remedies you can try to manage menopause-related gut symptoms, such as:
Treatment And Prevention Of Bloating
You can reduce bloating by making various lifestyle adjustments. These changes in behavior may also help you prevent bloating from occurring.
- Change your diet: Avoid foods that cause bloating. These include fatty foods, vegetables known to cause extra gas, and dairy products. Also, skip overly processed foods, which have high levels of sugar and salt.
- Exercise more frequently: Try to work out several times a week, and keep your activity varied from cardiovascular exercises to strength-building ones.
- Skip chewing gum and carbonated beverages: These can fill up your stomach with air, leaving you with a bloated abdomen.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol: These can increase bloating.
- Drink plenty of water: You may experience bloating if you dont stay hydrated enough.
There are other ways to prevent and treat bloating that involve over-the-counter and prescription medications:
What Else Does An Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Show
If healthcare providers diagnose endometrial cancer, they also need to determine the type. The type helps the care team figure out the best treatment:
- Type 1 endometrial cancers are less aggressive. They usually dont spread to other tissues quickly.
- Type 2 endometrial cancers are more aggressive. Theyre more likely to spread outside of the uterus and need stronger treatment.
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Lifestyle Changes To Help Ease Perimenopausal Symptoms
It is important to consume a healthy diet. This should include foods such as fresh vegetables and whole grain products. Lower calorie dairy products that are rich in calcium, should also be included.
2. Weight control
It is very important to determine the optimal weight for each individual’s height and body type. Body mass index charts should be used, and women should work to maintain their ideal weight.
Regular moderate physical activity for at least thirty minutes three times per week is ideal. If time is limited, aerobic exercise such as jogging or fast walking is preferred. However, if time is not an issue, muscle building or maintenance should be attempted using light weights or other forms of progressive resistance.
4. Smoking cessation!
This is very important in the management of perimenopause. In smokers, the level of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream increases each time a cigarette is consumed. Carbon monoxide has been shown to increase the rate of breakdown of estrogen in the body. This can lead to worsening hot flushes. In addition, smokers tend to lose bone at a higher rate than non-smokers, and this can contribute to worsening osteoporosis at an accelerated rate.
5. Dietary supplements
- Fatty fish
- Talk to friends or family about issues that are causing you stress.
- Seek professional help if you need it.
7. Get more sleep
8. Talk to your doctor
Treating Low Back Pain In Perimenopausal Women
Physiotherapeutic procedures used to treat low back pain include exercises, manual therapy, massage and physical measures. Pharmacology is also used .
According to Mishra et al. , the exercise program for postmenopausal women should include endurance exercises, strength exercises and balance exercises. Out of these, aerobics, weight bearing, and resistance exercises are effective at increasing the bone mineral density of the spine in postmenopausal women . This is an extremely desirable effect considering the fact that bone mineral density tends to diminish at this stage of woman’s life .
The American Pain Society and American College of Physicians stated that there is good evidence that specific physical exercises recommended by a physiotherapist have a moderate positive effect in low back pain. These organizations also pointed out that there is no good evidence for physical therapies for low back pain and so they do not recommend their use .
Study by Cherkin et al. compared the effects of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation and provision of an educational booklet on low back pain. It concluded that physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation were similarly effective in terms of symptoms, functioning, satisfaction with care, disability, recurrences of back pain, and subsequent visits for back pain. There was no significant difference between a chiropractor or a physical therapist with regard to the length of the therapy, which lasted for about 2.5 hours.
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Menopause And Joint Pain: What Is The Connection
Joint pain often occurs at the same time as menopause and it affects many women. While there is no clear reason for these achy and swollen joints, some doctors believe it may be due to falling estrogen levels. Estrogen is thought to protect joints and reduce inflammation, and when these levels drop during menopause, inflammation can increase or cause joint pain.
To learn what menopausal joint pain feels like, what the connection between menopause and joint pain is, and how to relieve menopausal joint pain, continue reading.
What Type Of Uterine Cancer Surgery Will I Need
Surgery is usually the main treatment for endometrial cancer. Youll most likely have a hysterectomy, with the surgeon removing the uterus and cervix. There are three types of hysterectomy procedures:
- Total abdominal hysterectomy: The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen to access and remove the uterus.
- Vaginal hysterectomy: The surgeon removes the uterus through the vagina.
- Radical hysterectomy: If the cancer has spread to the cervix, you may need a radical hysterectomy. The surgeon removes the uterus and the tissues next to the uterus. The surgeon also removes the top part of the vagina, next to the cervix.
During a hysterectomy, surgeons often perform two other procedures as well:
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Most people need this extra step to make sure all cancer gets removed.
- Lymph node dissection to remove lymph nodes and see if the cancer has spread.
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Whos At Risk For Uterine Cancer
There are several risk factors for endometrial cancer. Many of them relate to the balance between estrogen and progesterone. These include morbid obesity, a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome or taking unopposed estrogen. A genetic disorder known as Lynch syndrome is another risk factor unrelated to hormones.
Risk factors include:
Age, lifestyle and family history:
- Age: As women get older, the likelihood of uterine cancer increases. Most uterine cancers occur after age 50.
- Diet high in animal fat: A high-fat diet can increase the risk of several cancers, including uterine cancer. Fatty foods are also high in calories, which can lead to obesity. Extra weight is a uterine cancer risk factor.
- Family history: Some parents pass on genetic mutations for hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer . This inherited condition raises the risk for a range of cancers, including endometrial cancer.
- Diabetes: This disease is often related to obesity, a risk factor for cancer. But some studies suggest a more direct tie between diabetes and uterine cancer as well.
- Obesity : Some hormones get changed to estrogen by fat tissue, raising uterine cancer risk. The higher the amount of fat tissue, the greater the effect on estrogen levels.
- Ovarian diseases: Women who have certain ovarian tumors have high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels. These hormone changes can increase uterine cancer risk.
Menstrual and reproductive history:
How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood
If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.
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Further Reading On This Topic
Dr. Killoran has a private practice and is also a health coach at drkatemd.com. Your Doctors Online offers a free 7 day trial: Ask a doctor questions and get answers in minutes from anywhere 24/7. Learn more here.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
What Medications Ease Perimenopausal Symptoms
There are a variety of medications that may ease perimenopausal symptoms in women. These include
There is no “cure” for perimenopause.
One of the most effective and infrequently mentioned methods of treating the spectrum of problems encountered during perimenopause is the combination birth control pill. These pills contain synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone, the two primary hormones produced by a normally functioning ovary. They act by preventing the ovary from releasing its own estrogen and progesterone. They also work to inhibit ovulation, thus preventing pregnancy.
While on birth control pills, a woman’s body responds directly to the hormones in the pill, and her endogenous ovarian hormone production is suppressed. Thus, the irregular, frequently heavy, menstrual periods, which are common during perimenopause, can be eliminated. She will bleed in response to the hormones in the pills. The birth control pills also prevent ovarian cyst formation, which is common during perimenopause and is directly tied to irregular ovulation due to erratic ovarian hormone production. Birth control pills are also known to decrease breast cyst formation, and they may also decrease the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Who should not use oral contraceptives for perimenopausal symptoms?
Systemic hormonal products
Topical vaginal estrogen
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What Does Menopausal Joint Pain Feel Like
Menopausal joint pain is often at its worst in the morning when joints are stiff from disuse overnight. As the day progresses and movement increases, your pain may lessen because the joints are loosening up. Joints that are frequently affected during menopause are the neck, jaw, shoulders, and elbows, through the wrists and fingers may also experience some pain. The discomfort is characterized by stiffness, swelling, shooting pains, and even a burning sensation after working out.
The Link Between Menopause And Chronic Pain
If you’re going through menopause, have you noticed that along with the hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes, you also feel a lot more pain? It’s not just your imagination. A new study has found that women with menopause symptoms are nearly twice as likely to have chronic pain diagnoses, such as fibromyalgia, migraine, and back pain.
“Chronic pain is a huge issue across the United States, but not a lot of attention is paid to the fact that it’s particularly acute for women in midlife,” says author Carolyn Gibson, PhD, a clinical research psychologist with the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
She analyzed the medical records of more than 200,000 female military veterans for the study, published in Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society . “Many women are having a tough time in menopause, and we found that those most affected by those symptoms were far more likely to have chronic pain.”
Other symptoms and “side effects” of menopause may also worsen chronic pain, including:
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What Causes Hot Flashes In Men And Women
Men, women, and children can suffer from hot flashes. The most common cause of hot flashes in women is during perimenopause and menopause. A common cause of the condition in men is low testosterone, or low-T. Side effects from medications also cause hot flashes. There are more serious causes of hot flashes like carcinoid syndrome, cancers, and hormone problems.
What Gi Symptoms Are Associated With Menopause And Why
A wide range of digestive problems can arise during menopause including excessive gas, bloating, belching, nausea, and abdominal discomfort.
If you think about it, the main job of our digestive tract is to break down food, absorb nutrients, and excrete waste. Hormones play a large role in digestion. When estrogen and progesterone levels change during, and leading up to, menopause, this can alter the entire process of digestion.
Estrogen plays a key role in keeping our cortisol levels low. Cortisol is our primary stress hormone. Its job is to make sure youre able to respond appropriately to both good and bad stressors. Corisol increases sugar in your bloodstream so that you have energy available to react to a stressful situation. It enhances your brain’s ability to use glucose so that you can respond more efficiently to stress and think more clearly under pressure. It slows or halts body functions that wouldnt be essential in a fight-or-flight situation. For example, it suppresses your GI tract and reproductive systems in a time of stress: organ systems that arent essential when you just need to survive
That being said, when estrogen levels decline in menopause, cortisol levels rise. This can have several effects on the GI tract including reduced production of stomach acid , and slowed GI motility. Slowed GI motility means it takes longer for food to travel through your digestive tract. This results in gas, bloating and constipation.
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What Causes Uterine Cancer
Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of uterine cancer. Something happens to create changes in cells in the uterus. The mutated cells grow and multiply out of control, forming a mass called a tumor.
Certain risk factors can increase the chances youll develop uterine cancer. If youre at high risk, talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to protect your health.
Causes Of Pain During Menopause
The climacteric period is a grandiose restructuring of the female body. The gradual shutdown of the function of childbearing is accompanied by changes in all organs and systems. This is manifested by unusual and sometimes not the most pleasant sensations, including the pain of different localization, strength, and duration .
The root cause of all types of pain with menopause is a sharp change in hormonal status. The decrease, and then the cessation of secretion of estrogen and progesterone, is reflected not only in the state and functions of the reproductive system. Sex hormone cells are present in various tissues and organs. Therefore, estrogen deficiency during and after menopause leads to changes in the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine systems, affects metabolism, the emotional and psychological sphere, etc. With menopause women are most often concerned about abdominal pain, lower back pain, perineum, headaches, menopause muscle pain, and bone pains. They are quite intense and often reduce the quality of life, especially if combined with other symptoms of the change.
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How Does Menopause Affect Bloating
When women reach peri-menopause, estrogen levels can actually fluctuate quite a bit, at least initially. They tend to rise and fall before dropping off significantly at menopause. When estrogen levels are high women tend to retain more water. Bloating results.
During and after menopause, bloating can be related to slowed digestion and constipation related to hormonal imbalances.
Lower estrogen levels result in decreased levels of bile. Bile promotes bowel movements by softening your stool, lubricating your intestines, and speeding up how fast stool moves through your large intestine. Decreased bile levels associated with menopause can make stools harder and drier and more difficult to pass resulting in constipation, gas and bloating.
In order to avoid missed diagnoses, delayed care and poor outcomes ALL GI symptoms should always be evaluated promptly and aggressively by a trained gastroenterologist. Bloating can be a sign of a much more serious problem like certain cancers, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstruction, diverticulitis, infectious causes, amongst many other conditions.