Health

9 things menopausal women should know


Menopause usually begins at age 51, causing many changes in the body, making women more prone to weight gain, osteoporosis, or hot flashes.

Menopause is the absence of a period for a year. The symptoms of menopause are the result of decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries.

Common symptoms are hot flashes, weight gain, or vaginal dryness. Vaginal atrophy contributes to vaginal dryness. The vagina can become inflamed and thin the tissues, causing discomfort during intercourse.

Age

The average age at which menopause begins is 51. Most women stop menstruating between the ages of 45 and 55. The decline in ovarian function can begin years before in some women. Others will continue to menstruate into their late 50s.

The age of menopause is thought to be hereditary, but smoking or chemotherapy contribute to accelerated ovarian decline, leading to earlier menopause.

Distinguish between perimenopause and menopause

Perimenopause is the period just before menopause begins, when hormone production from the ovaries is starting to decline. You may experience hot flashes and irregular periods, but they won’t stop during perimenopause.

When your menstrual cycle stops completely for 12 consecutive months, you have entered menopause. In addition, hot flashes are the most common symptom. Hot flashes can occur at any time, sometimes accompanied by muscle and joint pain or mood swings. However, these signs are difficult to determine if they are due to hormonal changes, life circumstances or the aging process of the body itself.

Fiery expression

During a hot flash, you often feel your body temperature rise. Hot flashes affect the upper half of the body and the skin turns red or mottled. This heat leads to sweating, heart palpitations, and feeling dizzy. After a hot flash, you may feel cold. Hot flashes occur daily or even several times a day, they will repeat over the course of a year or several years.

Alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, psychological stress, high temperatures, being overweight, and smoking are factors that increase the frequency of hot flashes. To reduce this symptom, you should use a fan, perform breathing exercises to regulate body temperature, or use birth control pills, hormone therapy as prescribed by your doctor. If you’re having trouble controlling hot flashes on your own, you should see your doctor.

Everyone has different menopause symptoms

Symptoms of menopause vary from person to person, even within the same family. Age and rate of decline in ovarian function also vary greatly. This means that what works for a loved one or friend may not work for you.

Your doctor will help you understand your symptoms and find ways to manage them that fit each individual’s lifestyle.

Menopause weakens bones

The decline in estrogen production can affect the amount of calcium in the bones, bone density will decrease significantly, leading to osteoporosis. This leaves you vulnerable to fractures of the hip, spine, and other bones. Many women experience rapid bone loss in the first few years after their last menstrual period.

To keep bones healthy, women should eat foods high in calcium, such as dairy products or dark green leafy vegetables, take vitamin D supplements, exercise regularly, reduce alcohol intake, and avoid smoking.

Menopause can lead to heart disease

Heart-related conditions that can arise during menopause are dizziness or heart palpitations. Reduced estrogen levels can potentially prevent the body from regulating the elasticity of blood vessels, which in turn affects blood flow.

Tracking your weight, eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, and not smoking reduce your risk of heart disease.

Weight gain

Changes in hormone levels during menopause and aging make you more likely to gain weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.

Maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing healthy habits will help control your weight.

How to manage menopause

Currently, a number of hormone therapies are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage menopausal problems, such as treating hot flashes and preventing bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on symptom severity and individual health. These therapies may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, before trying any hormone therapy, you need to consult with your doctor.

In addition, lifestyle changes also help reduce many symptoms of menopause, including losing weight, exercising, reducing room temperature, avoiding harmful foods, or wearing cotton clothing that is light and wicks away sweat. It is advisable to have regular gynecological examinations while going through menopause.

Other treatments such as herbal therapy, self-hypnosis, acupuncture, some low-dose antidepressants… are also helpful in reducing hot flashes.

Specialist doctor 1 Dinh Ngoc Lien

Dermatology – Aesthetic skin unit, Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital

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