Menopause-Why Too Soon?

February 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Menopause

Statistics shows that natural menopause comes, on the average, at the age of 50. However, statistics has also shown a gradual change in figures that is largely attributed to several factors like genes and science. Premature menopause, as it is commonly known, now happens to a lot of women who are not even in their 40′s yet. Thus, many women in their mid-30′s nowadays deal with problems on how to cope with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, not to mention dealing with several other emotional stresses and physical concerns. Particularly, a woman who marries in her 30′s and starts to plan on having a baby at such age would likely to find an early menopause a big problem.

The Symptoms

Basically, the symptoms of menopause can be explained by the gradually lessening of the production of estrogen in the ovaries. Early menopause, as in natural menopause, is characterized by irregular or unusually missing periods, heavier or unusually lighter periods, and the dreaded hot flashes that spreads to the upper part of the body and gives that sudden warm feeling.

Other menopause symptoms that women should also watch out for are vaginal dryness, bladder irritability or incontinence, sudden mood swings, and a drastic decreased appetite for sex.

The above symptoms of menopause, when experienced by women under 40, who also have had certain conditions or who have undergone some medical treatment, should prompt them to see their physician. This advice goes for those whose family has a history of premature menopause, those who have had chemotherapy, those who have tried but failed to become pregnant at least a year, or those who has a disorder like lupus.

The Diagnosis

A physical examination to determine the occurrence of menopause usually starts by ruling out other likely conditions like pregnancy or a thyroid problem. Subsequently, an estradiol test is made to figure whether or not the woman’s estradoil level falls under 36 which signals that one is already in the menopause period. Ultimately, a blood test is conducted to diagnose an increase in a woman’s follicle stimulating hormones. A woman is in menopause when the follicle stimulating hormones reaches more than 30 or 40 mIU/mL because it indicates that the ovaries have slowed down in its production of estrogen.

Other Health Issues Related to Premature Menopause

Women who experience premature menopause are likely to incur higher risk of other health conditions such as osteoporosis, colon and ovarian cancers, cataract problems, tooth loss, and gum diseases (periodontal). These conditions are largely caused by the decreased production of estrogen hormones by the ovaries. Thus, women who experience premature menopause are at a higher risk of contracting these menopause-related health issues since they do not enjoy the protection and benefits of their ovary-secreted estrogens.

Treatment of Premature Menopause

Basically, an early menopause condition is addressed the very same way that natural menopause is treated, considering that the symptoms and risks are perfectly the same. Women who have tried but failed to get pregnant for a over a year should discuss with a doctor the options or measures to take, especially in the advent of an early menopause. One should bear in mind that time is of the essence in cases of infertility since premature menopause is an irreversible process.

Menopause: How the Cope with Menopause

February 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Menopause

Finding the right formula for menopause treatment can be a very tough ordeal since it takes more than just a change in one’s diet. Medication and regular exercise must also be added to the equation in order to achieve significant results. However, doctors emphasize that menopause treatment is very difficult to achieve. Rather, what is plausible is a shot at relieving the signs and symptoms of menopause, as well as preventing and lessening the severe conditions that usually goes with aging. Thus, the following are some valuable treatments that could help one cope with menopause.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

The most effective treatment to the signs of menopause is Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy which specifically works to relieve hot flashes. Before undergoing this kind of therapy, one should always have a doctor take a peek into the health history of the person in order to determine the appropriate amount of doses needed to achieve menopause relief.

Helpful Drugs

Hot flashes which are the most common woe of women in their menopause period can actually be addressed by several numbers of helpful drugs. Anti-depressants, particularly venlafaxine (Effexor), when taken in low doses has actually proven to decrease hot flashes. The same thing goes with other serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Drugs used in treating seizures and high blood pressures, like gabapentin (neurontin) and clonidine (catapres), respectively, can also be useful in reducing the occurrence of these hot flashes.

Nonhormonal menopause medications are also available such as those that also help in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. While these menopause medications reduce bone loss and the risk of easily fractured bones, they likewise replace estrogen which is the basic treatment for women with osteoporosis. On the other hand, there are also selective estrogen receptor modulators that mimic the beneficial effects of estrogen minus the usual risks of estrogen-based drugs.

Small amounts of estrogen are also used in treating vaginal dryness, discomfort during intercourse and urinary problems which are some symptoms of menopause.

Remedies at Home

One good news that anybody dealing with menopause symptoms should know is that those symptoms are not there to stay. Thus, a few steps to reduce or prevent menopause’s ill effects should be helpful in coping with this difficult period.

Avoiding hot drinks, spicy food, and anything that gives your body warmth like alcohol and too much meat can help cool the dreaded hot flashes. Including lots of fruits and vegetables is also helpful to keep the body cool and fat-free.

Menopausal relief can be found in regular exercise, which also gives more benefits than meets the eye such as strengthening bones, lowering cholesterol, lessening the risks of heart disease and osteoporosis, and reducing insomnia and mood swings. Certainly, exercise does the trick in giving menopause relief as long as it is not done before bedtime.

Discomfort when having sexual intercourse can be addressed by using vaginal lubricants, or by simply keeping yourself sexually active.

Risks and Benefits

As in any other medical conditions, one should always remember to confide with a doctor as regards the risks and benefits of each of the suggested menopause treatments since not all of them may necessarily be good for everyone.

Menopause: Alternative Remedies

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Menopause

Unconventional answers to menopausal signs and symptoms that could either prevent or heal it at its early stages include basic changes in one’s diet, physical therapy and an intake of herbal supplements to help the body in its struggle against early menopause. However, these alternative menopause treatments are even more effective when used hand in hand with drug and surgical treatments. In fact, for centuries now, prescription drugs that we commonly use have been using, as main ingredients, botanicals from herbs in its drive to find alternative cures.

What to include in your diet?

Especially for women in their pre-menopause, an inclusion of food rich in phytoestrogens is very helpful in relieving symptoms of menopause. Other food supplements like black cohosh, as well as flaxseed, also brings that much needed menopause relief.

How Botanicals give menopausal relief?

Botanicals such as phytoestrogens and isoflavones which are found in soy products like tofu, soy beans and milk contains weak estrogen that contribute to lowering levels of cholesterol and relieving hot flashes. However, it should be noted that excessive intake of isoflavone supplements is not good for women with breast cancer history. Another kind of phytoestrogens is the edible seed known as flaxseed or linseed which works to lessen menopause symptoms, specifically hot flashes.

Another botanical substance that is easily available is black cohosh which is reported to be very helpful in the treatment of night flashes, and even in addressing vaginal dryness. However, it is not clear whether continued use for more than six months is advisable because it is likely to cause gastrointestinal problems.

Potent oils like evening primrose also relieves hot flashes, despite the lack in scientific basis to this effect. However, women reports to have suffered from nausea and stomach upset with its continued used. Thus, it is advised that women experiencing other health problems and taking other medication should avoid this alternative medicine.

A tried and tested botanical called dong quai which has been used by the Chinese for more than 2 centuries is widely known to give effective menopause relief.

Other Supplements for Menopause-Related Conditions

Osteoporosis and heart diseases are just few of other diseases commonly associated with menopause. Thus, intakes of food supplements that reduce the risk of these diseases also help in reducing the ill signs of menopause. Calcium, vitamins E and D can be found in low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Omega-3 found in fish oil has also been known to decrease cholesterol, although it is not advised for people who are about to undergo a surgery or by those under medication for blood-thinning.

Listen to your Physician

Further research to ensure the safety of using botanical substances is still in its early stages. Thus, while these varied food supplements in your diet may prove helpful to relieving menopause signs and symptoms, it is still advised that one should consult a doctor as regards the proper dosage of these supplements in order to avoid over dosage, or worse, further complications. In addition, your physician could also educate and caution you of the things to watch out when buying products in the market that, most often than not, usually have big claims.