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Menopause- Start Here

menopause Jun 01, 2022
Menopause- Start Here

The dreaded ‘M’ word. Up until now, every life change has been a growth milestone where you gained something. You learned to walk, talk, drive, fall in love, communicate, have babies, work and more. Things we celebrated. Unfortunately this hormonal change can throw some spanners in the works, like fatigue, weight gain, fibroids and definitely no white pants for the first year, but no need to fret. There is also some great things! Your hormones aren’t constantly cycling so, we can help things normalise by giving your body what it needs. Aging isn’t the end of the world, it’s a privilege. Your body can still rock, like the 80’s music you like to blast! It’s not about losing something, it’s about change, and how you adapt to it. 

Overview

Menopause is another thing we women don’t know much about. For some It’s like Voldemort, the word that shall not be named. Others can’t wait for it to happen, in part this has to do with how our mothers experienced it. There is a good reason for this as the age we start to experience changes is quite strongly linked to what our mother experienced. There are still things like smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet and also hysterectomies that can induce menopause early. What ever stage of life you’re at, it’s best to understand what menopause is and the signs it’s started for you. This will help you know when to adapt your lifestyle around to facilitate your hormones into your golden years, or should we say ‘silver years’. When we do this we can help protect ourselves against; weak bones, alzheimers, hot flashes, slowed metabolism, migraines, weight gain and fatigue. Forget botox, let’s help your insides stop sagging too. 

 

MenoPause

So technically menopause is when you haven’t had a period or any spotting for 12 months (you can also go straight into this after having a full hysterectomy, aka uterus and both ovaries). This means that your ovaries have stopped producing hormones. This isn’t necessarily the end of the world because we can get oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone from other sources (stress glands, fatty tissue and food), it’s not as powerful but can really help keep your levels up and minimise things like; vaginal dryness (ouch, and yes this is common), sleep disturbances, weight gain, anxiety, depression, brain fog, dementia, decreased strength and risk of bone weakness… No wonder we’re all fearful of getting older, that doesn’t sound very fun. That doesn’t have to be you though, keep reading to find out what you can do to thrive through menopause.

Types Of Menopause

Menopause is a marker you have reached your next developmental milestone of life. Marked by a drop in  production of hormones from your ovaries. 

  • Natural — This occurs generally at the same age as your mother, plus of minus 1-2 years. This only applies if your mother went through natural menopause. Generally this will occur around 52 years of age. Factors such as:
      •  Age of your first period (Menarche): the earlier your first period, the earlier you will go through menopause
      • Smoking status: Smoking often causes you to enter menopause 1-2 years prior to your genetics determine
      • Length of your menstrual cycles: If your cycles where generally short (ie. 21 days) than you will enter menopause earlier, if they were longer (ie. 35 days) than you will enter menopause later
      • Pregnancies: The more pregnancies equals later menopause.
  • Medical — Menopause can be brought on sooner through medications and therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation which cause damage to the ovaries. If you want children that are genetically part of you, doctors will suggest harvesting and freezing your eggs prior to commencing treatment. This decision needs to be made with your specialist.
  • Surgical– Menopause can also occur when your ovaries have been removed. Remembering that your ovaries house your underdeveloped eggs, and when they undergo development they produce hormones. If there are no eggs, there is no hormones, so we enter menopause. This occurs when you have both ovaries removed (Bilateral Oopherectomy) you may also have both fallopian tubes removed at the same time (Bilateral Salpingectomy) and often your uterus is removed at the same time (hysterectomy), this is determined by the reason you want/need them removed in the first place. 1 in 4 women in USA will enter menopause as a result of surgery.
No matter how you enter menopause, adjusting how you look after your body in this new developmental milestone is important for maintaining healthy function. Keep reading for more details.
 
 

PHD NEUROSCIENCE AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE. FUNCTIONAL NUTRITIONIST AND HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER

DR. LISA MOSCONI

(In relation to menopause) Doctors and scientists can help, but we also need to learn how to help ourselves

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