Identifying the Onset of Menopause.
The female body is innumerably more complex than that of the human male.
The biological functions a woman is tasked with, namely the development and birth of a new life, mean that the physiology of a woman is fundamentally different to that of a man than it is similar.
Even the musculoskeletal configuration of the female anatomy is considerably different, and an example is how women have an average greater range of motion in the pelvic girdle joint system, to allow for the passage of childbirth.
When we go deeper into a woman’s biochemistry, things start to get way more complex.
The ability to develop and give birth to a live human begins on a hormonal level.
This balance of hormones creates a cycle of events commonly known as a period or menstrual cycle.
A menstrual cycle, as any woman would know, is tremendously taxing and causes some degree of distress in most women ranging from mild to severe.
The blood loss suffered is also a major hindrance to the desired quality of life, and in fact, the menstrual cycle has been identified as one of the modern woman’s greatest obstacles in terms of socioeconomic access to opportunity.
With all this stress, it seems that almost by design, the female body has developed an off switch, almost a biological retirement package where the reproductive capabilities and the monthly strain they place on the body are shut down completely.
This is called menopause, but how does it work ?
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a biological state in the female body when menstruation completely stops, and with it, the ability for a woman to reproduce.
It is officially declared after a 12 month period of, well, no periods.
It is a natural and inevitable process and usually occurs around a woman’s middle age. The average age for the complete onset of menopause in the US is 51, although the signs and symptoms can begin developing in a woman’s 40s.
Although it is natural and unavoidable, menopause is a trying time.
The transition from fertile to infertile takes a toll on a woman, both physiologically and psychologically.
Here are a few of the risks associated with menopause:
These are avoidable conditions with the right knowledge, the right activity, and nutrition protocols and the correct identification of signs and symptoms
5 Signs And Symptoms of Menopause
Changes in Mood
Mood changes or mood swings and they are commonly referred to are a typical symptom of menopause, however, such a flux in mental state is common in women due to healthy, normal menstrual cycles well before the onset of impending menopause.
Mood swings are primarily the result of the tremendous amount of fluctuation in hormone balance.
With a decline in estrogen levels, symptoms of depression can settle in.
Along with this, irritability, cognitive dysfunction and anxiety tend to set in.
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoidance of stimulants and depressants such as caffeine and alcohol are proven ways to improve these symptoms.
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
As the hormones responsible for maintenance of regular cycles decrease, the timing, frequency, and duration of periods fluctuate.
This is a state called perimenopause and is the gradual transition that occurs over months or even years before the onset of full-blown menopause.
Cycles can happen more or less frequently, last longer or shorter or have heavier or lighter flows than what a woman experiences as normal and regular for herself.
The decline in estrogen production is also linked with chronic fatigue.
This is also exacerbated by another hormone, cortisol, the stress hormone.
Increased chronic levels of cortisol are the result of anxiety associated with the experience of perimenopause as well as the imbalances caused by decreased estrogen.
Menopause is a shut down of reproductive activity in a woman.
This also means a decline in the normal function of the sexual organs, specifically the vagina.
Vaginal dryness can result from this, making the act and idea of sex less appealing. This can result in, or simply accompany a lack of sexual interest or declined libido.
To counter this, the use of localized estrogen supplementation or water-based lubricant can make things a whole lot better.
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Decreased Metabolic Activity
Metabolic activity slows down during menopause and reaches its lowest natural level after.
Because of this, energy levels decline along with an increased propensity for weight gain.
Managing a declined metabolism can be achieved through regular, more frequent anaerobic exercise as well as a diet aimed at stimulating metabolic activity while restricting calories to a healthy degree.
Identifying these signs and symptoms can help you jumpstart the management of perimenopause and menopause.
By implementing good nutrition and exercise protocols such as increasing resistance training and bone mineral supplements for the avoidance of osteoporosis, as well as many other countermeasures, menopause can be less of a hindrance to a happy quality of life.
Menopause is going to happen, and even though it comes with some worrying signs and symptoms, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom.
Consider it your body’s way of saying thanks for doing a great job and being a strong, courageous human being, you can take a break now.
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