Menopause related body changes are almost always triggered by hormone imbalances. The prolonged phase of fluctuating hormone levels preceding menopause is known as perimenopause and is generally when women experience the most symptoms. In addition to lasting for up to ten years before a woman's final period, the symptoms it brings can persist even after menopause.
The key to reducing unpleasant and bothersome menopause experiences is to try and restore hormonal balance. Keep reading to learn more about common body changes and their subsequent treatment options.
90% of women experience some weight gain during menopause. This is because their ovaries start to produce less estrogen during the transition and cause the body to seek it from other sources, namely the fat cells that produce estrogen. In order to restore the balance, the body attempts to convert calories into fat. A woman's metabolism also slows as she ages which can intensify the experience of weight gain. Maintaining a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine is central to preventing weight gain.
The head loses 100 hairs on a daily basis. Normally the body replaces this hair naturally, but as the body ages the process becomes less efficient. The drop in estrogen, combined with stress, are largely to blame for menopause hair loss. Strengthening the hair and stimulating its growth is central to preventing loss. This can be achieved naturally by eating nutrient-rich foods and finding ways of reducing stress.
Vaginal tissue becomes thinner, drier, and less elastic when perimenopause causes estrogen levels to drop. This can result in itching, irritation, and painful sex. Using a water-based lubricant during sex will help avoid pain and soreness.
During menopause, sweating can be exacerbated as a response to hormonally induced symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Body odor can be combatted by wearing breathable fabrics, like cotton, and finding the right deodorant for you.
Generally, brittle nails indicate either nutrient deficiency or dehydration. During menopause however, they are mostly brought on by hormonal imbalance. The experience of brittle nails can be alleviated by staying hydrated, wearing gloves when washing the dishes, and eating foods that are rich in biotin.
The bodily changes that are triggered by menopause symptoms can be disruptive and annoying. It is important to remember though that these are completely normal symptoms that most women going through menopause experience. There are however, several natural ways of managing and treating these symptoms. Largely featuring maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and reducing stress.
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- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Menopause. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/menopause