Menopause is characterized by the end of menstruation, around the age of 45, and is marked by symptoms such as hot flashes that come on suddenly and the feeling of chills that follow soon after.
Treatment for menopause can be done through hormone replacement under the recommendation of the gynecologist, but it can also be done naturally with the use of herbal medicines.
What happens in menopause
What happens in menopause is that the body stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and this can generate symptoms such as absence of menstruation, hot flashes and irritability, but not all women perceive these symptoms, for some the menopause can pass almost unnoticed being only diagnosed by the doctor through a blood test that checks the hormonal issue.
Menopause symptoms can appear from the age of 35 and tend to intensify from this age onwards. The age of menopause varies between 40 and 52 years. When it occurs before age 40 it is called early menopause and when it occurs after age 52 it is called late menopause.
Some changes that happen during menopause are:
- Brain: mood and memory changes, irritability, depression, anxiety, headache and migraine;
- Skin: increased sensitivity to heat, redness, acne and dry skin;
- tits: increased breast tenderness and lumps;
- joints: Decreased joint mobility, stiffness;
- digestive system: Tendency to constipation;
- muscles: tiredness, back pain, decreased muscle strength;
- bones: Loss of bone density;
- Urinary system: vaginal dryness, weakening of the muscles that support the rectum, uterus and bladder, tendency to develop urinary and vaginal infections;
- Body fluids: fluid retention and increased blood pressure.
What you can do to reduce the discomfort of menopause is to take hormone replacement under medical advice, but to improve the quality of life, women can follow some guidelines such as eating properly, exercising regularly and taking care of their physical appearance.
Symptoms of Menopause
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Menopause symptoms usually include:
- Irregular menstruation, until the woman has not had a period for at least 12 months;
- Absence of menstruation;
- Hot flashes that come on suddenly, even if the woman is in an air-conditioned room;
- Cold sweat that occurs right after this hot flash;
- Vaginal dryness that makes intimate contact difficult;
- Sudden changes in mood;
- Anxiety and nervousness even without apparent cause;
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping;
- Weight gain and ease of accumulating fat in the abdomen;
- Tingling sensation or loss of sensation in some part of the body;
- Muscle pain;
- frequent headache;
- heart palpitation;
- Ringing in the ears.
The diagnosis of menopause is based on the symptoms that a woman reports to her doctor, but in case of doubt, hormonal decline can be confirmed through a blood test. The severity of symptoms can be assessed by the table below:
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According to this table menopause can be classified as being:
- Mild menopause: if the sum of these values is up to 19;
- Moderate menopause: if the sum of these values is between 20 and 35
- Severe menopause: if the sum of these values is above 35.
Depending on the discomfort that the woman presents, she may undergo treatment to reduce these symptoms, but there are women who have little discomfort and therefore manage to go through this phase without medication.
Also, although menopause usually appears around age 45, it can also appear before age 40, known as early menopause, and has similar symptoms. See the causes and symptoms of early menopause in Understand what is Early Menopause.
treatment for menopause
Treatment for menopause can be aimed at eliminating the cause or just the symptoms of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is usually recommended by doctors and consists of taking synthetic hormones for a certain period of time. However, hormone replacement is contraindicated in case of:
- breast cancer,
- thrombosis or circulatory problems,
- history of heart attack or stroke;
- liver diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, for example.
Natural treatment for menopause
Some helpful guidelines for natural treatment for menopause are:
- Take soy supplements, soy lecithin or soy isoflavone to fight hot flashes.
- Take a shower, place your wrists in cold running water, or have a cold drink to withstand hot flashes;
- Consuming a medicinal plant called Black Cohosh (Racemosa cimicifuga) to reduce vaginal dryness, in addition to applying a lubricating gel before each intercourse;
- Regularly consume bearberry tea to fight urinary infections.
Drinking a cup of strong, unsweetened coffee to fight a headache whenever it appears is a good option to avoid taking medication.
In addition to these options, there is the possibility for the woman to follow the homeopathic treatment for menopause with the use of Lachesis muta, Sepia, Glonoinum, Amil nitrosum, sanguinaria or Cimicifuga, under the guidance of a homeopathic physician. Or resort to herbal treatment for menopause with the use of soy isoflavone blackberry tincture or St. Kitts wort (Black Cohosh), under the guidance of a herbalist.
It is informed that those taking hormonal drugs prescribed by the doctor should not use these drugs at the same time.
remedy for menopause
Some examples of menopausal remedies are:
- Estradiol and Dydrogesterone – Femoston;
- Estradiol valerate and cyproterone acetate – Climene;
- Venlafaxine – Efexor;
- Gabapentin – Neurontin;
- Natural tranquilizers such as passionflower, valerian and St John’s wort;
The gynecologist will be able to indicate the most suitable remedies depending on the symptoms that the woman presents, and therefore the treatment of menopause can be different from one woman to another.
Diet in menopause can also help relieve the symptoms typical of this phase, so it is indicated:
- increase consumption of foods rich in calcium like milk and dairy products, sardines and soy to help strengthen bones;
- increase consumption of foods rich in vitamin E such as wheat germ oil and green leafy vegetables;
- give preference to: citrus fruits, whole grains, fish. Supplementation with flaxseed can be indicated to improve intestinal transit and control cholesterol.
- Avoid: spicy dishes, acidic foods, coffee and alcoholic beverages, foods high in sugar and fat, such as processed foods, in addition to meat and fatty dairy products.
After the onset of menopause, women have a greater tendency to gain weight because the metabolism becomes slower and to avoid this weight gain, it is recommended to reduce the daily intake of calories, giving preference to the consumption of light foods. Diet is also important to control menopausal diabetes, as it becomes more difficult to control blood sugar at this stage of life.
Check out nutritionist Tatiana Zanin’s video to find out what to eat to relieve symptoms and feel better:
How to prevent and treat dry skin in menopause
Some helpful tips for preventing and treating dry menopausal skin are:
- Moisturize the skin daily using body creams and face creams;
- Use liquid soap or with moisturizer;
- Avoid sun exposure especially during the hottest hours of the day;
- Use sunscreen whenever you leave the house;
- Drink about 2 liters of water a day;
- Take a vitamin E supplement.
So that the woman finds well-being in menopause in addition to circumventing the symptoms caused by the hormonal fall. She may resort to beauty treatments such as botox application, chemical peeling, face lifting, laser treatment for varicose veins or liposuction, depending on the need.
Regular exercise during menopause helps keep weight under control and strengthen bones. Some examples of exercises indicated for this phase are: water aerobics, yoga and Pilates as they cause less sweating and favor breathing control, which can also combat stress. To improve your mood, exercising in the early morning in the sunlight is the best option.
It is recommended to perform at least 30 minutes of exercises daily as this also helps to tone the muscles, thus preventing the decrease in muscle mass and the consequent exchange for fat.
After menopause the risk of bone fractures is higher, so know when it is necessary to take calcium supplements at this stage of life.
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