Menopause – Coping With "The Change of Life"
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Moodiness, hot flashes, weight gain…just a few of the symptoms of menopause. While we cannot stop Mother Nature, we can become aware of signs and perhaps options to make the “change of life” easier to get through.
As women age, the body’s hormone levels begin to fluctuate, causing changes in menstrual cycles and leading to menopause. Menopause (when a woman’s period stops) usually begins at about age 50: perimenopause (the process that leads to menopause) can start as soon as the late 30’s but normally in the 40 year range. This stage will typically last from 2 to 8 years, varying from one individual to another.
Some symptoms may include irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, difficulty sleeping, headaches/migraines, memory/cognitive changes, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, weight gain, and fatigue.
Other more serious symptoms may include heavy and prolonged periods, depression, high blood pressure and heart palpitations. These are symptoms that do not need to be ignored. We strongly suggest you discuss these severe symptoms with your physician for possible underlying and life threatening issues.
While some women experience mild episodes of perimenopause symptoms, others suffer with severe symptoms that effect their daily lives.
As the body’s hormones (progesterone and estrogen) are decreased and become balanced, the symptoms will eventually lessen. It is important to remember that this is a phase that will pass and you will be able to enjoy life without periods and birth control issues.
In the meantime, you have the choice, based on your own personal symptoms and their severity, to cope with them or to seek supplements to alleviate their impact. Keep in mind there are options to help you get through perimenopause and to be able to resume your “normal” life. Take the time to educate yourself on the many safe supplements available and certainly, seek medical advice if you experience ANY of the more serious symptoms.
By Kim Roberson