Menopause – One SIZE doesn’t fit all

You’re right. There is nobody else who knows exactly what you are going through. Menopause is a highly individualized life stage. Just as no two pregnancies are the same, neither are any two menopausal experiences. Therefore, each woman views menopause differently and manages it differently. One woman’s approach isn’t better or worse than another woman’s approach — just different. This is why a “one size fits all” philosophy doesn’t work. Every woman’s life plan should be tailored to fit her physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

However, the way a woman enters menopause is either naturally or suddenly.

Natural Menopause

When menopause occurs according to Mother Nature’s timetable, it usually happens between the ages of 45 to 55. To be truly menopausal means being without your menstrual cycle for one year. Peri-menopause refers to the years preceding menopause when your hormone levels are fluctuating and declining. This hormonal roller coaster precipitates menopausal symptoms.

Sudden Menopause

Sudden Menopause occurs prematurely due to hysterectomy with ovarian removal, chemotherapy, pelvic radiation, medication, disease or premature ovarian failure (inexplicably entering menopause early). Therefore, Mother Nature’s timetable is rudely interrupted and no transitioning occurs. Sudden Menopause is abrupt and hormone levels plummet over a period of days to weeks to months. Due to the early and sudden nature of this type of menopause, more aggressive coping strategies are required to alleviate symptoms.

A Wave of Change

Menopausal symptoms, along with their onset and duration, vary from woman to woman. Commonly reported changes to include:

* hot flashes
* night sweats
* urinary incontinence
* bladder infections
* mood swings
* irritability
* anxiety
* depression
* joint pain
* dry skin
* decreased attention span
* memory deficits
* difficulty concentrating
* palpitations
* sleep disturbances
* weight shifting
* vaginal dryness and infections
* headaches
* fatigue
* loss of libido

Keep in mind that while you may experience some of these changes, it is unlikely that you will experience all of them.

Measures that result in relief may vary from woman to woman. Often, it takes a process of trial and error to find the key to restoring balance in your life. Also, since the above symptoms can be indicative of other medical disorders, such as thyroid dysfunction, blood sugar problems or depression, you should keep your health care practitioner informed of how you are feeling.

Herbal Remedies for Menopause

Herbal remedies and plant estrogens for menopause

You may wonder if herbal remedies for menopause are safer than HRT. You may also want to know if certain estrogen-like chemicals in plants (called phytoestrogens) can help with menopausal symptoms. Many over-the-counter herbal remedies are available to help women through menopause (for example, black cohosh or Remifemin*). Unfortunately, at this time there is little more than anecdotal evidence that these remedies are effective. The observation that women in Japan and China, where traditional diets are higher in soy, are less likely to suffer from menopausal symptoms suggests that phytoestrogens found in soy products might be beneficial. So far, some studies show that soy estrogens decrease hot flashes, but many studies have found no difference with soy. Some over-the-counter herbal remedies contain progestins or estrogens. We know very little about their effects on the body. If you choose to use alternative botanical remedies, we recommend that you see a health professional who is familiar with them and can monitor their effects.

Natural versus artificial hormones

The estrogens and progestins in currently used pills come from a variety of sources. Some, for example, the estrogens in Premarin*, come from the urine of pregnant horses (mares). Others are mostly synthetic. Still others, “natural” estrogens, and progestins, are made from plant sources. For example, the estrogen in Cenestin* is synthesized from Mexican yam and soybeans. Some women believe that “natural” estrogen and progestin may be safer than artificial (synthetic) hormones. However, natural and synthetic sources of estrogen and progestin are believed to be equally safe and effective. Some women react differently to different sources of estrogens and progestins. If this is an issue for you, discuss it with your healthcare provider.

The Connection Between Menopause And Mood Swings

Menopause is an inevitable part of life for every woman; the time when the ability to reproduce comes to an end. This physical process normally happens gradually over the course of several years as hormone levels shift and diminishes. The physical ramifications along with the emotional fallout of this life transition often spur a strong connection between menopause and mood swings.

During puberty, a woman’s ovaries begin to produce eggs along with the hormones to support reproduction. This menstrual cycle continues throughout a woman’s life until the beginning of menopause, which generally occurs sometime between a woman’s mid-forties and mid-fifties. If menopause happens naturally it can take place over a period of time as the ovaries begin to slow their production of eggs and hormone levels drop off until eventually, the process ceases altogether – resulting in the permanent end to a woman’s reproductive life.

In the case of medically induced menopause, a woman is thrust into this change with the surgical removal of her ovaries for a variety of reasons. In either case, there is a myriad of symptoms associated with menopause. Sometimes the best HGH supplements can help with these symptoms.

When the ovaries cease to produce eggs they also cease to produce estrogen the hormone responsible for supporting menstruation and pregnancy. The result can be a bevy of symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, memory loss, insomnia, and loss of sexual desire, among others.

This elimination of estrogen also often tends to forge a strong correlation between menopause and mood swings. Testosterone boosters can help with it.

The depletion of hormones can sometimes result in irritability, anxiety, and even periods of depression. There is also the emotional element attached to the process of menopause; a woman is saying goodbye to her reproductive life a process that can be overwhelming and sad.

Menopause and mood swings can be especially difficult when it goes on for long periods of time and interferes with daily life including career and family. In this case, a woman may seek out those treatments to help minimize mood swings. In some situations, a natural treatment plan that focuses on a healthy diet, consistent exercise, and adequate sleep can help to bring relief.

In more severe cases, the relationship between menopause and mood swings puts up obstacles throughout a woman’s life. When all-natural remedies fail, it may be time to see a doctor who can prescribe medical therapies that may help alleviate the symptoms.

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