Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Top Five Health Concerns During Menopause

healthy menopause
The change is a natural part of life


With the oncoming years of the late 40s and early 50s, all women will experience the natural stage of life called menopause. It is not a disease or a physical ailment, but simply a biological change indicating a shift from fertility to the cessation of reproductive ability. For many, it is a celebration and a time when life moves onward. And though a normal menopausal cycle is not a disorder needing treatment, it is a good idea to maintain open communication with a doctor as there are some potentially serious health concerns during this time to watch out for.

Osteoporosis
 
With onset of menopause and the decrease of estrogen among other things, women are at risk for type 1 osteoporosis, also known as postmenopausal osteoporosis. This skeletal disorder reduces bone density and strength to where bones become fragile and are at a much higher risk of breaking. Supplements and additional therapies under a physicians care can bolster bone strength and density. The risk of developing type 1 osteoporosis increases dramatically after menopause.

Cancer
 
Cancer is not directly linked to the onset of menopause, yet cancer risks do increase at a pace with aging that make it a dual concern when visiting a doctor for checkups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And though menopause itself may not be a trigger for cancer, there are therapies that treat menopause that are associated and linked with an increased risk of a select few types of cancer. According to the website Cancer.net, research has shown that some women who received combined hormone treatments show a higher risk of developing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Further indicators in the study also showed that women who smoked that also received combined hormone treatments were at an even higher risk.

Heart Disease
 
According to the North American Menopause Society, women suffer just as much as men with struggling to combat heart diseases and circulatory ailments. To date, these account for the majority of illness causing deaths among women, and after the age of 55, "more than half of all the deaths in women are caused by cardiovascular disease. Risk for this disease increases after menopause." Fluctuating hormone levels during menopause directly affect how lipids are utilized in the body and therefore begin build ups leading to heart disease.

Overall Physical Health and Nutrition
 
Menopausal and perimenopausal women experience fluctuations in hormone levels that coincide with the decrease of estrogen in their bodies. This temporary imbalance the system throws metabolism rates into disarray, where physical activity and the way the body processes food may not be enough as in a premenopausal condition. With a doctor's consultation, now is a great time for women to inspect closely their nutritional intakes and plan an appropriate exercise curriculum to regain a healthy body.

Mental Health
 
Menopause coincides with a woman's midlife point, and is dictated by changing hormonal levels. These two factors alone can lead to the development of sleep problems, fatigue, and depression concerns. It is suggested that women experiencing stress and depression in conjunction with menopause should talk openly with their physicians and family to seek solutions to improving mental health. Increased stress, lack of energy, and negative thoughts on growing older are all indicators and help should be sought out immediately.