Healthy Living

Mid life health; symptoms can be challenging!

Mid life health; symptoms can be challenging!

 

Menopause is diagnosed after your body goes 12 months without a period. While menopause can happen in your late 30s, 40s or 50s, the average age is around 51. Menopause symptoms, including missing or late periods, are different for every woman. Most women tell of having irregular periods before they stop menstruating altogether. Most women experience some physical or emotional symptoms when they reach menopause, which is typically in their early fifties, though it can occur at any age between 35 and 59. Hot flashes are the most common of these symptoms — at least two-thirds of women going through menopause experience them — but there are many other uncomfortable signs to watch for, too e g  Body odor, Breast tenderness, Burning mouth syndrome, Chills, Dry mouth and dental problems, Dry skin, Fatigue, Hair loss or thinning hair, Inability to concentrate, Irregular periods, Itching, Loss of breast fullness, Mood changes, Night sweats, Skipped periods, Sleep problems or insomnia, Vaginal dryness and itching, Weight gain and slowed metabolism.

While almost all women at menopause will complain about hot flashes or menopause itching, many do not notice more serious menopause symptoms that can increase the risk of heart disease and require a doctor’s attention, including increases in: Blood pressure, Blood-clotting proteins, Glucose intolerance, Homocysteine, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, Total cholesterol, Weight.

After menopause, it is important to get regular physical exams and checkups with your physician, because a woman’s risk of certain health conditions may escalate with the loss or decline of estrogen, including:

  • Cardiovascular diseases (heart and blood vessel)
  • Osteoporosis(weakening of the bones)
  • Sexual dysfunction (vaginal dryness and low libido)
  • Urinary incontinence(menopausal vaginal and urinary tract changes)
  • Weight gain (slower metabolism and inactivity)

Many women relied on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in the past to manage menopause symptoms like hot flashes; however, doctors hesitate to prescribe HRT today. Many scientific studies link HRT to the increased risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Now many women at menopause take prescription drugs or use different self-care strategies to manage uncomfortable symptoms, including:

  • Alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture
  • Exercise regimens like yoga and low-impact aerobics
  • Herbal preparations like black cohosh
  • Lifestyle modifications (smoking cessation, improving sleep)
  • Phytoestrogens(plant-derived chemicals such as soy that have estrogenic action)
  • Over-the-counter preparations
  • Relaxation techniqueslike meditation

 

Some women notice after menopause that their breasts are not as full as they used to be or that their bras seem a bit looser. This is because estrogen levels are changing.

Sleeplessness can be a significant menopause symptom, Schmidt says. “Many women reaching menopause have trouble sleeping because their estrogen levels are dropping and the temperature control in their brains has trouble functioning.” “You might wake up and have a hot flash and then be unable to fall back asleep.” These tips can help: Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning. Make sure your bedroom is cool, and limit your fluid intake in the evening.

Another sign of menopause is dry skin. Blame the fact that your ovaries are producing less estrogen. “You need estrogen for elasticity.”  Without it, skin can become tight and itchy, especially at night when you’re sleeping. Battle back by applying moisturizer daily. The thicker and greasier the moisturizer, the more it will help soothe your dry skin at menopause.

You may notice that as you go through menopause, your hair gets thinner. Once again, it’s the estrogen — or the lack thereof. Also, because your skin is drier, your scalp may be dry as well. Try using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

 You may notice that your nails seem drier and more brittle than usual. Any new changes in your nails can be caused by lower estrogen levels, which can lead to dehydration. Like your skin, your nails need moisture. Again, eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids can help. You may also try reducing stress with exercise, yoga, and meditation or using natural remedies to replace lost hormones.

 

 

Fluctuation in Estrogen Levels Leads to a Metallic Taste  or a burning sensation on their tongue, lips, gums, or other spots in their mouths. You may also find that some foods taste different during or after menopause, with fluctuation in estrogen levels leaving a metallic taste in the mouth. Again, the culprit is a hormone imbalance. Decreasing hormones can affect your taste buds and make you more sensitive to pain. 

Menopause also influences language skills and other functions related to memory. That’s why, when you go through menopause and your estrogen levels drop, you may have difficulty remembering new information or retrieving what’s already in your head. “You might think you’re going crazy.” Another reason for memory issues is the insomnia that often accompanies menopause. It’s harder to concentrate when you’re fatigued, Hormone therapy and regulating sleep patterns might help keep your brain sharp.

 

Menopause may also cause problems with your teeth and gums. When your estrogen levels decrease, your entire body, including your mouth, gets drier, Schmidt says. And when your mouth is dry, bacteria can grow, causing tooth decay and making your gums bleed or recede. The solution to fight this sign of menopause: Practice good dental hygiene and drink plenty of fluids.

When your estrogen levels drop, your hypothalamus gland gets fooled into thinking you’re overheated and causes you to sweat. Sweating excessively, as during a hot flash, can cause a not-so-pleasant body odor. To prevent overheating, eat a healthy diet and practice stress reduction techniques. Other ways to sidestep potential smelliness? Wear breathable clothing, bathe more often if needed, and use a stronger deodorant with an anti-perspirant.

Dizziness is also a well-known menopause symptom. The signs of dizziness, such as light-headedness, a woozy feeling, nausea, and spinning, may come and go at any time. Treatments depend on the cause but can include lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise.

 

Weight gain may feel like it’s inevitable ?

Weight distribution changes occur as you hit menopause, with the added pounds accumulating right around your belly. Before, during, and after menopause, your estrogen levels begin to wane and your metabolism slows, making it more difficult for you to lose weight, particularly around your middle. And belly fat isn’t just annoying — it’s also unhealthy. Studies show it increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and perhaps even early death. What to do?

  1. 1. Exercise More Often, More Intensely to Counter Midlife Weight Gain

Start with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to burn off menopausal weight gain. Your routine should include aerobic exercises, like swimming, walking, bicycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, and two or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that work all of the major muscle groups, like the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms. An increase in activities in your daily routine is the recipe for success. You don’t have to go to a gym, but you do need to do enough heavy lifting to keep your muscles strong and your metabolism revved. “Try activities that have you lifting, pushing, and pulling”.

  1. 2. it’s better to Stand than Sit

The formula is simple: The more time that your body’s in motion, the more calories your body will burn. “Stay as vertical as possible throughout the day”. Not only will that increase calorie burn, it can also help prevent other health problems. Prolonged sitting is connected to higher levels of abdominal fat, as well as fat that are accumulated around organs such as the liver, which increases risk for diabetes and heart disease. A review published in January 2018 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology examined studies on standing desks and found that a person who weighs roughly 143 pounds could potentially burn 54 calories a day by standing — instead of sitting — for six hours.

  1. 3. Keep Portions in Check and Time Your Meals Right

Your metabolism has slowed down by the time you hit menopause — with some research suggesting it burns a couple hundred calories fewer a day. “You can very quickly avoid 200 calories, but that can also very quickly add up if you don’t reduce the number of calories you consume”.

Cutting back on restaurant meals and takeout is an easy way to control portions, but the timing and frequency of your meals can make a big difference, too. “Research is pointing to doing better in the weight department by eating three square meals a day.” She says to start your day with a hearty breakfast that contains lean protein, and aim for a light supper. “Eating your main meal at noontime can be beneficial for your weight”.

  1. 4. Choose Wisely and Eat Meals With Healthy Fats

Fat has flavor and makes our food taste better. So the good news is that it isn’t necessary to completely eliminate it from your diet altogether.

The healthiest fats are the ones that derive from vegetable sources like olives and nuts, but keep in mind that healthy fats — like those found in avocados — have the same number of calories as the fat found in an ice cream sundae. “An ounce of nuts has 170 calories, so you have to be very careful,”. “The same goes with extra-virgin olive oil. And restaurant meals — once again — are not your friends in the fat department. FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fat in the food supply, are not generally recognized as safe, and as of June 2018, manufacturers can no longer add PHOs to foods in USA, but in India there is no check.

  1. 5. Time Meals and Snack Right to Counter Mindless Eating

It’s not just what you eat when you are following a midlife diet that matters, but also when you eat. Midnight ice cream binges and potato chip raids, for example, are generally bad ideas — and would be a poor choice even during the light of day. But the general message on food timing is clear: “Don’t eat too much too late,”. “Eating later in the evening is murder for trying to keep weight off.”

Be strict with your time limit. “End your eating at a reasonable time, like 7 p.m., and pick it up again 12 hours later, the next morning at 7 a.m.” 

 

  1. 6. Update Your Healthy Sleep Strategies to Rest Better and Fight Weight Gain

Insomnia is an extremely common symptom of perimenopause, which is the period of time when women’s bodies transition toward their final menstrual cycle. Inadequate sleep impacts our hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin. “Ghrelin and leptin become dysfunctional when you don’t get enough sleep,.

Aim for a minimum of seven (and ideally eight) hours of shut-eye. Keep your bedroom cool to offset hot flashes and nights sweats, and turn off all glowing screens for at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. If you really can’t fathom doing that, wear amber-lensed glasses to counteract the sleep-disrupting effects of blue light .

To reduce stress, employ quick and simple calming techniques:

  • Step outside and enjoy the greenery. Research shows that being in nature reduces stress. One study, published in September 2014 in the journal Environment and Behavior, found that people who simply looked at images of trees reported feeling less stressed out. 
  • Try a new app. Meditation apps, such as Insight TimerHeadspace, and Calm, offer five-minute and other timed meditations for beginners that can lower heart rate and short-circuit the stress response.
  • Ease up on alcohol. While drinking wine or alcohol may feel like a stress reliever, it’s not a long-term coping strategy, and the extra sugar from the booze and the mixers are adding to the belly-fat situation.
  1. Talk with Your Doctor about How to Minimize Menopausal Symptoms

If your lack of estrogen is contributing to typical menopausal symptoms, such as severe hot flashes and night sweats, you may want to consider hormone therapy (HT) or other medication.

Whether the risks outweigh the benefits, though, is something each woman should discuss with her healthcare provider, especially as new, lower-dose formulations have become available.

According to a , compared with women who had taken HT in the past, current users were found to be nearly 1 point lower on the BMI scale and have nearly 3 pounds less of fat mass.

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