Menopause marks the natural stage in a woman’s life as the end of her reproductive years and generally occurs during her 40s or early 50s and is gradual. Sudden menopause can occur when a woman has had her ovaries removed. Regardless of the stage in which a woman finds herself, many health concerns should be regarded and monitored during this transition.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become fragile or brittle. Estrogen is a major component in maintaining bone mass and osteoporosis occurs when bones become less dense. Due to the dramatic decrease in estrogen during menopause, estrogen no longer signals cells to stop breaking down. Estrogen therapy can be prescribed to help treat bones and prevent fractures.
CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE
Also known as heart disease, coronary artery disease occurs when there is a blockage of the arteries that encompass the heart muscle due to fatty plaque build up. It is crucial that women exercise regularly, eliminate smoking, and maintain a healthy diet to help prevent heart disease. Poor health and lifestyle choices are associated with high levels of cholesterol in the blood, but healthy choices can reduce elevated blood pressure.
Perimenopause can occur 8 to 10 years before menopause. The ovaries will gradually decrease their estrogen production and continue until the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last year leading up to menopause, the level of estrogen decreases at an accelerated level and continue to have menstrual cycles and can get pregnant. It is important to monitor your bleeding and changes in the heaviness or if accompanied by blood clots. Also, the length or your bleeding and if it is occurring after sex are also signs that factor in as abnormal bleeding. Consult your doctor to determine the cause of excessive or irregular bleeding or to rule out other health factors.
Not all women will experience weight gain. However, with the decrease in estrogen production by the ovaries, women will need to make changes in their daily lives to maintain a healthy weight. Bodily changes can put a strain on energy levels, desire to exercise, and joint and muscle pain could increase. Weight gain is often a direct result to these emotional and physical changes and could lead to far more health concerns.
One of the most delicate medical concerns of menopause is depression. Hair loss, change in sex drive, memory lapse, headaches, and weight gain can cause depression. The hormonal changes can affect mood, cause hot flashes, sleeping problems, and cause fatigue or anxiety that once was not an issue. It is important to consult your doctor if you experience these negative feelings and to find support.
http://my.clevelandclinic.org – Osteoporosis