What Happens as Women Go through Menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of the menstrual periods and the shutting down of reproductive function in the mature adult female. Typically, this happens between the mid 40’s to the mid 50’s and will happen to every woman in some way. The symptoms will vary widely and can range from mild to severe. Generally, however, there are a cluster of symptoms that accompany each stage of this often several-year process. These symptoms can help diagnose menopause so that you can take steps to treat the menopause symptoms. Here is the most common range of side effects seen in menopausal women:
- Cessation of periods
- Mood swings
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Thinning head hair
- Excess facial hair
- Loss of libido
- Loss of muscle tone
- Mental fog
- Verbal recall difficulties
The initial stages of menopause are subtle and often go unnoticed. Also called peri-menopause, this early onset menopause may not completely interrupt the menstrual cycle, but will often at least cause irregularities. Many women will begin to notice accelerated signs of aging at this time, and will begin to see the thinning of the skin membranes, prominent veins and slackened skin tone in addition to the above signs. Peri-menopausal women can often see signs of menopause for years before the onset of the event itself, and can sometimes help offset the symptoms with a careful selection of supplemental treatments.
Once menopause begins, the hormone levels in the body begin to deplete. These hormones are in charge of the above mentioned body functions, and so once the hormones are depleted, the body functions are depleted as well unless the hormones are synthetically re-introduced. This can involve Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, synthetic hormones or over the counter products. However, you should visit your doctor for a complete checkup before you begin any hormone replacement therapy, as an over-abundance of hormones is just as unhealthy as too little.
The signs of menopause may be upon you before you know it, so prepare yourself for the second half of your life by exercising, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest. Your body will need additional resources to help balance itself after such a big change, so the healthier you are when you begin menopause, the healthier you will be afterward. Supplements and diet changes are some of the easiest and most beneficial ways to keep menopause symptoms in check and allow you to lead a full and meaningful life.