Monday, October 12, 2009

SURVIVING MENOPAUSE (Who Turned Up the Heat?) Part 1 ~ What's it all about Anyway?

Menopause ~ The Change of Life. Consulting with your physician, educating yourself and staying informed are the best ways to help you through this time. This 4 part series will help y0u understand what is going on, how to understand the symptoms, what treatments are available (both hormonal and natural) and finally, how to survive and get through this very significant 'period' (no pun intended) in our lives.

Changes and Symptoms
Menopause is a normal change in your life (when your period/menstrual cycle stops). This is why this stage is called "the change of life."

During menopause your body will make less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55. You may know that you have reached menopause when you have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months (providing there are no other reasons for this change).

As you near menopause your body may start to exhibit symptoms from hormonal changes. The majority of these symptoms are normal. Unless you have other underlying health issues, most of these symptoms are natural and normal. However always consult with your physician if things don't feel 'quite right'.

SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE ~ Every women's period/menstrual cycle will stop at menopause. Some women may not have any other symptoms. However, other women may experience any, all or a combination of the following symptoms:
  • Changes in your period/menstrual cycle ~ the time between periods and the flow from month to month may be different.
  • Spotting or Abnormal Bleeding ~ while this is a common occurrence during menopause, if you have not had a period in 12 months and you experience "spotting" you should report this to your doctor to rule out other significant conditions such as cancer.
  • Hot Flashes ~ This is the sensation of getting warm in the face, neck and/or chest.
  • Night Sweats and sleeping problems may lead to feeling tired, stressed or tense.
  • Vaginal Changes ~ The vagina may become dry and thin, this may cause sex and vaginal exams to be more painful. You also may develop more vaginal infections.
  • Thinning of your bones (also known as Osteoporosis) may lead to loss of height and bone fractures.
  • Mood Changes ~ mood swings may include depression and irritability.
  • Urinary Problems ~ such as leaking, burning or pain when urinating, or leaking when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
  • Problems with concentration or memory.
  • Less interest in sex and changes in sexual response.
  • Weight gain or increase in body fat around your waist.
  • Hair thinning or loss.
Remember, you may have one or a combination of these symptoms. However, the one all of us will have is YOUR PERIOD WILL STOP!!!!! Stay tuned for Part 2 ~ Treatments for Menopause (Hormonal and Natural).

To Your Continued Health and Success,
Miss Julia

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