Menopause can trigger a range of uncomfortable symptoms in middle-aged and older women. Over time, their inability to produce reproductive hormones can, once they reach postmenopause, put them at risk of developing serious health problems that should be medically monitored and addressed.
Menopause occurs when a woman loses the ability to produce eggs and, over time, the ability to produce oestrogen and progesterone. Although a natural part of the ageing process, many women develop uncomfortable side effects.
Symptoms a woman may include: hot flushes and night sweats, vaginal dryness and sensitivity, reduced libido, irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety attacks, depression, urinary incontinence, forgetfulness, thinning hair, loss of breast fullness, and increased abdominal fat
Post-menopausal women are at increased risk for: osteoporosis (bone loss), decreased metabolism, increased body fat percentage, gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and oral discomfort such as dry mouth.
Higher Heart Disease Risk
After menopause, women also are at risk for fatty build-up around arteries, which increases the risk of developing heart disease, as well as impaired function of endothelial cells that line the blood vessels, which can lead to heart attacks, blood clots and stroke.
The success rates of conventional therapies vary. The therapies have potentially serious short- and long-term side effects. Contraceptives have mixed results and may increase cancer risk. Hormone replacement therapy increases cancer risk as well as risk for blood clots or stroke and raises triglyceride levels. Anti-depressants may lower blood pressure.
Naturopathic remedies including taking vitamin E and consuming phytoestrogens, which are oestrogen-like substances found in food, such as soy and legumes, have mixed success rate and may cause drug interactions. Lifestyle changes can help, such as avoiding caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol and exercising to improve mood, maintain healthy weight and strengthen bones.