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  • Chiara Saccardo

Menopause: what is it, how to cope with the symptoms brilliantly

Updated: Sep 23

The topic of today is Menopause. We will understand in details what is it, when and why occurs and I will give you some tips on how to cope with the symptoms that can affect the quality of our life.



What are the symptoms?

Every woman’s menopause experience is unique however the most common signs of menopause include:

  • Night sweats

  • Insomnia

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Weight gain

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Memory problems

  • Reduced libido, or sex drive

  • Dry skin, mouth, and eyes

  • Increased urination

  • Sore or tender breasts

  • Headaches

  • Racing heart

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Reduced muscle mass

  • Painful or stiff joints

  • Reduced bone mass

  • Less full breasts

  • Hair thinning or loss

  • Increased hair growth on other areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest, and upper back


When does menopause begin and how long does it last?

Most women first begin developing menopause symptoms about four years before their last period. Symptoms often continue until about four years after a woman’s last period.

A small number of women experience menopause symptoms for up to a decade before menopause occurs, and 1 in 10 women experience menopausal symptoms for 12 years following their last period.

The median age for menopause is 51, though it may occur on average up to two years earlier for some women.

Many factors help determine when you’ll begin menopause, including genetics and ovary health. Perimenopause occurs before menopause. Perimenopause is a time when your hormones begin to change in preparation for menopause.

It can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Many women begin perimenopause at some point after their mid-40s. Other women skip perimenopause and enter menopause suddenly.

About 1 percent of women begin menopause before the age of 40, which is called premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency. About 5 percent of women undergo menopause between the ages of 40 and 45. This is referred to as early menopause.


Peri-Menopause vs. Menopause vs. Post-Menopause

During Perimenopause, menstrual periods become irregular. Your periods may be late, or you may completely skip one or more periods. Menstrual flow may also become heavier or lighter.

Menopause is defined as a lack of menstruation for one full year.

Post-Menopause refers to the years after menopause has occurred.

Menopause is a natural process that occurs as the ovaries age and produces fewer reproductive hormones.

The body begins to undergo several changes in response to lower levels of:

  • Estrogen

  • Progesterone

  • Testosterone

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)

One of the most notable changes is the loss of active ovarian follicles. Ovarian follicles are the structures that produce and release eggs from the ovary wall, allowing menstruation and fertility.

Most women first notice the frequency of their period becoming less consistent, as the flow becomes heavier and longer. This usually occurs at some point in the mid-to-late 40s. By the age of 52, most women have undergone menopause.

Early menopause is associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis and fracture, heart disease, cognitive changes, vaginal changes and loss of libido, and mood changes.

A blood test can measure the level of certain hormones in the blood, usually FSH, a form of estrogen called estradiol.

Consistently elevated FSH blood levels, combined with a lack of menstruation for one consecutive year, are usually confirmation of menopause.

Additional blood tests commonly used to help confirm menopause include:

  • Thyroid function tests

  • Blood lipid profile

  • Liver function tests

  • Kidney function tests

  • Testosterone, Progesterone, Prolactin, Estradiol, and Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) tests

Treatments

You may need treatment if your symptoms are severe or affecting your quality of life. Hormone therapy may be an effective treatment in women under the age of 60, or within 10 years of menopause onset, for the reduction or management of:

  • hot flashes

  • night sweats

  • flushing

  • vaginal atrophy

  • osteoporosis

Other medications may be used to treat more specific menopause symptoms, like hair loss and vaginal dryness.



Natural treatments and lifestyle changes


There are several ways to reduce minor-to-moderate menopause symptoms naturally, using home remedies, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments.

Here they are some:

  • Balance your blood sugar level by eating a low GL diet

  • Eat sources of phytoestrogens every day, including beans, chickpeas, or fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, and tamari

  • Exercising and managing your weight to increase energy, promote a better night’s sleep, improve mood, promote your general well-being

  • Supplementing your diet: take a good Multivitamin, Vitamin D3+K, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Omega 3 supplements to help reduce your risk for osteoporosis, improve energy levels, sleep and provide nutrients your body may need to feel better. Talk to a nutritionist about supplements that can help you with your individual health needs

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, breathing, meditation

  • Managing sleeping issues

  • Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol use to reduce worsening symptoms.

  • Manage your stress level

Herbal remedies:

  • Black Cohosh can help reduce hot flushes, sweating, insomnia, and anxiety and reducing depression by raising serotonin levels.

  • Dong Quai to relieve from hot flushes.

  • Vitex Agnus Castus can help with hot flushes but is best known for being helpful for menstrual irregularities, PMS, breast tenderness.

To summarizing, Menopause is an important and transitional stage in a woman's life, it can be a pain or a smooth phase, it depends on you manage it.


That’s all for now!


Chiara x


Ps. Book a free consultation with me if you would like to know how I can help you in managing perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms.






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