Menopausal symptoms occur when the ovaries start to wind-down and slowly cease to produce the hormone oestrogen. This winding down phase is known as the peri-menopause and can occur for a number of years and may be accompanied by irregular periods and the start of the recognised menopausal symptoms. The true menopause occurs when periods completely stop as a result of the lack of oestrogen. It occurs at an average age of 51 years, but may happen between the ages of 45 and 55. Younger women can be affected too, due to a natural premature menopause or a premature menopause brought on by surgery, when both ovaries are removed.
Some menopausal symptoms
Osteoporosis, hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, declining libido, panic attacks, palpitations, poor urinary function, ageing skin, lack of energy, joint pains and general aches and pains, irritable bowel syndrome, weight gain, headaches and change in hair quality.
One of the most effective ways of treating menopausal symptoms is through diet and lifestyle; eating a healthy diet, being the right weight and keeping physically active. These actions will also help overcome many of the other health problems that can develop at this time of life such as joint problems, thinning bones, weight gain and increased blood pressure.
Even if you receive treatment from your GP for difficult menopausal symptoms, a healthy diet will form a firm foundation and help the treatment work more effectively. It may even help you to need the minimum of medication, whether it be blood pressure tablets, drugs or supplements for osteoporosis, or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). And eating for a healthy menopause does not need to be all soybeans, tofuburgers and mung beans.