Managing Menopause is not as complicated as one would be thinking. “Menopause” happens as a natural process of ageing. The primary reason or cause may be primarily attributed due to the reduction of the ovarian reserve and subsequent fall in the level of the ovarian hormones (oestrogen and progesterone)
What are the causes of Menopause?
As we discussed Menopause can be a natural phenomenon or induced due to various factors.
“Premature Menopause”. Occurs before the age of 40. It is usually caused by premature ovarian failure and occurs in less than 2% of cases.
Other common factors are:
Due to a surgery; in the event of hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).
Radiation therapy for Malignancies can also lead to cessation of ovarian function and menopause
What are the normal Symptoms of the menopause?
Menopause may lead to many physical, emotional, and psychological changes. The signs and symptoms It may not be common with all but may vary with different people. Initially in the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause).
The common signs / symptoms of the perimenopause are:
- Irregular periods
- Dryness in Vagina
- Sleep disturbances
- Fluctuations in Mood
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Body Weight issues
- Metabolic Changes
- Thinning of hair and dry skin.
- Loss of breast fullness
How is it diagnosed?
A detailed history is usually taken before arriving at any decision. Factors like pregnancy, thyroid disorders, elevated prolactin levels and use of antidepressants and other medications are duly evaluated. If any of the above causes are not the reasons, hormonal levels are measured. If one has FSH levels of 35 ng/dl or more, then it is an indicator of menopause.
How can you Manage Menopause?
Menopause is a natural phenomenon and does not require treatment in a normal course. Mainly Treatments are used are to lessen the troublesome symptoms which might be affecting the life of patient. No one solution fits all. Hence your Doctor may use many or best fitting modality to manage the symptoms. Here are few treatments which is recommended for treating menopause.
- Hormonal Therapy
- Oestrogen Therapy to reduce Vaginal Dryness
- SERMS (Known as selective Oestrogen receptor modulators are used in the management of menopausal syndromes)
- Low-dose antidepressants
- Osteoporosis Medications
What other methods can be adopted for managing Menopause?
Apart from medications, lot many other things can be or required to manage menopause. Lifestyle modification is a key factor in treating / managing any disease.
- Sleep Well: It is recommended to have a good sleep of about 8 to 9 hours. Stimulants like caffeine should be avoided. Excess consumption of alcohol can interrupt sleep.
- Balanced diet: Consume more of variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid /Limit intake of trigger foods like saturated fat, butter, cream, fried foods, and sugars. Drink enough water.
- Exercise Regularly: Physical activity or exercise makes a huge difference. Having physical activity like walking, cycling or aerobics for 4 to 5 days in a week help to protect against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other conditions associated with ageing.