The countdown to menopause
THE prelude to menopause is
often overlooked and misunderstood. Here's what every women above 40 should
Hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, mood swings, lethargy, depression
and loss of libido and more are common symptoms of menopause.
But wait, you have just celebrated your 40th birthday recently, isn't
menopause supposed to happen only at 50 years and beyond ?
Shock and disbelief are common reactions when women in their late 30s and 40s
are told that they are experiencing menopausal symptoms. what they may not
realize is that there is a condition known as peri-menopause, the transitory
stage when they are literally making a countdown to menopause.
The peri-menopause or pre-menopause years can be a bewildering time for many
women. while they experience some or all of the symptoms associated with
menopause, they are still having their monthly periods, although it may be less
regular. Peri-menopause may last about four to five years.
The symptoms happen because the ovaries are slowly losing their ability to
produce oestrogen, the hormone responsible for feminine characteristics.
Oestrogen also protects the bones and heart, so women after menopause stand a
significantly higher risk of getting heart problems and osteoporosis.
Women also tend to believe that they have achieved menopause at this
in-between stage, and assume they will not conceive any more. It is important to
continue taking the necessary precautions until you are confirmed to have
reached menopause, i.e. when you have not had a period for 12 consecutive
It also helps to change your lifestyle to reduce symptoms and enjoy a better
quality of life.
Here are some useful tips :
> Exercise and maintain a healthy
>Learn to de-stress with yoga, tai
chi, meditation or breathing techniques
> Increase intake of fruits and
> For hot flushes, dress in layers
that can be easily removed and use cotton sheets and clothing to let your skin
Your doctor may also recommend you start on menopause treatment early to get
your hormones back into balance. As you are still having your periods and is not
entirely menopausal yet, natural remedies may be a better option for symptom
control as nobody knows how long it will be before you reach menopause.
Some of the natural remedies for menopause that have been used for
generations include soy, red clover, dong quai and black cohosh.
In recent years, black cohosh has been intensively researched and has been
clinically proven to be a safe and effective remedy for management of menopausal
Derived from the root and rhizome of the herb, Black cohosh has been used by
North American natives to treat various ailments particularly for women.
Studies show that black cohosh reacts with oestrogen receptors that mimic
oestrogen in the body, thus reliving menopausal complaints.
Black cohosh is also known to help prevent or delay long-term menopausal
implications such as osteoporosis.