As most of us know, Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstrual periods and can be diagnosed after 12 months of amenorrhoea (no periods). It is the natural state a woman enters after her ovaries have stopped ovulating, due to depletion of eggs. Menopause generally occurs between the ages of 40 and 55 years, with the average age of menopause in Western societies being 50-51 years.
Although Menopause is a completely natural state of health, it also increases the risk factor for a number of health conditions, including:
· Osteoporosis – when Menopause occurs, oestrogen levels drop. Healthy levels of oestrogen are required for the health of our bones.
· Cardiovascular disease – there is also an increased risk of cardiovascular disease following Menopause. However, it is important to note that most of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease can be modified through dietary and lifestyle interventions.
Signs and symptoms of Menopause include:
· Hot flushes
· Mood changes
· Sleep disturbances
· Memory and cognitive changes
· Body aches
· Hair loss
· Urinary incontinence
· Bladder infections
· Increased facial hair
There are many dietary, lifestyle and herbal interventions which can help combat the symptoms of Menopause. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and we see time and time again that balancing baseline hormones and optimising health prior to Menopause, makes the menopausal transition so much smoother.