If a woman goes twelve months without experiencing a menstrual cycle, it is often the case of the beginning of menopause. The years of a woman’s life that lead up to this point are called perimenopause.
While these two life occurrences are normal for a female being, they are by no means, easier to go through.
As appealing as a life without periods sounds, menopause comes with a person-tailored set of troubles. Perimenopause too has many tricks up its sleeves. While some women go through a ruthless, savage menopause, a few others swing by with few to no issues.
The Perimenopause Situation
It could start with irregular menstrual cycles. The period could be longer or shorter than usual. The blood flow could be heavier or lighter than what is was before.
As a woman’s body starts getting ready to enter menopause, the female reproductive system goes through certain changes. These changes relate directly to the progesterone and oestrogen hormone levels inside the body.
These hormonal shifts cause many changes. Hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and diminished sexual appetite are a few among them. Even the most menial of incidences like a traffic jam or a basic argument could trigger the mood shifts and cause irritability.
When Does Menopause Occur?
There are no methods to exactly predict the age when a woman will enter menopause. It is also not related to the age when a girl starts menstruating. The average age for the event is 51 years. However, it could happen at 30 or 60 or anywhere in between.
The process of transition to the menopausal state begins years before the event comes to its realisation. In a regular case, a woman in her mid to late thirties experiences decreased progesterone and oestrogen levels. The body and brain go through changes, and ultimately, they all lead up to menopause.
Oestrogen helps keep serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and such other hormones in check. It supports cognition and some other brain functions. A significant shift in the oestrogen numbers could result in changing moods, forgetfulness, frustration, or grumpiness.
The late perimenopausal and early menopausal periods are also the durations when a woman might experience anxiety over several situations like ageing, stress, unreasonable changes in mood, or poor physical health.
How to Prevent the Beast of Menopause from Taking Over
Menopause is the point where a woman's body is no longer able to reproduce. Every woman has a slightly different experience of going through this phase. However, it is not a disease, merely a stage that doesn't require incessant worrying.
Moreover, there is no need for menopause to be a horrid memory. With a few precautions, it can be made more bearable.
Research shows how about fifty minutes of aerobic training for at least four times in one week can contribute to dealing with irritability and night sweats. Swimming, running, walking, or cycling can generate similar outcomes.
Exercise, physical activity to be precise, releases endorphins in the body. It also helps release other chemicals in the brain that can make women feel good, meanwhile helping them deal with the shifting mood and overwhelming emotions.
There is an essential difference between having six scoops of fudge ripple ice cream and a protein-rich salad for lunch. One makes a person crave more food; the other instils satisfaction. And of course, there is the matter of calories, carbs, and unhealthy contents.
Since a body goes through so many hormonal and chemical shifts during menopause, a healthy diet that contains various nutrients is necessary to stock up the body inventory on all the bits that it is losing daily.
A plate full of fruits, vegetables, fibre, whole grains, and lean protein is much more likely to supply essential nutrients like omega three fatty acids and folate to a menopausal body than a hot dog or hamburger would.
With so many factors already messing up a woman’s brain and body during the perimenopause and menopause periods, the tension just adds to the whole rollercoaster of unstable emotions. Destressing could help subdue the irritable feelings.
The manner in which people let go of stress varies. If nothing comes to mind, techniques like reading, meditation, quiet walks, yoga, listening to music, playing an instrument, deep breathing exercises, or a stress-free vacation could come in handy while attempting to reduce anxiety.
Lack of sleep can have serious repercussions. Impaired attention, affected cognitive behaviour, depression, skin ageing, forgetfulness, weight gain, and damaged judgment are a few examples of what happens when a person does not get enough sleep every night.
Add to it, the mood swings and general annoyance that a woman faces on a regular basis during menopause. While sleepless nights create havoc generally, they can create mayhem if not taken care of during perimenopause and menopause.
Creating a nighttime routine could help. Other sleep-inducing ideas include keeping away from electronic devices, sleeping in a cold room, sleeping in the dark, avoiding alcohol and caffeine. A seven to eight-hour long sleep schedule helps maintain the immune system and reduces the tendency of waking up with a short fuse.
But, There Could Come the Point Where Medical Assistance Becomes Necessary
In the case of extreme mood swings, unbearable anxiety levels, and a regular struggle to live life normally, seeking professional medical advice is a good idea. It also helps to keep a diary close by and note down the details of out-of-hand mood shifts, possible or evident triggers, regular activities, meals, medications, supplements, and stress-inducing situations.
The doctor might want to address the issues by taking physical exams, and blood tests to inspect the thyroid and hormone levels. Keeping a journal could help the doctor determine any underlying mood altering substances that are being taken without proper knowledge of their effects.
Treatments That Help
Short-term hormone replacement therapy could help women deal with some of the menopause concerns. However, it could increase the risk of blood clots, breast cancer, or heart diseases. Acupuncture therapies are also known to help.
Over time, the body stabilises. The hormones settle down, and the issues fade away. However, it could take a long time, anywhere from a few months to years. It is better to choose medical help if the signals refuse to fade and the circumstances are proving tough to handle.
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