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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Menopause

Menopause is the defined as a condition in which a woman is in the transition stage of permanent cessation of the ovaries functions in egg production because of less production of estrogen and progesterone, signalling the end of the reproductive phrase a woman's life. In menopause, menstruation has become irregular and slowly stop overtime, but in some women, menstrual flow comes to a sudden halt.

Symptoms
Most symptoms are caused by imbalance of female hormones as a result of less production of estrogen and progesterone.
1. Hot flashes
2. Insomnia
3. Night sweats
4. Decreased sexual libido
5. Depression and anxiety
6. Mood swing
7. Vaginal dryness
8.Vaginal infections
9. Irregular heartbeats
10. Urinary incontinence and burning sensation
11. Bone loss
12. Etc.

Causes and risk factors
1. Premature ovarian failure
Premature ovarian failure is defined as a condition in which the ovarian is no longer responded to the brain in production of follicle before the age of 40, leading to high levels of FSH in the bloodstream and menopause hormonal symptoms. It is caused by either the accelerated loss of eggs or follicles are become less responsive to hormone stimulation from the pituitary gland. It has been estimated that POF affects 1% of the population.

2. Ovaries
Ovaries in the stage of menopause are less responded to the stimulate of follicle stimulating hormone FSH from pituitary gland to produce estrogen in the early stage of menstrual cycle.

3. Less estrogen and progesterone
The production of both estrogen and progesterone have started to decline significantly until the women reach the stage of post menopause.

4. Aging
Menopause is a natural and biological process begun between the age of 45 -55 in women.

5. Hormone disruption
For a menstrual cycle to starts and ends smoothly, it requrie the cooperation of all involved glands to produce certain hormones in certain stages. It is a chain of stimulation from a step to the others. If one of the gland is damaged or abnormal, it will cause disruption of menstrual cycle that may lead to menopause-like stage.

6. Surgery
Removal of the ovaries due to cancer or for what ever reason may cause early menopause.

7. Etc.

Diagnosis and tests
If you are between age of 45-55 with the above symptoms with preceded peri menopause, you doctor may tell you, you arr entering the stage of menopause with no further diagnosis and tests.
Otherwise, blood tests of menopause include
1. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
The levels of FSH rises dramatically, as a result of no response from ovaries in reaction to the FSH in production of estrogen.

2. Estradiol
As estrogen produced by ovaries has decreased during and following menopause.

3. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism can cause the symptoms of menopause. In a study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN)reported by The medical journal Clinical Endocrinology, researchers found that of the various menopause symptoms evaluated, only fearfulness was associated with having a TSH value above 5.0 or below .5.t....Perhaps most interesting in this study is the fact that almost 10% of women in the 42-52 year old age range had an undiagnosed thyroid condition. This is larger than typical estimates of thyroid disease for women in this age range.

How to reduce symptoms of menopause
A. In conventional medicine
Hormone replace therapy is one most use treatment to reduce symptoms of post menopause by introducing the synthetic version of estrogen, progesterone, etc. hormones, but with some deadly side effects
According to the study of The Women’s Health Initiative of 16,608 postmenopausal women took either a hormone combination of estrogen and progestin or sugar pills, the study found that This study concluded that the use of estrogen, in combination with a progestin, increases the risk of breast cancer, stroke, blood clots in legs and lungs ( so called life-threatening pulmonary emboli) and heart attacks during their first year of treatment. Maybe most importantly, however, the treatment demonstrated no protective effect whatsoever from heart disease, as had been assumed up to that point.

B. How to reduce the symptoms of menopause
B.1. Healthy diet
By providing your body with maximum nutrients is the best way to a optimal health and reducing the symptoms of menopause.

2. Moderate exercise
Frequent moderate exercise can increase the blood flow to the body that can stimulate the production of energy by increase the function in metabolism and get rid of waste. It also tire you out and therefore improve sleep and mood.

3. Avoid Alcohol
Acccording to the article of Alcohol - Menopause- Alcohol's Effect on Menopause by June Russell's Health Facts, the author wrote "Approximately 30 percent of American women are older than age 50, the average age of menopause, and approximately 50 percent of these women consume at least moderate quantities of alcohol. Therefore any adverse effects of alcohol among this population could have a significant effect on public health. Approximately 25 percent of postmenopausal women take supplemental estrogens to alleviate unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Even moderate alcohol consumption may increase estrogen levels in postmenopausal women receiving HRT, potentially affecting their risk for various adverse health effects." {Alcohol, Hormones and Postmenopausal Women," NIAAA, 1998}.

4. Avoid Smoking
According to Dr. Jeanne Morrison in answering the question of How does smoking affect health during menopause? posted at sharecare, smoking can trigger symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. Also, smoking increases your chance of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses.

5. Mediation and yoga
Mediation and yoga can help a woman to calm and relax, thus reducing or lessening the occurrence of the symptoms.

6. Avoid Sugar and artificial sweetener
According to Foods to Avoid or Limit," excerpted from "The Women's Health Companion," Susan Lark, MD, healthy.net - Feb. 2002, the author indicated that alcohol and sugar can actually intensify almost every type of menopause symptom,... No artificial sweetener is without drawbacks or potential health hazards.

7. Etc.

B.2. Diet
1. Soy Products
Soy products contain high amount of phytochemicals, that can enhance the needs of the body reduced estrogen stage due to reduced estrogen produced by the ovaries.

2. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and plenty of antioxidants, that can provide the better protection due to reduced metabolism during the years of menopause.

3. Eat Calcium-Rich Food Every Day
Calcium is essential to a woman's health in the stage of menopause. the amount of calcium lost due to low levels of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Some doctors advice that menopausal women should get at least 1,000 to 1,500 mg of calcium from food or supplements, taking together with the vitamin D to enhance the absorption.

4. Flaxseed
Flaxseed not only contains high amount of essential fatty acids which are necessary for heart and reproductive health but also is an extraordinary source of the phytoestrogen lignans, containing 75 to 800 times as much as other plant sources, helped to relieve the symptoms of menopause.

5. Beans
Due to high amount of fiber, bean can help to slow the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, thus reducing the risk of high blood sugar for some menopause with disease of diabetes.Beans are also high sources of vitamin and mineral,such as calcium, folic acid and vitamin B-6. And they also contain some sources of phytoestrogen.

6. Etc.

B.3. Nutritional supplements
According to Steven G. Ottariano, a registered pharmacist, vitamins and minerals can provide particular benefits to menopausal women. These include Vitamin E (400 to 800 IU daily) to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats; Calcium (1500 mg daily)--the best type of calcium is not calcium carbonate which may not be fully absorbed, but microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite calcium (MCHC) or calcium citrate; Magnesium (500 mg to 750 mg daily) is essential to help with the absorption of calcium; Vitamin C (1,000 mg to 2,000 mg daily) helps absorption of Vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility.
1. Isoflavones
According to the article of Isoflavones posted on Isoflavones.info, the author indicated that The benefits of soy go beyond reducing long-term cancer risk. Recent studies have found that soy isoflavones can reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and increase bone density in women. Indeed, many menopausal and post-menopausal health problems may result from a lack of isoflavones in the typical Western diet. Although study results are not entirely consistent, isoflavones from soy or red clover may be helpful for symptoms of menopause. A study carried out by "Health Test" in 2004 investigated the prescription behaviour of 27 doctors for women with menopause symptoms. It showed that isoflavones were recommended twice (44%) as often as hormonal treatment (22%).

2. Vitamin E
According to the article of Harvard Medical School Researcher Recommends Soy & Vitamin E as Alternative to HRT, Washington DC, 15 November 2002, Both soy and Vitamin E, which in its natural form is made from soybeans, have long been seen as helping reduce hot flashes, night sweats, and disturbed sleep for women going through menopause. In the wake of adverse findings for hormone use in the Women's Health Initiative study, both soy and Vitamin E are receiving renewed attention.

3. Vitamin B6
According to the article of Vitamin B6 and Overall Health - Importance of Vitamin B6 in maintaining the body posted on menopause infocentre, vitamin B6 is needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It is also essential for red blood cell metabolism. The nervous and immune systems need vitamin B6 to function efficiently, and it is also needed for the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid) to niacin (a vitamin).

4. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids
In a study of 94 patients were studied, of whom 36 were surgically induced (also called castrates) and 58 who had undergone physiologic (natural) menopause (6). Their symptoms were catalogued as severe, moderate, and mild. The test substance consisted of 200 mg of bioflavonoids and 200 mg ascorbic acid in each tablet administered six times per day. And so, each subject received 1200 mg of both the bioflavonoids and ascorbic acid daily, researchers found that An analysis showed the bioflavonoid/vitamin C (line 1) to be markedly superior to all the other test substances in the relief of this single complaint. Actually, 67% reported complete relief, 21% partial making an overall 88% success factor.

5. Calcium
Beside calcium is important to prevent the loss of bone sensitive if taking together with vitamin D, in an article of Menopause and Insomnia: The Calcium Link, 2011-07-20 21:51:13 - (Research journals and nutritionists continue to clarify the relationship between declining levels of estrogen and lowered calcium levels in women) wrote that during the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, such as irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps and insomnia.

6. Magnesium
In a study of Magnesium And Calcium Levels In Early Surgical Menopause
SREEKANTHA, SATISHA T G, AVINASH S S, MANJUNATHA GOUD B K, REMYA, SUDHAKAR G K, RANGASWAMY R, RAGHAVENDRA VIKRAM TEY, researchers found that
After hysterectomy, the levels of magnesium, calcium and phosphorus were found to be dysregulated, which might be due to a hormonal imbalance. This proves the imporance of the said minerals during the stage of menopause.

7. Etc.

B.4. Herbs
1. Chaste berry tree
In a series of animal experiment by German researcher, Gerhard Madaus, he found that extracts of the leaves, fruits, and bark retarded estrus (heat) in female rats, without evidence of adverse effects on reproductive performance, including the stage of menopause.

2. Black cohost
Black cohosh is used to relieve symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, and feelings of depression. According to the trials have been conducted on the effects of black cohosh on hot flashes, mood swings and depression, researchers suggested that the phytoestrogen in black cohosh may help to restore the hormonal imbalances of menopause.
But according to a new study reported by the Drug Information Journal. although there have been at least 20 positive trials, recent studies have shown consistently negative results.

3. Licorice
Ofir R, Tamir S, Khatib S, Vaya J., Hatzeva Research and Development Center, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel, researchers found that the licorice root derivatives glabridin and glabrene inhibited serotonin re-uptake by 60% and 47%, respectively. The ability for these licorice root constituents to reduce serotonin re-uptake demonstrates their benefits in treating mild to moderate depression in menopausal women.

4. Asian ginseng
Asian ginseng may be used by menopausal women to reduce stress, improve general well-being, decrease feelings of depression, and enhance memory. In 37 clinical studies published between 1968 and 1990, ginseng improved physical and cognitive performance, mood, or metabolism. Still other studies suggest a plethora of ginseng actions, according to the article Ginseng, Asian posted in drug area.

5. Red clover
Red clover contains high quantities of plant-based estrogen called isoflavones that may improve menopausal symptoms, reduce the risk of bone loss, etc,. In article red clover, posted in the univerisity Maryland medical center, the author wrote, researchers also think that isoflavones, like those found in red clover, might help reduce symptoms of menopause because of their estrogen-like effects. But so far studies have not been conclusive. Several studies of a proprietary extract of red clover isoflavones suggest that it may significantly reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. The largest study, however, showed no such effect.


6.Etc.

B.5. Chinese herbs
In Chinese Medicine, the symptoms associated with menopause are considered to be a result of a decline in the yin energy of the body. In other word, it is caused by the slow depletion of kidney essence which governs the women reproductive cycle.
According to the Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, In a section 4 of Chinese herbs and application, Yin tonifying formulas. In one clinical study, 23 patients with menopausal symptoms were treated with Liu Wei Di Huang Wan and experienced marked improvement in 9 patients (39.1%), and moderate improvement in 14 patients (60.9%). The treatment protocol was to administer this formula in pills, 9 grams twice daily, in the morning and at night, for 3 months. Clinical improvements included relief of hot flashes, tidal fever, perspiration, palpitations, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, forgetfulness, and others. In addition, after taking the herbs continuously for one year, it was noted that there was a decrease in FSH and an increase of estradiol. The mechanism of action was attributed to the formula’s stimulating effect on the endocrine system.
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