Going through menopause is something every woman will go through at one point in their lifetime, and there is virtually nothing you can do to prevent it. There are a lot of studies out there that have recently shown menopause can hit women in their 30s if they do not have children. When it comes to knowing the health risks that can come with menopause, a lot of women are left in the dark, and are unaware of the serious complications that can occur. Here are five of the biggest health concerns that research has shown to occur in women during menopause, why they are such important concerns, and how to treat them.
Heart disease kills half of all women over the age of 55, which is right around the time that a lot of women will have menopause. Obviously heart disease can lead to heart failure and heart attacks or strokes, and is often fatal if treatment is not administered quickly. It is believed that the decrease in estrogen during menopause increases the risk of heart disease. One way that a woman can decrease her risk of getting heart disease is to keep exercising and eating right during and after menopause. Getting yearly checkups is also important for a woman going through menopause, since a checkup can reveal a lot of abnormalities with the heart, and medications can be prescribed if needed.
One of the biggest health concerns that a woman will face during menopause is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis occurs mostly due to age and the changes that begin during menopause. The hormonal changes that happen when a woman is going through menopause significantly accelerates the loss in bone density. Osteoporosis increases the risk of falls, breaks, and fractures, which then impacts daily living and quality of life. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements can prevent or help treat osteoporosis, as well as stopping alcohol and tobacco products. It is also important to exercise and eat right during this time to get the needed antioxidants and proteins, which help maintain muscle mass. If you already have osteoporosis, you can get prescribed medications that can help stop it from getting worse, and these medications can help build back bone density and strength.
A health concern that a lot of women are not aware of regarding menopause is the possibility of vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy occurs naturally as a result of the decrease in estrogen, which occurs during the menopausal period. The lining of the vagina becomes dry, thin, and more alkaline during menopause, and that increases the risk of inflammation. The inflammation will make it nearly impossible to be intimate with your partner, because ulcers on the vagina can form during the menopausal time. This can significantly impact quality of life, lead to depression, and can lead to relationship problems. One way to prevent atrophy or weakness of the vagina during menopause is to eat a diet full of soy foods and use lubricants regularly. The best way to prevent vaginal atrophy is to talk to a doctor about estrogen replacement therapy, which will help keep the vaginal tissue strong.
Mood swings are one of the most common health concerns for a woman going through menopause, and is often the biggest nuisance of going through menopause. A lot of times the mood swings occur due to the loss of estrogen, but can also be due to the other symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or decreased sexual desire. Mood swings are a concern because it can create tension within the home, lead to feeling distant from the spouse and children, and can change other important relationships as well. Mood swings can lead to depression or other serious mental health issues, so it is important to try to mitigate mood swings as quickly as possible. The best way to mitigate the impact of mood swings is to get on estrogen replacement therapy, since estrogen is an important chemical that women need to maintain mental health, and estrogen does act like an antidepressant.
Skin Gets Thin and Dry
A potentially serious complication from menopause is that skin will become thinner and dry, due to the lack of estrogen being produced in the body. This means that women will be more likely to develop bruises on the skin, the skin will become dry more frequently, and blood vessels are more obviously seen. This is a huge concern because dry skin can lead to skin irritation and rashes, not to mention that thin skin can lead to easier taring and scarring. Falling down in the garden could lead to a serious bruise or open wound during menopause, so being more vigilant is essential. One way to also help mitigate thin and dry skin is to get on estrogen replacement therapy, and use lotions twice a daily to keep the skin moist.