By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: September 7, 2022
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”
– Marie Curie
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
September is known for many things, particularly it’s the start of Fall. It’s also famous for being Menopause Awareness Month. I hope that during this month you pay particular attention to educate yourself about what to expect when menopause arrives and how to best manage its course.
The rite of passage that we call “menopause” happens to every woman if they live long enough. As we enter our forties, our ovaries gradually slow done and the amount of estrogen our ovaries produce decreases. The process is gradual and typically lasts 4 to 8 years. This time is called “perimenopause”. The drop in estrogen oftentimes creates unexpected menopausal symptoms. Some symptoms may include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, fatigue, moodiness, brain fog and decreased sexual interest.
The term ‘menopause” is defined as not having your menstrual period for one year. The average age of “natural menopause” is fifty-one, give or take five years.
Menopause before the age of forty is called “premature menopause”. Having your ovaries removed surgically is called “surgical menopause”.
Early menopause can be caused by the surgical removal of the ovaries. Some women have a natural early “premature menopause” as they may have inherited a genetic predisposition for it. Inheritance does play a role.
Women who have had chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for cancer often experience menopause, but in some women, their ovarian function comes back fully after their cancer treatment is completed.
There are other reasons for early “premature menopause” which include certain immune and genetic diseases.
Whatever is the cause, if menopause occurs early, it is usually associated with more menopausal symptoms, and it may also include more serious medical consequences. Your healthcare professional will discuss all of your distinct health concerns and can offer treatment options for your menopausal symptoms.
Red Hot Ways to Take Charge of Menopause Before it Takes Charge of You!
- View menopause in a positive light, a turning point in your life. It is a normal part of the aging process, just as puberty was.
- Gain knowledge. Knowledge is power. Educate yourself and learn all the essentials you need to improve your health and well-being at menopause and beyond. Women who know the facts about menopause often experience menopause with greater ease. They may be better able to communicate with their healthcare professions discussing the many ways to reduce their discomfort from these symptoms.
- Work with your healthcare professional to come up with a plan for symptom management. There is a wide array of treatments available. There are natural choices; hormone therapy options; and nonhormonal prescription therapy options. There are many choices. And remember that you do not have to stay on any treatment permanently.
- Become proactive about your health. Assess your physical health and focus on your individual health risks. And modify your lifestyle accordingly for disease risk prevention. Pay attention to actively pursuing healthy behaviors – eating healthy, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress.
- Shift your outlook. Try to have a positive outlook about menopause. My philosophy has always been to always keep “twinkles in my wrinkles”. Laugh a lot and maintain a sense of humor. After all, there is no prescription needed to laugh and it does have tremendous health benefits.
- Turn up your air conditioner and reach out for support from other women. Join the free community forums at Red Hot Mamas on www.inspire.com and Log In to Responsum for Menopause—Responsum Health
I hope that you will enjoy the month of September. It’s so nice watching the leaves change on the trees, and the outside temperatures begins to change. For me, September has always been a great month to set new health goals. And, also to scurry to complete those unfinished New Year’s resolutions.
In closing, Oscar Wilde once said “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. Please take in the reins on Menopause Awareness Month this September. Learn all you can about menopause, make good health choices, hold onto your good spirit, and look forward to the best years to come.
Good Health to You All,