'The change of life' is an expression commonly used to refer to menopause, a natural occurrence that is associated with advancing age. When the reproductive system gradually begins to shut down, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and menopause symptoms soon follow. This causes the body to produce alternating levels of hormones which can trigger numerous symptoms. These symptoms include depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, the inability to concentrate and hot flashes.
Most women begin to see a menopause symptom at the age of 50, but there are instances where women may experience menopause earlier. In an effort to help her through this process, a hysterectomy is often performed as a routine surgical procedure. Following that, post-menopausal symptoms will be present and the woman will be more susceptible to the development of osteoporosis.
For years, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has been a common form of treatment for menopause. In part, this method has been so widely recommended because it is thought to reduce the weakening of bones that is often seen in osteoporosis. However, recent years have revealed that HRT may increase the risk of other serious illnesses, including a heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease. For years, women have been urged to participate in this type of treatment while dealing with the effects of menopause. Today, an increasing number of women feel that menopause is a natural process as opposed to a disorder.
Due to the unique physiological makeup of every individual, the type of and severity of menopause symptoms will affect each woman differently. Some may have all of the symptoms while others may not have any at all. The only way to properly confirm the menopause condition is to receive a proper diagnosis from a licensed physician, especially since its symptoms often mimic those of other serious conditions. Along with a diagnosis the physician can offer recommendations for treatment, including a replacement of the necessary hormones no longer being produced.
The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. If you notice a menopause symptom or multiple ones, a physician will conduct a brief interview and perform tests to confirm the diagnosis. Anyone with questions regarding a suspected menopause symptom must consult their physician for further information.