World Menopause Day

Saturday 18 October 2015 is World Menopause day.  This is a day that is designated by the World Health Organisation in collaboration with the International Menopause Society to put a spotlight on the health of menopausal women.  It is a way to encourage education and awareness of this subject that many women still find it hard to talk about and see help for.

Facts about menopause:
  1. It is not an illness. It is a natural phase in a woman’s life which is brought on by the changes in reproductive hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone
  2. Most women go through menopause naturally but for some it is the result of illness or medical treatment such as hysterectomy or hormone treatment for breast cancer
  3. The average age of menopause (that is the date when they have their last menstrual period) in the UK is 52 (51 in the USA). That age has not changed much in hundreds of years despite changes in lifestyle and diet.  Menopause that occurs before age 40 is known as premature ovarian failure.
  4. Every woman’s experience of menopause is individual. It is partly the result of genes but also diet, exercise and lifestyle.  It is worth asking your mother and female relative about their experiences but understand that is you have lived your life differently, your symptoms will not be the same.
  5. Some men experience a form of menopause called ‘andropause’ as their hormone levels change with age. Some experience hot flushes.
  6. Symptoms commonly associated with menopause include:
    1. Hot flushes
    2. Night sweats
    3. Weight gain
    4. Mood swings
    5. Loss of bone density
    6. Headaches and migraines
    7. Poor or interrupted sleep
    8. Breast tenderness
    9. Abdominal bloating
  7. The most common symptom that leads women to seek help is hot flushes.  These can vary in frequency and intensity.  For some women they are mildly embarrassing, for others they are completely debilitating.
  8. The most common medical interventions are Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and anti-depressants.  HRT comes in a number of types and dosages including tablets, creams, patches and gels
  9. There are lots of complementary therapies that can help and support women at this stage of life.  These include: hypnotherapy, homeopathy, reiki, acupuncture, reflexology, shiatsuand herbalism
  10. Changes to nutrition and lifestyle can have a significant positive effect

Visualistion coupled with hypnotherapy has been shown to be highly effective in reducing hot flushes

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