Menopause is a natural phase of life every aging woman must endure. It usually begins in the late 40s as your body starts to reduce estrogen production. Most women experience a full stop of menstruation and the subsequent menopausal symptoms in their 50s. Some menopausal symptoms are simply inconvenient, while others can cause serious health problems. As you enter this new part of your life, here are a few things to watch for.
Hot flashes are the most common menopausal symptom, experienced by nearly 75% of older women. While a hot flash can seem urgent in the moment, it’s generally not dangerous. Most sufferers experience a flush of heat that rises quickly from the torso to the top of the head. Your face will probably get red, you might begin to sweat profusely, and in some cases, you might feel like your heart is racing or skipping beats. The discomfort generally passes in about half an hour, and the best thing you can do is just stay calm and keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Decreases in Bone Density
A less obvious, but more important health problem that can accompany menopause and aging is a loss in bone density. You probably won’t feel anything different, but during menopause your bones tend to lose their density 2 to 3 times faster than earlier in life. Without treatment, this bone loss can lead to a condition called osteoporosis. You should have annual check-ups to keep track of bone loss during your menopausal years. Doctors can prescribe supplements to help your bones retain their calcium levels if this is an issue you face.
One of the most obvious and longest lasting menopausal symptoms to watch out for is varicose veins. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause can weaken heart valves, which slows the movement of blood through the body. According to an Ivein vein center, varicose veins form when blood pools in a vein near the skin and causes it to twist or bulge. Nearly half the women age 50 and older in the United States suffer from varicose veins. While unsightly, varicose veins are generally not life threatening though they can be uncomfortable. If you get pains as you menstruate though, this could be a more serious condition concerning your veins in the pelvic region. Luckily pelvic congestion syndrome treatment isn’t too hard to find.
Menopause can be uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life for older women, but the worst symptoms tend to fade after a few years. Once your system gets used to a lower dose of estrogen, your body will settle into a new normal that is far more manageable. It’s best to visit a doctor annually during your menopausal years so you can track any potentially dangerous symptoms and maybe ease some of the discomfort of this normal part of aging.