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Menopause And Hormones
Useful information about "Menopause And Hormones".
Each of the ovaries contains as many as 500,000 tiny sacs called follicles. Each of these follicles, on maturity release an egg or the ovum, which is fertilized by the sperm, to form an embryo. Around the mid-phase of the menstrual cycle, the follicle ruptures to release the egg, which travels through the fallopian tubes into the uterus, where it waits to be fertilized by a sperm.
Most of the female hormones are secreted in a cyclic pattern, to support the process of ovulation. During a female’s reproductive life span, which ranges from menarche to menopause, a female releases approximately 300 to 500 matured ovum (except for the time when she is pregnant). Ovulation is associated with a host of hormonal changes in the body, which primarily include: changes in the levels of Estrogen, Progesterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Lutenizing Hormone.
Understanding the normal menstrual cycle
In order to understand the process of hormonal changes during menopause, it is important to briefly understand the normal menstrual cycle.
The normal menstrual cycle lasts for about 28 days. During the first half of the menstrual cycle, the level of the hormone estrogen is high, while the levels of Lutenizing hormone (LH) and FSH are similar. Somewhere around the mid of the cycle, the level of LH shoots up by about three to four times, which in turn stimulates the release of the ovum from one of the matured ovarian follicles. Following the release of the ovum, the level of LH drops considerably, while the formation of corpus leutum in the ovary stimulates the production of progesterone, which in turn aids in preparing the uterus to facilitate the implantation of the embryo. If no fertilization or implantation takes place, the levels of progesterone fall steeply, which results in menses and the menstrual cycle begins again.
This cyclic change in hormones takes place during each of the menstrual cycle.
Menopause and Hormonal Imbalance
Menopause is the end of the reproductive life of a female, when the ovaries stop producing mature eggs or ovum. During this stage, there occurs a drastic variation in the levels of the female hormones, as the production of estrogen and progesterone drops considerably. This drop is associated with a host of symptoms which include - hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, anxiety, anger, frustration, insomnia, weight gain, skin allergies, etc. Most of the symptoms are attributed to the sudden and radical reduction in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body, due to the stoppage of ovulation.
Management of Menopause and treating Hormonal imbalance
Hormone Replacement Therapy has been advocated in women with severe and distressing symptoms of menopause. However, the use of hormone replacement therapy provides temporary relief and helps in reducing the severity of certain undesirable symptoms. However, the key to effective management of menopause is through a healthy lifestyle and dietary regimen. Here are a few suggestions:
• Ensure that the diet is rich in fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, dry fruits and nuts. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other minerals, which ensure a healthy transition from the reproductive to the non reproductive age group. Also these foods are rich in anti-oxidants and other vital amino acids which prevent tissue damage caused by free radicals in the blood. These foods also help fight nutritional deficiencies.
• Avoid a high carbohydrate and high fat diet. Avoid aerated drinks, junk food, oily food, meat, etc. stay up the intake of plant foods, since they supply a generous dose of phyto-estrogens.
• Regular exercise for about 30 minutes each day helps remain active and fights the distressing symptoms of menopause effectively.