As a person ages, their body goes through quite a large number of changes. At a young age, the immune system is healthy, skin is glowing and a person’s mind tends to be sharp. All of these vital functions of the body tend to decline gradually with age, and while we are often told not to consider Alzheimer’s disease and many other diseases as natural parts of aging, we do see a significant increase* in the prevalence of these diseases as age increases*. Many of these diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, can be prevented by looking after the body and attending to personal health.
One particular condition, or rather a phase of life, that cannot be avoided is . Every woman has to go through menopause at some point in their lives. Healthline explains that menopause typically happens when a woman reaches her late 40s, but it can also be delayed until her early 50s. Some women tend to experience menopause at a much earlier or much later age. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51.
The North American Menopause Society has recently updated the guidelines they have set out in 2012, explaining the appropriate use of hormonal therapy for women going through menopause, as well as for those who have passed this stage of their lives. In this article, we will take a look at these new hormone replacement therapy menopause guidelines set out by the society and discuss whether this might have any impact on the existing treatment plan for any particular woman.
The Endocrinology Advisor explains that the North American Menopause Society, also called the NAMS, have provided a revised version of their guidelines for hormonal therapy in 2017. These guidelines were last amended in 2012, and the updates provided this year are based on some of the more recent research studies and clinical trials that have been conducted to determine the effectiveness, as well as the potential side-effects, of hormonal therapy for women who are starting to experience the symptoms of menopause, as well as for those who postmenopausal.
The primary goal of the review and revision that was made by the North American Menopause Society was to observe the latest findings on how hormone therapy affected the quality of life amongst women who were undergoing such treatment. The members of the society also observed the effects that hormone therapy had on certain medical conditions, including:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Gallbladder Disease
- Liver Disease
- Joint Pain Body Composition
- Depression And Mood
- Cognitive Functionality
- Cardiovascular Disease
The review board made various adjustments and the new revision states that hormone therapy is still considered the treatment option that is most effective when it comes to treating certain problems that come along with menopause, including genitourinary syndrome, as well as the vasomotor symptoms that a woman may experience when she goes through menopause. The new guidelines also mention that the review found hormone therapy to be effective in preventing bones from becoming too brittle, which may increase* a woman’s risk of bone fractures and bone loss.
Another important finding to note is that the review does mention the risks a woman is exposed to when she opts for hormone therapy tend to differ from one woman to another. These risks often depend on the type of hormone therapy that is utilized in the treatment of menopausal symptoms, as well as the dosage prescribed to a woman and the duration of her treatment.
There also seems to be a strong relation between the risk factors associated with the use of hormone therapy in a woman and the age at which the treatment plan is initiated. The older a woman is when she starts to undergo hormone therapy, the more risks are associated with her treatment plan.
Symptoms Of Menopause
Menopause marks the stage in a woman’s life when she stops having her monthly periods. For some women, the changes can come into effect rather quickly, while other women tend to experience the symptoms and changes that menopause causes gradually over a longer period of time. Since studies observed by the North American Menopause Society provided evidence that the risk factors of hormone therapy seem to be less significant the sooner a woman undergoes treatment after entering her menopausal period.
According to Mayo Clinic, irregular periods are one of the first symptoms to be taken as a sign of menopause. The woman may skip some periods, which is considered normal during menopause. Other symptoms of menopause include vaginal dryness, changes in mood, night sweats and chills, hot flashes and sleep disturbances. Some women find that they lose* some of their breast fullness when menopause is developing. Since the metabolism tends to slow down during menopause, a lot of women also find that they start to gain weight during this period of time. We should also note that a woman going through menopause may also find that their skin becomes drier than usual and their hair may also become thinner.
Menopause Lifestyle Changes
While we have focused primarily on the medical approach to treating the numerous symptoms that menopause causes women to experience, we should note that there are also many lifestyle changes that have the ability to assist a woman in reducing* not only the severity of the symptoms they are experiencing, but also the frequency in which they experience these symptoms.
According to NY Times, medical professionals have discovered that many lifestyle adjustments can contribute greatly to a higher quality of life and a more comfortable menopausal period. A woman needs to consult her own life and see what may be aggravating her symptoms, then remove* whatever she finds as potentially harmful lifestyle factors from her life.
If a woman is smoking, then she should consider giving up. In fact, evidence suggests that smokers tend to experience menopause as much as two years earlier than those who do not smoke. A healthier diet, reducing* calorie intake if it is on the high side and gaining enough physical exercise every day is important for maintaining a healthy weight, which can help to lessen the burdon of the numerous symptoms caused by menopause. Additionally, it is important to consume lot of whole-grain foods that are high in fiber, as well as a large number of fruits and vegetables, every day. Alcohol should also be limited at least, as excessive alcohol usage may also be harmful and contribute to more severe symptoms.
Even though menopause is a part of a woman’s life that cannot be avoided, there are many things a woman can do to minimize the symptoms she experiences during this phase of her life. From ensuring* she sleeps better, eats healthy and partakes in regular exercise, to obtaining appropriate treatments from a doctor to help reduce* the severity and frequency of the symptoms caused by menopause. In 2017, the North American Menopause Society has revised the hormone replacement therapy menopause guidelines – in this post, we discussed these revised guidelines to help women determine how this revision will affect their current treatment plan and whether they need to see a doctor to obtain any adjustments to the treatment plan they are currently following.
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Kathy Parks is a graduate who enjoys writing on different topics including men’s and women’s health, beauty and fitness. Being a mother and wife-she drives so much strength and inspiration from the desire to have a healthy family. Her health writings are done with the same passion-to ensure healthy family members. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest for different categories.
This content was originally published here.