Strictly speaking, menopause occurs when your menstrual cycle ceases for one year, and it’s one of the few medical conditions that can persist for a year before being diagnosed and treated.
Of course, most of us think of menopause as the stage in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop (and other bodily changes occur), as a result of decreasing levels of various hormones. But while most hormones are decreasing, two hormones – cortisol and insulin – may increase during the menopausal years, leading to excess abdominal fat and the slow disappearance of your waistline, among other things.
The average woman is familiar with some menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbance, foggy brain and depression. However, these problems may be just the tip of the iceberg.
I recently saw a new patient who was “well past” menopause, but had gained fat tissue (although her weight stayed the same), and experienced higher blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose intolerance. In addition, she was suffering a rapid decline in bone density, and had embarrassing moments of incontinence. And these were just some of her symptoms!
Once you encounter menopause, you’re stuck with it, BUT you needn’t be stuck with adverse effects to your health and appearance, as long as you restore certain all-important hormones.
Today, you have a choice about how you want to age. You can live a healthy life, filled with energy and passion, provided you maintain a balanced endocrine system.
If you think you are in menopause, check the list of symptoms below or take the self examination.