Is It Me Or Is It Hot In Here?

The Menopause

Our ovaries develop in our very own second trimester and the number of eggs we’ll have for the rest of our lives will be determined then. When those eggs run out is generally considered to be when the menopause occurs, sometime between our late 40’s and early 50’s but possibly earlier. Menstruation becomes scanty and irregular and eventually stops altogether. The peri-menopausal stage is considered to have stopped, and the menopause reached, when the last menstrual period[more] occurred 12 months prior.

As the ovaries stop producing eggs we experience a corresponding drop in sex hormones, particularly oestrogen and progesterone. The pituitary gland then compensates by increasing levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Lutenising Hormone (LH). FSH and LH cause the ovaries and adrenal glands to release other hormones called androgens. These are then converted to oestrogens by the fat cells of the hips and thighs (so there are advantages to being a classic pear shape). Converted androgens are the best source of oestrogen in postmenopausal women, although oestrogen levels are still far below that of the reproductive years.

Symptoms

These fluctuating hormones can produce many uncomfortable symptoms including:

Dietary Recommendations

Yet we’re not powerless during this process, we can take nutritional steps to aid hormone synthesis which can help to reduce all those symptoms.

Further Measures

Take professional advice before supplementing to ensure there are no contra-indications with existing medication and that the most beneficial form is being used.

By Saffron Rogerson

23 March 2015