More than one third of the women in the United States, about 36 million, have been through menopause. With a life expectancy of about 81 years, a 50-year old woman can expect to live more than one third of her life in menopause.
How Does Menopause Happen? Ovaries contain structures called follicles that hold egg cells. Women are born with about 2 million egg cells and by puberty there are only about 300,000 left. Only about 400 to 500 eggs ever mature fully enough to be released during a menstrual cycle - the rest degenerate over the years.
During a woman's reproductive years, the pituitary gland releases a hormone that causes a new egg to be released from the follicle every month. The follicle also causes estrogen and progesterone levels to increase, which thickens the lining of the uterus. This thickened lining is prepared to receive and nourish a fertilized egg if conception occurs. If fertilization of the egg does not happen, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, the lining of the uterus breaks down and menstruation occurs.
Before the mid-thirties, the ovaries begin to decline in hormone production. In the late forties, the process accelerates and hormones fluctuate more, causing irregular menstrual periods and unpredictable episodes of heavy bleeding. By the early to mid-fifties, periods end.
However, estrogen production does not completely stop and the ovaries continue to produce smaller amounts of estrogen. The adrenal glands (near the kidneys) and fat tissue also continue to make estrogen.
Progesterone, the other female hormone, that works during the second half of the menstrual cycle to create a lining in the uterus, decreases as well. If a woman skips a period it may be because her body is not producing enough progesterone to break down the uterine lining. This is another one of the early signs of menopause.
This missed period phenomenon can also happen during times of stress. In Holistic Health we consider that the stress hormones such as cortisol, require so much from the body that other hormonal systems have to "pay" for it. Repeated bouts of unresolved stress take their toll on women - severe PMS, cramping, and eventually some very uncomfortable menopausal symptoms related to this hormonal imbalance.
Hot Flashes Appear to Be The Direct Result of Decreasing Estrogen Levels In response to falling estrogen levels, your glands release higher amounts of other hormones ( again, as "payment") that affect the brain's thermostat, causing body temperature to fluctuate. Holistic Health sees hot flashes, fatigue and night sweats as a symptom of "hormonal imbalance", and are not necessarily a normal part of menopause.
Be sure to read about Maca for Menopause as an herbal alternative to this issue of "hormonal imbalance".
Male Menopause Oh, yes - such a thing exists! "Male Menopause" and it's treatment with testosterone was first described in the United States sixty years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA, 1938,112:1441). Dr. August Werner gave an accurate account of the "Male Climacteric" as it was then called. Six years later, in another JAMA article, a large group of men with identical symptoms were reported. That article provided evidence that this "male menopause" was a true hormone disturbance due to insufficient testosterone. They did blind controlled studies to show how the symptoms, including erection problems, responded to testosterone but not to placebo injections. More About Male Menopause Click Here
Currently "male menopause" is gaining momentum as an issue. Having been overshadowed by female menopause issues for so many years some doctors are finally beginning to identify some of the life changes associated with male menopause and the decline of hormones. Some of these changes are: job related stressors (fewer jobs available to older men) and parents getting sick.the adaptogen herb from Peru, is an herb being used successfully by men who are experiencing the symptoms of male menopause, erectile dysfunction (E.D.). Maca read more about this herb.
Since the physical, psychological and sexual aspects are interconnected, most of these symptoms can be helped by concentrating on the whole man keeping in mind nutrition, relaxation and leisure, his social system, and physical level of activity. Maca can contribute in a big way and with it's 100% guarantee, there is no risk!
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