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- Menopause meaning
- At what age does menopause occur
- Climacteric and premenopause, what are they?
- What happens in the body of the woman in menopause
- What ailments does menopause bring
- Most common symptoms of menopause
- How the body changes in menopause
- Menopause: prevent and counteract the signs and symptoms
The term ” menopause ” comes from the Greek , it is literally composed of the terms “minus” and “pause” which mean ” month ” and ” cessation “.
Menopause is a physiological moment of female life during which the fertile age ends , manifests itself with the cessation of the menstrual cycle  and then leaves room for something else.
Menopause is not a disease but a physiological event which however “upsets” the psycho-physical balance present up to that moment and which is therefore known; it is a change that involves the whole body, in its functions and therefore also in its appearance  – It is a bit like returning after a more or less long journey and, for some time, not recognizing one ‘s home because someone has completely re-furnished, without notifying. There and then it can be shocking, then you get used to it and eventually live in a whole new house.
In fact , it is a moment in which our organism, including the mind, tries to find a new balance after a change that is mostly unwanted, little consciously planned, relatively sudden, for which no one has duly prepared us.
It is not so different from menarche ( appearance of the first menstruation ) and from adolescence , if you think about it, only that, faced with the latter, the whole world is full of positive expectations, excluding the adolescent who is experiencing it. ; the whole world is alarmed about menopause, especially those who are experiencing it .
At what age does menopause occur
Menopause, or the cessation of menstruation normally occurs between 48 and 52 years , in Italy the average age is 50.9 , if it occurs before it is defined early menopause , if it occurs after it is defined late menopause .
Climacteric and premenopause, what are they?
The climacteric is a period characterized by the progressive reduction of the endogenous production of estrogen and progesterone hormones by the female gonads, the ovaries , already starting from 40 years of age.
It can last up to 10 years and results in menopause which is in fact the cessation of menstruation (amenorrhea) for at least 12 months.
The period immediately preceding the disappearance of menstruation is called premenopause. It varies in duration from woman to woman and is characterized by the manifestation of the first irregularities of the menstrual cycle.
The whole body is affected by this change because the endocrine glands are a bit like the stations of a railway network spread over a large territory, our body: if a train slows down or stops at a station or along the way, it cannot that influence the transit of trains in previous and subsequent stations and on the entire railway path between stations.
Menopause: what happens in the woman’s body
Returning to the metaphor, our body is full of stations, or glands such as:
- Hypothalamus and pituitary ;
- thyroid and parathyroid glands ;
- adrenal ;
- gonads or ovaries.
in which hormones are produced , these hormones affect the function of other glands as well as the function and structure of all tissues in the body:
- Nerve tissue ;
- skin ;
- all connective tissue , both proper and fatty tissue, bone tissue, cartilage, blood and lymph ;
- endocrine glandular tissue , in fact;
- muscle tissue.
Tissues form our organs : brain, heart, kidneys, stomach, intestines, endocrine glands.
The metaphorical “railway route between stations” therefore represents the incredible “skein” of fabrics that make up our entire organism .
At the level of the tissues that make up the organs (and then the systems) there are receptors for the hormones that are produced in the glands : these are very small molecules often positioned on cell membranes.
The interaction between hormones and receptors triggers a series of biochemical reactions that maintain and / or change the functions and even the microscopic morphology of the tissues themselves, therefore of the organs they form and therefore of the systems – it seems a puzzle but it is a very refined concert of events biochemical and physical that only the human body could be able to host , albeit for a limited period of time, that is, life.
What ailments does menopause bring
The hormonal change morpho-structurally affects the tissues ( signs ) that form the organs which, in turn, form the systems of our organism. It goes without saying, therefore, that its functions are also affected and manifest themselves with new ” signals ” : symptoms.
The symptoms that most commonly appear in menopause do not exacerbate all together and the manifestation of most of them lasts from a few months to a few years while some of them persist over time, moreover, their onset is not perceived by all women alike- ; the signs, on the other hand, are another ” story “, on which our attention will be more focused.
Most common symptoms of menopause
The hormonal change influences the shape and structure of the tissues ( signs ) that form the organs which, in turn, form the systems of our organism, it goes without saying that they will also influence the functions that will manifest themselves with new “signals”: the symptoms
Among the most common and annoying symptoms of menopause we can list:
- Brain fog and memory lapses ;
- decreased libido ;
- depression / anxiety , irritability and mood disorders;
- tiredness ;
- concentration disturbances ;
- hot flashes (the so-called hot spots) and / or headaches and other symptoms referable to vasomotor episodes and also to the change in blood pressure which tends to rise;
- joint and / or bone pain
- genito-urinary syndrome which manifests itself with symptoms such as dryness, itching, pain during intercourse, urinary disorders such as recurrent cystitis, urinary incontinence etc.
How the body of a woman in menopause changes
As for the signs, the most obvious and least appreciated by the ladies are:
- The skin of the whole body becomes thinner , less hydrated, less elastic and dyschromic (uneven complexion), due to the reduction of connective cellular activity, especially fibroblastic, very sensitive to estrogens.
Fibroblasts are cells responsible for the production of collagen (which is also reduced by 30% immediately after menopause), hyaluronic acid and elastin, practically build the extracellular matrix of our connective tissue; the sudden reduction of estrogen during menopause, is clearly reflected on the skin through the appearance of stable and deep wrinkles, the natural folds deepen, the subcutaneous fat of the face undergoes a sort of downward sliding that changes the contours of the face, especially the jaw contour is less profiled and the skin color is no longer vivid and uniform (appearance of lentigo, telangiectasias…) .
- There is an increase in insulin resistance , the reduction of fat metabolism and lipodystrophy (morpho-structural degeneration of the fat tissue) that is encountered, leading to one of the least tolerated signs in this moment of life that it is the increase in body weight and the redistribution of the volume of fat tissue that is as if it “dislocated” in less attractive positions, in particular there is a “quadratization” of the waistline. Then associated with increased skin laxity , the result is a change in the shape of the body that appears masculinized .
- Change in the shape and color of the external genitalia : the labia majora undergo a hypotrophy of all the tissues of which they are made up. The fibroblasts and all the other cells are also here and here too they begin to “function less” – and become dyschromic, in particular, in this area of the body, they tend to take on a much darker color than they have been until now. they become less toned, appear empty, perform less than before their protective function towards the innermost structures such as the labia minora and the vagina introitus which in turn are undergoing a morpho-structural and functional change. The result of this change is a manifest vulvar aging which is reflected both on an aesthetic and functional level (genito urinary syndrome of menopause) and which in some cases can represent a psycho-physical discomfort also impacting on social life .
- Dehydration and greater fragility of the hair : there is a greater loss of them ( telogen effluvium ) as well as their graying, or the appearance of white hair;
- Modification of the enamel of the teeth which becomes thinner and more fragile by changing the appearance of the teeth themselves and, associated with a greater bone resorption in general which therefore also affects the jaw and mandible , also the first disorders due to a modified chewing occur (pains potentially affecting the whole spine and change in posture) as well as an evident and modified aspect of the lower third of the face that becomes gradually shorter.
- Change of the silhouette : the bone reworking and the change in muscle tone that you go against modifies the silhouette of our body also through posture. The less toned muscles and their contractions (up to contractures) to counteract joint pain at times, as well as give a looser appearance to the fatty tissue and the overlying skin, position the entire bone skeleton in a less erect, proud and youthful position.
The signs that appear in menopause tend to persist over time : it is not the beginning of aging, which has already been going on for quite a few years, but it is the beginning of the manifest aging with which the woman must do the count yourself looking in the mirror.
Menopause: reduce symptoms and prevent and counteract the signs
Fortunately , today we can not only mitigate many of the symptoms and counteract the signs but we can even prevent them, how?
Through a broad medical-aesthetic vision , holistic in the literal (i.e. complete) sense, which takes into consideration both the morphological-aesthetic and functional aspects , inseparable from each other as we have seen, we finally bring the patient back to the center of our attention and care in the its totality : an apparently “classic” medical vision that exploits modern methodologies.
There are many interventions that can be implementedin prevention and in contrasting the signs of this delicate moment of transition.
Here are some of them:
- Integrative Medicine and its Hormone Replacement Therapy by means of bioidentical hormones and / or substances that we already find in nature , I am referring to what are defined as “supplements”. In another chapter we will see in which situations, at what age and with which substances some symptoms and many of the signs can be prevented.
- Adequate nutrition : if the metabolism changes it is unthinkable to continue eating as a teenager and since we are aware that a change will come, we should think about it in time, on the other hand “we are what we eat” [L.Feuerbach 1804 – philosopher]. Nutrition is one of the most powerful weapons we have at our disposal to combat aging, many foods mimic or stimulate the activity of hormones and endorphins ( chocolate, for example, exceptional serotoninergic and dopaminergic ), can be a source of free radicals (foods too rich in saturated fats for example) as well as being able to fight them very well (foods rich in vitamins for example: fruits and vegetables).Excluding some foods from the diet or exaggerating in the intake of some can undermine the health and appearance of the whole organism (for example diets lacking in noble proteins or too rich in them: vegetarians or prolonged high-protein diets).
- Physical activity : if you have been lucky so far, now you need to engage in a physical activity that you enjoy but that maintains a good metabolism or reactivates it, which helps to deposit more calcium in the bones (it is an age in which vit D and Calcium tend not to be easily absorbed, admitted and not granted that the diet is balanced …), to improve mood, tone of muscles and skin and therefore its appearance, counteract the accumulation of fat in the body and in the blood, improve posture.
- Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine and Surgery which by now has refined its procedures, methods, products and high-tech devices to such an extent that it uses so much that it is able to treat, with both preventive and restorative objectives, the face and the whole body, including the genitals, but this is material which, due to its vastness, interest and complexity of contents, deserves a separate chapter.
More articles on menopause
Menopause according to traditional Chinese medicine
Menopause according to Ayurveda
Bud extract for menopause
Bibliography and sources
- Treccani.it – Vocabulary
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Vittoria Coletta; Silvia Maffei; Rossella Elena Nappi;
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