November 1, 2012

By:

Why Everyone’s Menopause Is Different

We
are all different, so why should the menopause experience be the same in all
women?

The
truth is that the only genuine early
symptoms
directly related to the reduction in sex hormones in the few years
around menopause are in fact remarkably
few
! This is the complete list of possible early symptoms:

 Irregular,
missed, heavy or light periods

 VMS
– hot flashes, night sweats, and perspiration

 Dry
eyes

That’s
it. So what, you may well ask, about all those awful symptoms listed on the
grocery list of menopause problems that you find on the websites or in books
and magazines trying to sell you miraculous remedies? Hype and marketing? To a
large extent yes. So next you will argue, a lot of women complain about a lot
of things during and after menopause. Are they imagining all this? The answer
is no, but this is going to take a little explaining.

Humans
are really complex beings. How we behave, how we react to various situations,
what diseases we get, even how those diseases present and progress, are all the
result of an interaction between some very special controlling factors.

Each
of three interrelated factors influences how we respond to various situations
including, in this instance, the menopause. For one person, one factor may have
a stronger impact than another. But we are always affected by the following:

·     
HORMONES 

·     
PSYCHOLOGICAL   – internal environment

·     
SOCIOCULTURAL – external environment

I
will expand a little on each over the next 4 weeks to show you how they relate
to each other, and what this means for symptoms after menopause. In some women
the hormonal effects may override the other effects. In others the
psychological makeup or the sociocultural factors may have a stronger impact
than the hormonal.

I
will occasionally use the term menopause
syndrome
. A syndrome is simply the medical term for a cluster of several
symptoms occurring together in relation to a disease or event.

HORMONES – THE SPECIFIC TRUE HORMONE-RELATED
SYMPTOMS

Intensive
research on several continents has all reached the same remarkable conclusion:
the actual true early symptoms directly resulting from the hormonal changes around menopause are
remarkably few. As already indicated, these are:

1.   
Menstrual irregularities

2.   
Vasomotor symptoms – hot flashes, night
sweats

3.   
Dry eye (and this one is a maybe!)

Later symptoms may result from the changes
that occur in various parts of the body, as described in earlier blogs. As the
severity of these changes and the rate at which they develop are so variable,
the potential for an actual problem will be quite different for different
women. A few examples of the potential organ changes and their possible
late-onset symptoms include the following:

1.   
Vaginal thinning causing pain with
intercourse

2.   
Osteoporosis leading to crush vertebral
fractures and backache, or hip fractures

3.   
Heart disease resulting in chest pain or
heart attack

4.   
Dry skin causing itching or easy bruising

I
do want to draw your attention to the fact that the genuine symptoms related to
these menopausal hormone changes occur in a sequence of time. So the menopause syndrome should be regarded
as one occurring over a period of time.
In other words, as the effects of
menopause progress, new symptoms can be added to the syndrome, while others
might disappear.

Next
week I will address how ‘psychology’ impacts on menopause.

Have
a wonderful week

Wulf
Utian MD PhD DSc

Author;
CHANGE YOUR MENOPAUSE – Why one size does not fit all.
http://www.amazon.com/Change-Your-Menopause-size-does/dp/0982845723/

WHO IS WULF UTIAN?

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