Postmenopausal Health Risks

Menopause is a perfectly natural part of the female aging process. On average, it occurs around the age of 51. Menopause is heralded by some typical symptoms: WebMd

  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse
  • Anxiety

It’s also common for women to experience the singularly irritating need to urinate much more often, especially at night. This further interrupts the sleep cycle, and this can augment anxiety. The hair may be thinner, and the skin may become more dry.

Depending upon the severity of symptoms, women may choose treatment with HRT, or hormone replacement therapy. Declining estrogen levels can be replaced by hormonal supplements, which are highly effective at alleviating many of the worst symptoms of menopause.

Increase in Disease Risk After Menopause

The menopausal symptoms described above are mostly just annoying. They aren’t serious, and they are easily treatable by various means. However, the years after menopause also bring with them some serious health risks:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular changes, such as high blood cholesterol levels

Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones. In the postmenopausal years, decreasing blood estrogen levels contribute to a decline in bone integrity. This is because estrogen has a protective effect on the female bones. Although not directly associated with menopause, women also have a higher risk of osteoporosis than men simply because they are usually smaller and typically have bones that are less dense to begin with.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis can become so severe that bones break with little impact. The hips, wrists and spine are common fracture locations. (
Osteoporosis can cause the spine to curve so severely that the victim can’t look forward to see in front of them. They hunch over, mostly staring at the ground as they shuffle along. This debilitating condition is sometimes called dowager’s hump.

Medications are available to help strengthen bones. However, osteoporosis is a disease best prevented. During a woman’s younger years, she should be sure to obtain adequate calcium and vitamin D intake through diet and supplements. Regular weight-bearing exercise is imperative as well.

Heart Disease and Cholesterol

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in women over the age of 55. Your text to link…. A direct contributor to heart disease is high blood levels of LDL, which stands for low density lipid. After menopause, women may show increasing levels of these unhealthy blood fats.

High cholesterol levels can often be treated with diet and exercise. Supervision by a physician is necessary. Processed foods, refined sugar, hydrogenated fats and saturated fats can all contribute to high blood cholesterol. Here is some detailed information about a heart-healthy diet: Your text to link…

If diet and exercise aren’t enough, high blood cholesterol can be treated with certain prescription medications.

Life after menopause can be an exciting, vibrant time. A few simple lifestyle changes can ensure many healthy years to come.