Today is World Menopause Day – an annual event that aims to raise awareness of the menopause and the effects of the menopause on our health and wellbeing.
Menopause is a natural part of ageing, but it can be difficult to deal with.
Many women go through menopause and experience symptoms like hot flushes and night sweats, mood swings, anxiety or depression. One of the often common, but overlooked, symptoms are generalised aches and pains – something that we see every day in clinic.
Not all women will have the same symptoms – some might not even notice them at all – whereas others find them crippling and hugely impactful. This makes it hard for many women to know if their symptoms are down to menopause.
Why does menopause occur?
Oestrogen is a hormone mainly produced in the ovaries and is responsible for controlling many functions in the body including the production of an egg each month (ovulation). As a woman gets older, their store of eggs in the ovaries naturally declines. Menopause occurs when your ovaries stop producing eggs and your body’s oestrogen levels fall. As a result, there are many changes that can occur to the body including no longer having periods and the symptoms we associate with the menopause.
There are many symptoms associated with the menopause, usually the result of hormone imbalance and lack of oestrogen. These include: hot flushes, joint aches and muscle pains, weight gain, depression and anxiety, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, night sweats, low mood, low libido, headaches, low energy, disrupted periods, painful sex, brain fog – but there are many more!
The focus for World Menopause Day 2021 is bone health. Raising awareness of the menopause and its associated symptoms encourages early diagnosis and treatment of related conditions such as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis (and osteopenia) is a reduction in bone density which often affects postmenopausal woman more than others in the population due to the lower bone density levels after years without periods. There are many ways that you can keep your bones healthy and strong - regular exercise and activity is hugely important and also helps prevent falls and resultant breaks and fractures.
Raising awareness of the menopause gives people who are experiencing any form of discomfort during this time a chance to speak openly about their experiences while raising awareness among friends, family members, colleagues.
After all, it’s something that will affect pretty much every single woman on earth!
For more information, visit The British Menopause Society or chat things through with Elisabeth in clinic.
Elisabeth Angier, DC, is an experienced chiropractor with over 20 years' in clinical practice. She writes about hints and tips she gives to patients, and shares some of the wisdom and life experiences she has learned over the years.