Menopot
The Mid Life Flab
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Menopot Questionnaire

Test your knowledge about Menopot

Test your knowledge on one of the baffling aspects of your health - staying in shape in your middle age. This section asks you - 10 important questions about Menopot and provides well researched correct answers.

Test your knowledge about Menopot Facts


1. Is there a way to confirm menopause ?

 

Way to confirm menopause

If you have not had menstrual periods for a year and are about 50 years of age, you are said to be in menopause. But you can get a blood test to check for FSH and LH to confirm onset of menopause. The FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone produced in the pituitary is controlled by estradiol levels. FSH spurs the ovaries into producing eggs.

When you are going through menopause, there is reduced estrogen and therefore the estradiol levels are lower. This has lesser effect on the FSH levels. So you are likely to have higher levels of FSH in the blood. An estradiol test is also likely to correspond by showing lower levels. But it must be noted that a woman's hormonal levels can fluctuate at different times, so this test is not routinely recommended.

2. Is depression a common complaint of most menopausal women ?

 

Yes - Depression is a common complaint

Fluctuating hormones at perimenopause and menopause makes a woman more prone to a depressive state. Women are twice as likely to become depressed during menopause than at any other stage in their life. The reduced estrogen levels coupled with hot flashes can make for disturbed sleep over time. This in turn builds up anxiety and mood swings.

A menopausal woman must also get her thyroid checked as a malfunction can also contribute to depression. Very often, this stage also brings on the empty nest syndrome thereby heightening the feeling of sadness and depression. Seek emotional health from friends or see a counselor. Exercise regularly and eat healthy.

3. Is menopause always a result of natural hormonal decline ?

 

No

In most cases, menopause sets in due to natural reduction of estrogen production and its effects. But when you have a hysterectomy, the body experiences surgical menopause. It is not a gradual process but its intensity varies from woman to woman. Most often women who have had surgical menopause are younger than those who have had natural menopause. You have to deal with the physical and emotional after-effects. Women who have had bilateral oophorectomy due to cancer also experience sudden menopause.

4. If my periods have stopped, does it surely mean that I cannot become pregnant ?

 

No

Even if you had had a year without menstrual periods, it is prudent to use birth control for another year till the ovulation comes to a halt. In the years leading to menopause, erratic cycles are common. You might have a few months without periods and then a few with erratic cycles. If you are on oral contraceptives, speak to your doctor about it. They do have the benefits of reducing symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness but they can also put older women under increased risk for heart attacks.

5. Does menopause affect bladder control ?

 

Yes

Ever so often we hear of menopausal women complaining of pelvic muscle incontinence. This can be the result of childbirth and obesity. Besides, with lesser estrogen, the lining of the bladder becomes weak. Infections and medications such as diuretics can lead to problems with bladder control. Bladder prolapse is yet another cause for urinary frequency. Try Kegels exercise to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Limit caffeine consumption and avoid spicy foods and carbonated drinks.

6. Though I have gained a menopot belly, my weight and BMI are fine. I don't have to worry at all! Right ?

 

Wrong

Weight and BMI are not to be seen in isolation. Where you carry your weight on your frame also makes a difference. If you have slowly started accumulating fat around your abdomen, it lays increased pressure on your abdominal organs and the heart. It is also associated with high insulin levels. A waistline greater than 35 inches in women or 40 inches in men is an indicator of high risk factor.

7. Will drastic cutting back on eating help lose the menopot ?

 

No

Don't ever try to starve yourself into a smaller waistline. You might instead just be fueling the body into starvation mode thereby adding to the inches. Instead, have many small meals during the day. This way your energy levels don't have sudden dips and you are less likely to binge at a meal. Avoid fizzy drinks containing phosphorus as they deplete your body reserves of magnesium and calcium. Opt for broiling and baking rather than frying.

8. Do I need to go for regular pap smears after menopause ?

 

Yes

Pap smears help in identifying abnormal changes in the cervical cells, indicating conditions that can lead to cancer. Sexually active women must have annual pap smears done to screen for HPV. Women above the year of 65 years who have had 3 consecutive normal pap smears and no history of abnormal pap smears can discontinue it. Always keep an alert for any abnormal vaginal bleeding.

9. Does perimenopause put me at increased risk for Osteoporosis ?

 

Yes

The onset of Osteoporosis is most often silent. Women who smoke, drink large amount of alcohol or suffer endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism are especially at risk for osteoporosis. Women, especially in their 40s must take stock of their lifestyle factors so that they don't contribute towards weaker bones. Instead concentrate on your calcium consumption.

A common mistake with many women who are watching their weight is to keep away from dairy products. About 1200 mg of calcium is needed for your body; either in food or supplement form. Include plain yogurt, cheddar cheese and blue cheese or feta cheese. Other sources of dietary calcium include turnip greens, tofu, broccoli, pinto beans and salmon. Whip up exciting salads with cabbage, mustard greens, parsley, collard greens and asparagus.

10. Is breast pain normal during the menopausal transition ?

 

Yes

Fluctuating hormonal levels can cause breast pain. Each woman's response to hormonal ups and downs is different. Do not panic if you feel pain in the breast but get your doctor to check. This is especially so for women who also experience nipple discharge along with redness of the breast. In rare cases, it is due to breast cysts or breast cancer. HRT is not recommended here due to increased risk for blood clots and cardiovascular disease. Try lymphatic massage and ice packs for relief. Keep up with the routine of healthy eating and exercising.


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