Menopausal Choppy Waters Smooth With Old Age



In new information from the study of healthy aging from Melbourne, Australia women have the mot depressive symptoms and most negative mood during the menopause transition. Interestingly these negative effects of menopause on mood resolve the older women get older. The average age of menopause is 51.4 years old. The age of menopause has a genetic component and exact age women have a final menstrual period does run in families. However, the menopausal transition  is fairly reliably 45-55. The age of menopause is remarkably consistent from culture to culture suggesting that it is not our diet that is responsible.  For most women the hot flashes are the early physical signs and moodiness is the first sign for others, for others it's weight gain or vaginal dryness. On average women gain 8-15 pounds in the first two years of menopause! As we get older, weight is actually lost, so there is some specific link between menopausal transition. To combat this perimenopausal gain nutritionists suggest keeping fat in your diet to less than 20%  during this time. We lose 2-4% of bone in menopausal transition, but only 1-2% in older age. Women who have very late menopause tend to having higher density of bones, very slightly over women who had earlier menopause. Some data also links your age of menopause to whether you consume milk. Most researchers,however, consider this a 'risk marker' rather than the actual 'risk factor,' as to the age of menopause. However, there is an extra 2.8% increase in probability of developing breast cancer for each year menopause is is delayed. So age of menopause is actually an important health metric that should be discussed. For factors that might increase or decrease your personal age of menopause, consider aconsultation with your gyno!

 

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