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menopause, symptoms, hormones

Menopause: What You Need To Know

Written by: Kiara Lipschitz



Time to read 6 min

Keywords: menopause, symptoms, hormones

Menopause is such a significant life event for women, but as young adults, not many ladies are prepared or informed enough about what is to come. This blog post aims to demystify menopause, as we look into the age at which menopause typically starts, its initial symptoms, and the steps to take when it begins. We'll also discuss what to avoid during menopause, how to manage its symptoms, and the factors that can exacerbate them. Lastly, we'll explore the six key biomarkers for menopause and their roles. Let us take a look at what you should know about menopause:

1. Understanding the Onset of Menopause

Menopause is a gradual process that typically begins in a woman's mid to late 40s , with most individuals reaching menopause between the ages of  50 and 52 .

However, this can vary from person to person.

Menopause that occurs before age 45 is considered early, while menopause before age 40 is deemed premature .

Initial signs of menopause can include changes in menstrual cycles , such as shorter or irregular cycles, heavier periods , or increased premenstrual syndrome symptoms .

Other symptoms may include hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, or sleep disturbances due to hormonal changes .

The severity and experience of these symptoms can differ greatly among individuals. If menopausal symptoms begin to interfere with your quality of life or if you have questions, it's important to reach out to a healthcare provider.

menopause, symptoms, hormones

2. Cautionary Measures During Menopause

During menopause, it's crucial to be mindful of certain factors that can exacerbate symptoms.

Spicy foods, for instance, can intensify hot flashes.

Lifestyle modifications such as limiting caffeine intake and taking nonhormone medication  can help manage these symptoms.

It's also important to note that menopausal symptoms can vary greatly among women, both in frequency and severity.

Some may experience mild symptoms that can be managed with lifestyle changes, while others may have more severe symptoms that require medical intervention.

Therefore, it's essential to communicate with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and any changes you notice.

Sudden onset of menopause symptoms  can occur if you undergo surgery to remove your uterus or ovaries and are not taking hormones. In such cases, immediate medical attention is necessary. 

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3. Natural Remedies for Alleviating Menopause Symptoms

During menopause, certain dietary and lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms naturally.

Washing with a mild cleanser  can help combat the dry skin often associated with menopause.

Additionally, consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products, can help maintain bone health and potentially reduce the risk of early menopause . A 2017 study found that women with the highest intakes of vitamin D and calcium had a 17% lower risk of early menopause.

Furthermore, protein-rich foods can help manage changes in metabolism and body composition during menopause.

On the other hand, certain foods should be avoided to reduce menopause symptoms. For example, spicy foods and caffeine  can exacerbate hot flashes and sleep disturbances.

Therefore, a balanced diet, along with regular exercise and adequate sleep, can help manage menopause symptoms naturally.

menopause, symptoms, hormones

4. The Role of Biomarkers in Menopause

In the context of menopause, six key biomarkers play a crucial role: TSH, FT4, FSH, LH, FT3, and Oestradiol.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (FT4) are involved in regulating the body's metabolism , with TSH stimulating thyroid follicular cells to release thyroid hormones in the form of T3 or T4.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are produced in the pituitary gland and are essential for the reproductive system.

FSH levels rise along with other hormones, and an FSH test is often used with a blood test for LH .

In women and men, higher levels of FSH and LH are often a sign of a c ondition in the reproductive glands that prevents them from making normal levels of sex hormones.

Triiodothyronine (FT3) is a thyroid hormone that plays a role in several body functions, including body temperature, digestive function, and heart rate.

Lastly, Oestradiol is a form of estrogen, a hormone that regulates  the menstrual cycle

5. Understanding FT4 and FT3's Role in the Body and Menopause

Free thyroxine (FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3) are thyroid hormones that play a crucial role in our metabolism.

They regulate the rate at which our bodies use energy, affecting everything from our heart rate to our body temperature .

In relation to menopause, research suggests that these hormones may influence the timing of this life phase, as they increase with age .

However, it's important to note that this relationship is complex and influenced by various factors, including genetics and lifestyle.

Furthermore, abnormal levels of these hormones can lead to thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism  (low levels of thyroid hormones) or hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid hormones), which can mimic or exacerbate menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. Therefore, understanding and monitoring these hormones can be integral to managing menopause effectively.

menopause, symptoms, hormones

6. Oestradiol's Role in the Body and Menopause

Oestradiol, also known as E2, is a potent estrogen hormone with significant roles in both men and women.

In women, it's primarily responsible for the development and regulation of the reproductive system .

As women age, Oestradiol levels gradually decrease , with a substantial drop occurring during menopause when the ovaries cease their function.

This reduction in Oestradiol is directly linked to common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances .

Moreover,  Oestradiol is vital for bone development , and a deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, increasing the risk of fractures.

Despite the associated risks of clotting and certain cancers, Oestradiol is often used in hormone replacement therapy  (HRT) to alleviate menopausal symptoms, with the benefits and risks carefully weighed depending on individual medical conditions and age. 

7. FSH's Role in the Body and Menopause

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a vital hormone that regulates the reproductive function in both females and males.

In women, FSH levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle , playing a key role in the development of ovarian follicles.

As women approach menopause, the number of follicles decreases, leading to elevated FSH levels .

An FSH level of > 30 IU/L is generally consistent with the perimenopause, with levels of 70-90 IU/L not uncommon for postmenopausal women .

Interestingly, women in the early stages of menopause transition can sometimes have high estrogen levels due to the remaining ovarian follicles responding to high FSH levels.

This complex interplay of hormones can lead to the common symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings. 

8. LH's Role in the Body and Menopause

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is another reproductive pituitary hormone that plays a crucial role in egg maturation and ovulation .

LH release is stimulated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone  (GnRH) and is inhibited by estrogen in females and testosterone in males .

However, when estrogen deficiency occurs, such as during menopause, LH levels increase.

This rise in LH levels can lead to common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

Moreover, studies have shown that LH levels can impact the efficacy of assisted reproductive technology (ART), with supplementation of LH during the mid-follicular phase leading to better pregnancy results in women who had not responded optimally to conventional ART. 

9. Navigate Menopause with Confidence: The OptimallyMe Menopause Blood Test

Feeling the shift? Hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue – these could be signs of menopause, a natural transition that affects all women. But are you sure?

Take Control with the  OptimallyMe Menopause Blood Test  .

This comprehensive test analyses your key reproductive hormones, including FSH and LH, providing a clear picture of your hormonal landscape. By monitoring these biomarkers, you can:

  • Confirm Menopause : Gain certainty about whether you've entered this new phase.

  • Understand Symptoms : Connect hormone levels to common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, and fatigue.

  • Empower Yourself: Knowledge is power. Use these insights to manage symptoms effectively and transition confidently.

Step into optimal health during menopause . The OptimallyMe Menopause Blood Test helps you take charge of your journey.

For the most accurate results: Take the test 2nd or 3rd day after your period has started.

Embrace menopause with clarity and control. Order your  OptimallyMe Menopause Blood Test  today! 

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