The ageing effects of the menopause
Referred to as “the change”, “ovarian retirement”, “reverse puberty” and many other slightly derogatory terms, menopause is clinically defined as the time of life when a woman’s ovaries reduce hormone production and menstrual periods stop for at least a year. In this article, Dr Alba Pereira MD, a GP and menopause specialist working at Imperial College London, focuses on its physical effects and how to slow them down.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Symptoms can be numerous and varied. Some of them, such as mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, weight gain and low libido are well known. But others, such as forgetfulness, thinning and itching skin, loss of muscle tissue, joint aches and hair loss – not so much. The reasons for such diversity are unclear; however, we know they are related to factors including ethnicity, socioeconomic status, diet, exercise and smoking.
The symptoms caused by the decrease of hormonal levels associated with the menopause can make a woman feel unable to cope. It is important to speak…