Managing Hormonal Balance after 40

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After 40 all the hell breaks loose, It becomes more challenging to maintain the physique into our 40’s and beyond.  This is because of hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that play an important role in maintaining your appetite, weight and mood, among other things. They are produced by our endocrine glands to regulate many bodily functions, however hormonal imbalances do occur from adolescent years to old age, more profoundly after 40 years. Women may experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels .

Females with low estrogen and progesterone experience weight gain around belly. Hot flashes night sweats, dry skin, changes in sleep patterns and women lose half a pound of muscle per year and early menopause in 40 may result in low bone density (osteoporosis). Many women give up and decide that accepting the aging process is easier than fighting it.

 Natural Treatment for Menopause

Synthetic and bio-identical hormones if taken for longer time cause breast cancer in some women and prostate cancer in some men. Hormone therapy is not suitable for all. A good nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best.“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha.

Engage in formal exercise 4 or 5 days per week. Your workouts should include aerobic exercise for a healthy cardiovascular system; strength training to maintain muscle tone and bone density; core strength exercise for a stable mid-section; and stretching to maintain mobility keeping each workout between 30 and 45 minutes in length.

Naturally estrogen is found in food rich in phyto-estrogens which include soybeans and soy products, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, sesame seeds and beans. However, the phyto-estrogen content in foods varies depending on processing methods. Consuming naturally occurring phyto-estrogens can help relieve night sweats and hot flashes.  Eating protein throughout the day at each meal may slow down muscle loss due to aging. Foods rich in protein include meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and milk.

Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. It affects men and women. But Asian women and white women are more prone to this disease after menopause. Higher levels of estrogen in women before menopause helps maintain bone density. Estrogen level decreases after menopause. Early menopause is after 40 or if it is in your family (grandparent or parent has stooped back) you may be at higher risk.  Symptoms could be stooped posture, back pain due to collapsed vertebra, easy bone fractures. Get a BMD test done and have healthy lifestyle choices such as proper diet, exercise, and medications (Calcium and Vitamin D) can help prevent further bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures

Male andropause differs from female menopause in several ways. Women know when they have menopause but men don’t quite know. They know it afterwards. For one thing, not all men experience it. For another, it doesn’t involve a complete shutdown of your reproductive organs. Males with low testosterone experience fatigue, Insomnia, weight gain, brain fog, decreased sexual performance, inability to maintain muscle mass (30% muscle mass is lost in a lifetime), heart disease and osteoporosis.

Two nutrients that are especially important to your diet are vitamin D and zinc, both of which are precursors for making testosterone. Food rich in vitamin D are fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, salmon, cheese and egg yolks. Food rich in zinc, oysters, shellfish, beans.

Good news for this generation of women who want to have kids later in life or women who had early menopause is that they don’t have to worry about your fertility clock ticking away. Sfakianoudis and his colleagues have turned to blood treatment (Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) ) which works by stimulating tissue regeneration . When they injected PRP into the ovaries of menopausal women, it restarted their menstrual cycles, and enabled them to collect and fertilize the eggs that were released.

Menopause or Andropause is a natural path to aging. Keeping yourself healthy and strong is the key. Aging is beautiful when it is embraced with love, respect  and compassion for self.

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