A study conducted by Maryam Safabakhsh and a team of researchers from Tehran University in Iran investigated the connection between daily diet and its impact on symptoms of menopause in women.
More precisely, the researchers were interested in looking at how diet can make a difference and possibly help in the management of signs of menopause.
Menopause is a period that women usually experience after crossing the age of forty-five. The term is specifically given to the time when a woman sees changes in her menstrual cycles and does not get monthly menstrual periods for twelve consecutive months.
Hence, once a woman enters menopause and stops getting periods, she can no longer naturally conceive and get pregnant. This happens when the ovaries stop producing two essential female hormones – progesterone and estrogen.
Even though menopause has been seen to begin at a specific age, the symptoms start appearing years after a woman gets her last period. In addition, health experts have also noted that the signs can last for up to two to four years after entering the menopausal stage.
In rare cases, some women can experience symptoms of menopause long before it actually happens. Statistically, one in ten women has signs of menopause ten to twelve years prior to it happening.
Health professionals and doctors look at several factors that can help them in understanding and determining when a woman is expected to experience menopause including the health of the ovaries and genetics.
Secondly, these factors can also impact the severity and the kind of symptoms a woman is likely to experience as well as the time span they last.
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In addition, lifestyle factors such as exercise, smoking, alcohol intake combined with the medical history of conditions including cancer can potentially worsen and increase the time period a woman will experience the symptoms.
Although the signs of menopause can vary from one woman to another, the most commonly seen are lighter or heavier periods than before and having periods less often in general.
Vasomotor symptoms like flushing and night sweats are also prevalent in women entering the menopausal stage. Around seventy-five percent of the women also report having hot flashes.
Other signs that occur in women undergoing menopause include weight gain, insomnia, depressive episodes, increased urination, anxiety, stiff or painful joints, difficulty in concentration, vaginal dryness, memory problems, headaches, reduced sex drive or libido, urinary tract infections, reduced bone mass, hair thinning or loss, and a racing heart.
The severity of such symptoms can significantly affect the quality of life as well as the mental health of a woman.
According to research, whose findings appear in the journal Menopause, the severity of such symptoms can be controlled if the diet of a woman contains a high amount of fruits and vegetables.
The researchers specifically noted that the findings and the inverse relationship between the total menopause rating scale score and a diet high in fruits and vegetables remained the same even after adjusting for other potential factors.
Though further research is needed, the researchers recommend maintaining a healthy diet as well as following all guidelines from a certified health professional.
Medical attention, in case the severity of the symptoms becomes more intense, should be sought as soon as possible in order to cut down the risk of any related complications.