‘Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period’
In the female body, this is the changing and developing hormonal state that women experience from approximately 35 years onwards. It can actually occur at any time, often due to auto-immune issues whereby thyroid and adrenal factors ignite the menopausal action. Menopause takes a long time to complete and its easier to break it down into smaller segments with different hormonal conditions and responses. The most common negativities are hot flashes, poor sleep quality, increased bodyf at, low concentration, decreased memory, physical aches, irritability and slowing metabolism.
Women start to lose their active oestrogen and this in turn has a massive impact on the endocrine system. As a result of such big changes in the hormonal system, the big Ds – diabetes and divorce, are highest during this time so there’s a lot to evaluate when considering a lifestyle programme for meno-health.
Training for meno-fitnes does require a lifestyle programme – its not simply a case of good food and regular exercise, although these are key factors. Poor sleep, lower recovery recovery, high stress/cortisol levels, adrenal stress, dwindling motivation and poor self-esteem are all present during this time and these all have a strong bearing on how the client is presenting and what changes need to be recommended by you.
Signs and Symptoms
While a full hormonal check-up is ideal, the results of this checkup are only pertinent for the period of time the client is in that hormonal condition. As the client progresses through menopause, hormonal levels shift and these changes eliminate previous finding. However, key physical manifestation include;
* Exhaustion – physical, mental and emotional plus constant sleep problems means the body never recovers fully at a time when rest is really needed.
* A fretful mind and inability to switch off. The mind becomes constantly revving engine which forces the entire being into auto-pilot and a move towards the sympathetic state. Moving the person back to para-sympathetic condition must be part of the plan.
* Elevated cortisol levels due to consistent stress which often manifests itself as;
- Cravings for combination fat and carbs
- Increased appetite
- Low immunity
- Mid afternoon slumps
* Increased waistline – abdominal fat cells have four times the cortisol receptiors of anywhere in the body. Bodyfat deposited close the the liver can be quickly re-converted back into energy in case of emergency – flight or flight.
* Incontinence.. It is reported that 47% of exercising woman at a mean age of 38.5years experience incontinence.. Refer to a womens health physioherapist who is qualified in pelvic floor dysfunction.
* Depression .-
* Hot flashes which are uncontrollable.
* Mood swings and irritability. Difficulty with managing perspective.