It’s no secret that getting older brings along a whole host of ailments. Whether it’s stiff joints, achy muscles, or even a loss of energy, women have enough changes to worry about without being concerned with these other problems.
However, with menopause comes an increased risk of chronic health conditions. Due to the loss of estrogen, women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes, and arthritis. Even with regular exercise and a health diet, these conditions are prevalent.
Chronic Health Conditions During Menopause
Our bodies are constantly breaking down and rebuilding bones. Estrogen blocks the breakdown. However, during menopause when there is significantly less estrogen, there is remarkably more breakdown. Your bones are still rebuilding, but not fast enough to compensate for the immense breakdown. This results in overall bone loss.
Some of this deterioration can be prevented by cutting down alcohol, doing weight-bearing exercising, and increasing your daily intake of calcium and vitamin D.
As women go through menopause, their cholesterol profile decline. The good cholesterol, HDL, goes down, while the bad cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, go up. The combination of this increases the risk of heart disease.
Estrogen is involved in how blood vessels relax, so as estrogen declines and that effect diminishes, blood pressure tends to rise. The risk of heart disease also rises.
Daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is important to warding off health risks like heart disease. A study in 2014 concluded that women between the ages of 50 and 59 who recieve estrogen therapy during menopause are less likely to have coronary diseases than those who do not.
Estrogen seems to delay the onset of diabetes by decreasing insulin resistance and glucose production. As estrogen declines during menopause, the risk of diabetes increases. Weight is also a factor in diabetes during menopausal years. If a woman is overweight, losing the weight may be more effective than taking estrogen supplements. Both weightloss and estrogen have been proven to help improve glucose metabolism.
There is a tricky relationship between arthritis and menopause, because arthritis is so dependent on age in both men and women. It’s hard to pinpoint it as a strict issue with declining levels of estrogen.
Many women in menopause develop significant arthritis that is unrelated to any other underlying health conditions. This makes them feel achy and sore. This muscle pain can often be relieved using HRT – hormone replacement therapy.
Prioritizing Your Health During Menopause
Whether these conditions are brought on by menopause or exacerbated by your declining levels of estrogen, it’s important to make your health a priority.
Women should focus on themselves and their overall health during perimenopause and menopause to ensure they are healthy, happy, and living their best lives in this stage. Preventative care can help and taking steps to make sure they are aware of their health is important.
If estrogen supplements is something you’d like to discuss, schedule a consultation with one of our online medical professionals today. Our team can determine how to best help you as you navigate this stage of your life.