Monday, March 17, 2008

Am I Doing Anything That could Cause an Early Menopause?

Am I Doing Anything That could Cause an Early Menopause?

Your lifestyle can definitely influence when your body will begin manifesting symptoms of menopause, how easy or difficult your menopausal transition might be, and your postmenopausal health. Beginning with your overall health, factors such as diet, stress, physical activity, smoking, drinking, and environmental toxin exposure can also affect when your menopause begins and how smoothly you make the transition. Here's a brief rundown:

* Your overall health, which is definitely influenced by your lifestyle, can determine how well your body adjusts to the changes it's undergoing during menopause and afterward. The ovaries are glands that interact with various other glands located throughout your body, creating the endocrine system. Secretions from the glands stimulate and support every part

of your body. When one of these glands stops producing hormones, it affects all the rest. The body then attempts to rebalance itself naturally. If your body does not need to expend energy overcoming existing health problems, then it can adjust more easily to the changes of menopause.

* Negative stress can be detrimental to the body at any time, but unmanaged stress can increase hormone imbalances leading up to and during menopause, magnifying emotional and physical discomforts you may already be feeling. Ongoing unmanaged stress sends your body into an extended fight-or-flight mode, causing the adrenal glands to continually kick in, providing extra survival energy. Adrenal exhaustion can result, leaving your body unequipped to handle emotional and physical exertion of any kind. Moreover, the adrenal glands are then unavailable to convert androgens into estrogen when the ovaries are unable to do so. Since the adrenal glands play specific roles within the complicated endocrine system, loss of adrenal function at a time when you most need it affects your entire body. This can have a destructive effect on your menopausal transition, as well as your future health, especially your skeletal and cardiovascular systems. Chapter 7 offers many suggestions for how you can reduce the impact of negative stress on your health.

* Women who regularly consume substantial amounts of alcoholic beverages go through menopause earlier than those who do not. Excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to any woman's overall health.

* Studies suggest that smoking cigarettes affects a woman's estrogen levels, in addition to the other damage it inflicts on the body. Reports also indicate that smokers go through menopause one to two years earlier than nonsmokers or ex-smokers. The longer a woman has smoked and the number of cigarettes she smoked daily seems to move her closer to an early menopause. Women who live with smokers and are exposed to passive cigarette smoke also seem to enter menopause earlier, as do women whose mothers smoked. Smokers are also at higher risk for developing health problems during their postmenopausal years, including osteo-porosis and cardiovascular diseases and disorders. We are only beginning to understand how exposure to toxic substances affects a woman's health, but the news is not good. Contact with chemicals in soil and water is being linked to higher risks of developing breast cancer, endometriosis, and osteoporosis, as well as being generally detrimental to a woman's overall health. Avoiding pesticides and chemicals, including those contained in household cleaning products, is better for your body and for the environment.

* Although the reasons are not clear, studies have shown that women who live at higher altitudes enter menopause years* earlier than women who live at lower altitudes.

Author Info... Annabel Cruz is a researcher that studies Natural healing by combining both Western and Eastern ways. Feel free to use this article on your website or ezine as long as the following information about author/website is included.

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