A woman's worry when she turns 40 is menopause. This is because during menopause, the menstrual cycle and fertility in women stop. Some women are also afraid that their sex drive will disappear. However, for women, menopause is a phase that cannot be avoided. Before entering the menopause phase itself, there are several phases that will be experienced by women, namely the phase of perimenopause, menopause phase and postmenopausal phase.
In the perimenopausal phase women have experienced menopausal symptoms, such as easy sweating and the menstrual cycle will be irregular, but pregnancy can still occur to you. After that there is a menopause phase, this phase where you will not get menstruation anymore.
Menopause occurs because the ovaries no longer produce estrogen and progesterone, both of which are hormones needed for fertility in women. Estrogen can also lubricate the vagina, which makes you not feel sick when having sex. In addition to fertility, estrogen itself has benefits as one of the hormones that help bone formation. The estrogen hormone works with vitamin D and other hormones to repair bones. Experiencing menopause, means your risk of developing several bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis also increases.
What are osteoporosis and osteoarthritis?
Osteoporosis, also known as bone loss, is a disease that can make bones weak. When you have osteoporosis, there are holes in the bone that eventually widen. After widening, the core of the main structure of the bone will weaken. Osteoporosis cannot be recognized until there are symptoms of pain in the spine and waist. While osteoarthritis or known as joint calcification is a joint pain that causes pain and stiffness, usually occurs at the waist, knees and neck.
What is the relationship between menopause and osteoporosis and osteoarthritis?
There are several factors that cause osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, some of which are genetic, gender, and age. In fact, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are very susceptible to women compared to men. This is because the bone structure in women is thinner and lighter than men. Both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis both tend to be more susceptible to being experienced by women in old age. Because in old age, the production of estrogen hormones in women begins to decrease, until the menopause stage. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women who experience the postmenopausal phase will be four times more prone to osteoporosis.
The reduction in the hormone estrogen also affects the occurrence of osteoarthritis in women. According to Dr. Shikhman, quoted by Everyday Health, has a function to prevent pain in the cartilage between joints and bone cushions. Hormones also prevent when we move, there is no pain, so we can move smoothly. When the female hormone estrogen begins to decrease, the protection of the pain decreases, so women are increasingly vulnerable to osteoarthritis.
How do you handle it?
There are several ways to deal with or minimize the possibility of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis:
- Sports . Always active and try to always move. Exercise can strengthen bones and muscles. Recommended sports are aerobics, sports that require body movements such as walking, running, and climbing stairs. In addition, also sports that require the strength of hands or feet such as hiking.
- Diet . Try to eat foods that balance vitamins C, E, D and calcium. You can choose foods that contain antioxidants. In addition, you should consume calcium for 1000-1200 mg per day.
- Healthy lifestyle . Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and not smoking.
- Do hormone therapy . Hormone therapy can be done to reduce menopausal symptoms. But this therapy is not recommended for some women because it might trigger breast cancer cells and high blood pressure. If you want to do this therapy, consult a doctor first.
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