Saturday, December 18, 2010

What causes symptoms of menopause ?

Is it just the hormones?

The basic cause of menopausal symptoms is the decline in sex hormones. However, there are other physiological changes that are responsible for the elevated temperature, sweating and flushing. It is believed that certain parts of the brain which are responsible for maintaining body temperature and sweating go awry when the sex hormones decline. It is the sex hormone, estrogen, which is primarily responsible for most symptoms of menopause.

However, there is not strict correlation between low levels of estrogen and hot flashes. The reason is that many young girls and adolescent women have low levels of estrogen from a variety of causes but they do not develop symptoms of menopause. It appears that estrogen may be the trigger factor during menopause and may interact with other hormonal systems.

Are there any risk factors which can worsen symptoms of menopause?

Yes, there are definite risk factors which can worsen menopause. Not all women have the same intensity of symptoms and thus it is believed that certain risk factors tend to make symptoms worse. These risk factors include?

Research indicates that women who smoke are more prone to developing hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Moreover the symptoms tend to be more intense and prolonged in smokers.

Obese women are also more prone to hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. In addition, the symptoms are also prolonged and generally do not always respond to hormonal therapy.

Women who tend to live sedentary life styles are also more likely to experience menopausal symptoms. Most athletic women and those who exercise regularly tend to develop symptoms that are of mild duration and easily tolerated.

It is also well known African American women have more severe symptoms of menopause those other ethnic groups. Hot flashes tend to be less common in Orientals like Japanese and Chinese in comparison to Caucasians.

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