What the menopause really does to your body and how to tell when it’s begin: Continuing the ultimate guide to surviving the change.
Palpitations: Oestrogen deficiency can effectively over-stimulate the nervous and circulatory systems, causing a pounding, rapid and irregular heartbeat.
Allergies: Hormones and the immune system are inextricably linked, and menopausal changes can lead to allergies becoming worse, or you may develop them for the first time, particularly asthma, hay fever and dermatitis.
EVEN A LITTLE EXERCISE CAN MAKE DIFFERENCE
Being active really can help menopausal symptoms — whether you exercise a lot or a little. Research has shown that women who exercise have fewer and milder flushes, night sweats and sleep disturbances.Meanwhile, the endorphins — feel-good chemicals — released during exercise can lift menopausal low moods and ease depression.Even if you’re not troubled by menopausal symptoms, exercise has significant long-term benefits, reducing your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis (which rises significantly once the protective effect of oestrogen is lost).One U.S. study showed that healthy menopausal women who walked for three hours a week or exercised vigorously for an hour and a half a week had a 30 to 40 per cent lower risk of heart disease than inactive women.And it’s never too late to start.
Women who become active only in mid or late-adulthood still had a reduced risk of heart disease compared with their inactive peers.Meanwhile weight-bearing exercise — walking, jogging, dancing and aerobics — can prevent or reverse bone loss by 1 to 3 per cent a year in post menopausal women (the stress stimulates bone growth).Exercise can also keep you slim, reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers.More active post-menopausal women have smaller waists and less body fat, researchers have found.