Some of the more common tests include Estradiol, FSH and LH. Women can also request the assistance of obstetricians, who can identify changes in the vaginal lining as a result of decreasing levels of estrogen (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2010).
The highest concern with women is represented by the possibility of the menopause symptoms to be in fact indicative of a more severe health problem. This concern is best addressed in discussions with the personal doctor, and through the necessary medical investigations.
Another concern is represented by the diseases which can develop in connection with the menopause. At a general level, menopause does not generate any associated illnesses and the health condition is more so determined by the history and life style of the woman, rather than by the menopause. Nonetheless, there two specific illnesses which can develop in the postmenopause period:
Coronary artery disease, and Osteoporosis.
The coronary artery disease is linked to lower levels of estrogen. Before menopause, the female body produces more estrogen, which prevents bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries. As the body ages and lower levels of estrogen are produced, the women become exposed to coronary artery diseases.
"As you age, your risk for developing coronary artery disease (CAD) -- a condition in which the veins and arteries that take blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked by plaque -- increases steadily. Heart attack and stroke are caused by atherosclerotic disease, in most cases" (Healthy Women, 2011).
As in the case of coronary artery diseases, the osteoporosis at early stages in a woman's life is prevented by higher levels of estrogen productions. The female hormone strengthens the bone structure and works together with calcium and other hormones to support the building of bones. Still, as lower levels of estrogen are created, the process of build up bones decelerates and the bone system becomes weaker.
"Your body constantly builds and remodels bone through a process called resorption and deposition. Up until around age 30, the body makes more new bone than it breaks down. But once estrogen levels start to decline, this process slows down. By menopause, your body breaks down more bone than it rebuilds" (Healthy Women, 2011).
7. Treatment of menopause
As it has been mentioned throughout a previous section, some of the women experiencing the symptoms of menopause characterize them as highly bothering and generative of inabilities to function properly. In order to avoid them, several treatments are available. The more common treatment is represented by the hormone therapy, which virtually means the chemical replacement of the lost hormones. The therapy can be used to treat hot flashes and it is only recommended for the women starting menopause, not the women which started menopause several years before. Tests are still being conducted to assess the risks of hormone therapy, but it is recommended that women do not use it for more than five years. Also, women selected for hormone therapy should have low baselines for strokes, blood clots or breast cancer.
For those who do not qualify or wish to avoid hormone therapy, some alternative treatments exist. These are commonly based on mild antidepressants and they address issues such as hot flashes or mood swings, but also other symptoms as well.
Aside medical treatments, menopause can be better managed by the women though a series of changes in their lifestyles. Some of the more notable suggestions in this sense include acupuncture; the avoidance of coffee, alcohol or spicy foods; more exercise; the practicing of Kegel exercises or various relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2010).
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