Menopause is a natural process for women. Knowing about menopause can help you be prepared when your body starts to change and you start moving through the process. What is menopause? Menopause is part of a gradual and natural process in which the ovaries produce less and less of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, and menstrual periods gradually disappear. For most women this process generally begins around age 40 when periods may become less regular. This time of change is called perimenopause or premenopause. The average age women complete menopause is around 51. Some women experience menopause at younger ages due to premature ovarian failure, cancer therapy or surgical removal of both ovaries. What are the signs of menopause? Each woman experiences menopause differently. Changing hormone levels can cause a variety of symptoms that may last from a few months to a few years or longer. Some women have slight discomfort or worse. Others have little or no trouble. If any of these changes bother you, check with your doctor. The most common menopause symptoms include:
- Change in periods:One of the first signs may be irregular periods. Some may have a lighter flow than normal; others have a heavier flow and may bleed a lot for many days. They may come more often and last longer. There may be spotting between periods.
- Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden rush of heat in the upper part or all of your body.
- Problems with the vagina and bladder: Vaginal dryness, itching and burning can make sexual intercourse painful. Vaginal infections can become more common. Some women have more urinary tract infections or problems with holding urine.
- Sex: Some women find that their feelings about sex change with menopause. Some have vaginal dryness that makes sexual intercourse painful. Others feel free after menopause, relieved that pregnancy is no longer a worry. Until you have had one full year without a period, you should still use birth control if you do not want to become pregnant. After menopause, a woman can still get sexually transmitted diseases and should make sure her partner uses a condom.
- Sleep problems: Some women find they have a hard time getting a good night's sleep. They may not fall asleep easily or may wake too early. They may need to get up to go to the bathroom and then not able to fall back to sleep. Hot flashes can interfere with sleep.
- Mood changes: There may be a relationship between changes in estrogen levels and a woman's mood. Shifts in mood also may be caused by stress, family changes or feeling tired. Depression is not a symptom of menopause.
Kidney stones are common, but the more you know about these painful little kidney block, the better prepared you will be if you ever get one. What is a kidney stone? A kidney stone is a solid formation that forms in a kidney when there are high levels of certain substances in the urine. These substances are normally found in the urine and do not cause problems at lower levels. A stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract. Kidney stones vary in size. A small stone may pass on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger stone may get stuck along the urinary tract. A stone that gets stuck can block the flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding. You may have a kidney stone if you:
- have pain while urinating
- see blood in your urine
- feel a sharp pain in your back or lower abdomen
- a condition that affects levels of substances in your urine that can cause stones to form
- a family history of kidney stones
- repeating, or recurrent, urinary tract infections
- blockage of your urinary tract
- digestive problems
“Movember” is an annual month long celebration to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as depression in men, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other male cancers, and associated charities. During the month of November, men generally take part in this celebration by growing moustaches to raise awareness for the cause. The overall goal of Movember is to "change the face of men's health, according to the Movember foundation. Are you growing your Movember moustache? Whether you are male or female click here to find out more about how you can support the cause.
November is American Diabetes Awareness Month. By bringing awareness to this serious disease and teaching people how they can change their eating habits, increase physical activity, and work on weight loss solutions, we can make a difference, specifically with those high risk of type 2 diabetes. Know the facts about diabetes!
- Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States.
- Diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if it’s not controlled.
- One in 11 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.