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Menopause, the most common ailments and how to deal with them

Headache, fatigue and sleep disturbances. For more than one in two women, the advent of menopause it also looks like this. Then, for many, the phase of transition from fertile life sees the appearance of muscle pain, a decrease in desire, to get to the classic hot flashes. If these are widespread sensations, it is worth remembering that women behave very differently to deal with annoyances. Almost half do not resort to any remedy at this stage, making maximum use of food supplements (27 percent) and herbal products (17 percent). And only 5 percent have resorted to HRT, for which cultural barriers still exist.

Menopause is considered, in fact, as a natural phase of life (43 percent) in which it is not necessary to take drugs if not essential (48 percent), because there is also fear of possible side effects (35 percent). This “snapshot” is offered by a survey by the Onda Foundation, the National Observatory on women’s and gender health entitled “Menopause in the life of women”, carried out by the Elma Research Research Institute. The survey was carried out on a sample of 315 women aged between 44 and 65, through interviews lasting 15 minutes.

How much do women know?

There are several discrepancies between the perception of knowledge and the actual knowledge of the stages of menopause and the symptoms associated with this situation. So we need clarity. Menopause coincides with the end of reproductive capacity and the end of menstruation. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, sweating, difficulty in controlling body weight, emotional instability are the symptoms that characterize this passage to varying degrees from one woman to another. In the medium to long term, the “fall” in estrogen levels leads to alterations in bone, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism that increase the risk of osteoporosis, cardio / cerebro-vascular diseases, diabetes, overweight and obesity. In short, it is a landscape to know well. And the women say they are informed.

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84 percent of the Italian interviewees believe they have a medium-high level of information on the topic of menopause. The main sources of information are represented by friends and family (71 per cent) and by professionals, gynecologist (67 per cent) and general practitioner (36 per cent), and by websites (53 per cent). In particular, women turn to the doctor especially when they are approaching the period of entry into menopause and mainly to talk about the impact it will have on physical well-being (67 percent) and the therapies and remedies to reduce symptoms (68 percent) .

“Although women declare that they are well informed about menopause and the therapies that can reduce symptoms, especially for those who are particularly sensitive to hormonal decline, the survey found numerous cultural barriers that make it more difficult to face this particular moment in a woman’s life – explains Francesca Merzagora, President of the Onda Foundation “.

Pay attention to the power supply

Adequate information is needed on what to expect from menopause and also on how to cope with it in order to experience it to the fullest. The gynecologist and the general practitioner have a fundamental role in this regard. “It is comforting that half of Italian women enter menopause naturallybut it is a pity to note that many others suffer from disabling symptoms without really effective help from the doctor – comments Rossella Nappi, Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics and head of the highly complex menopause center of the IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo – University of Studies of Pavia.

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Research is providing us with very safe therapies, based on hormones identical to those that women had before going through menopause, to better combat hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disorders that have a significant impact on daily life and sleep. sense of well-being. In particular, it is important to know that today it is possible to customize the type and duration of therapy to minimize any risks that have been considerably reduced by recent studies and to obtain numerous preventive benefits on the bone, cardiovascular and cognitive side in all women. especially if in menopause before the age of 50 “.

“The arrival of menopause represents a particularly delicate moment due to the significant physical and psychological changes related to it – says Maria Grazia Carbonelli, Director of the Dietology and Nutrition Unit, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome. A healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and regular physical activity they help to avoid the main nutritional consequences related to menopause. Weight changes, increased visceral fat with repercussions on blood sugar and cholesterol, water retention, muscle fatigue, osteoporosis are conditions that can make use of adequate diet therapy and possible supplementation with specific products to deal with menopause at better. Consulting a dietician as well as a gynecologist favors a complete approach to women’s health at this stage of life ”.

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