I just came back from the North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS) 30th annual conference in Chicago. In the three days I was there, I learned about the latest research surrounding peri-menopause and menopause. The subject is vast and we know that for every woman menopause and the years surrounding it are a time of change. Since I was listening to top speakers for 3 straight days- I wanted to share 9 initial take home messages.
- One of the first take home messages I received is that menopause is not a disease state- it is a natural process all women go through.
- Menopause is defined as the the cessation of menstruation for a full year after the last period. The average age of menopause in the US is 47-53 years.
- The years ( can be up to 10 years!) before your final period are called peri-menopause when hormone fluctuate up and down and periods vary in frequency, length and intensity.
- Peri-menopause is a time when hormones are all over the place- that is why physicians can’t get accurate hormonal blood values.
- Peri-menopause and menopause symptoms vary by individual. WE all have different genetics and lifestyles.
- Physicians help manage the symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause via therapies- hormonal or not.
- Hormonal therapy is far form exact- under physician’s guidance- many women choose to use hormonal therapies to help with menopausal symptoms.
- Menopause affects heart health, bone health, the brain, sexual health and body composition.
- Lifestyle factors such as stress reduction , exercise, well-being, relationships, mental health, sleep and nutrition play a supporting role in peri-menopause & menopause.
Over the next year I would like to share with you some of the latest research in regards to menopause and lifestyle.