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MENOPAUSE IS DEFINED AS:

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Menopause impacts bone health, mood, mental health, sleep quality and much more. It is diagnosed when a woman has had 12 months with no bleeding, in the absence of any other medical or lifestyle changes.

THE AVERAGE AGE OF MENOPAUSE IS:

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Menopause is a natural stage of life for all women between the ages of 40 -58. The average age for women to reach menopause in Canada is 51, but this can vary widely. Premature menopause occurs when menopause happens before the age of 40. Procedures such as ovary removal (oophorectomy), as well as certain medications, can affect ovaries and bring on temporary or early menopause.

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING MAY INFLUENCE WHEN YOU START MENOPAUSE?

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Menopause is genetically linked. Knowing when your mother or other female family members began menopause will give you an idea of what is in store for you. Smoking can cause menopause to start as much as 2 year sooners because it plays havoc with your hormone balance. Estrogen protects us from many health concerns, so do your best to be the healthiest version of yourself.

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE IS A MYTH?

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Menopause is not just a long list of physical symptoms. It also has many psychological symptoms in the mix as well. Research shows how estrogen plays a major role in brain health. Hormone changes and decreased estrogen levels can contribute to symptoms of depression, irritability, anxiety, mood swings and low energy.

TRUE OR FALSE. EATING CERTAIN FOODS AND LIMITING OTHERS CAN HELP SUPPORT HORMONE CHANGES?

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True. Certain foods, such as soy and flax, contain phytoestrogens that can mimic women’s natural estrogen. Always speak to your doctor or naturopath to create a treatment plan that optimizes foods that support hormone balance.

DURING MENOPAUSE, THE FLUCTUATION IN ESTROGEN CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:

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Women frequently report cognitive obstacles as they transition through the stages of hormone change. The brain fog described by many women will pass, but being proactive can minimize effects. This could include phytoestrogens, the Mediterranean diet, exercise, decreased alcohol, and starting a smoking cessation program.

TRUE OR FALSE. MIDLIFE WEIGHT GAIN IS CAUSED BY MENOPAUSE.

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False. Weight gain is often attributed to menopause, but there are two culprits at play here. First, metabolism slows as we age. This means that if you continue to eat as you always have without increased activity, you are more likely to gain weight. Secondly, as we age we lose muscle mass, even if we are active. Increased muscle mass burns more calories than fat does. Younger women tend to store fat on their hips and legs, but after menopause, with the decrease of estrogen, weight storage shifts to the abdomen.

WHAT IS A COMMON SYMPTOM OF MENOPAUSE RELATED OSTEOPOROSIS?

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Osteoporosis risk factors increase after age 50 in women as a result of bone loss specifically related to low estrogen during menopause. Bone density tests allow you to see a numerical value related to your current bone health; this can be done through your primary health care provider. Healthy bones are correlated to strong muscles. Invest in your health and start a weight bearing and muscle strengthening program today.

WHICH STATEMENT BEST DESCRIBES LOSS OF BLADDER CONTROL DURING MENOPAUSE?

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Women of menopausal age could experience any range of bladder control changes! Most episodes of urinary incontinence are a result of altered stress on the muscles and nerves that help you pass or hold urine. Hormone changes can affect muscle strength in vaginal tissue and in muscle tissues in and surrounding the bladder and urethra. When estrogen levels drop in menopause, these tissues thin, weaken and become less supple, leading to incontinence.

VAGINAL DRYNESS IS COMMON DURING MENOPAUSE. TRUE OR FALSE.

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True. Vaginal dryness is a hallmark sign of menopause. With fluctuating estrogen levels, vaginal tissue becomes thinner and more easily irritated. No need to suffer silently; many women have this symptom. Talk to your doctor or naturopath. There are a number of effective safe treatments, products and exercises that can help!

HOT FLASHES, ONE OF THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOM OF MENOPAUSE, ARE DESCRIBED AS A SUDDEN FEELING OF HEAT THAT SPREADS THROUGHOUT THE BODY. ON AVERAGE, HOW LONG DO MENOPAUSAL HOT FLASHES LAST?

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The average duration that women experience hot flashes is 7 years. Hot flashes can be severe at the onset for women who start menopause early —and for those who smoke. Women seek out support for hot flashes and night sweats more than any other menopausal symptom, as it significantly interferes with day-to-day life and work.

POOR SLEEP QUALITY DURING MENOPAUSE IS CAUSED BY:

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Sleep can be a tricky thing on a good day. Insomnia and menopause are highly correlated due to hormone changes. Some studies report the number of sleeping hours may stay the same, but the quality of sleep drastically decreases. Night after night of poor-quality sleep, plus night sweats and daytime stressors, all contribute to low energy, brain fog and exhaustion.

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