Hormonal Changes in Women versus Men
Women generally go through three phases of hormonal changes, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
If itchy, weepy, sweaty, moody seem like possible names of the Seven Dwarfs, they’re actually symptoms that can signal the onset of perimenopause, which is the period of time before a woman actually enters menopause.
Typically, women begin showing symptoms 5-10 years before menopause, which usually occurs between 45-55 years old.
One of the first symptoms generally experienced by women in perimenopause is irregular periods. The regular clockwork cycles women may be used to, can suddenly change to longer or shorter durations between cycles, coupled with lighter or heavier menses.
Another common symptom is hot flashes, which are thought to be triggered from the fluctuation of hormonal levels during this time. These hot flashes can range in severity depending on each individual, and frequently begin on the neck traveling upward, when a hot feeling or flushing of the skin occurs.
It’s important to note, many women still experience occasional hot flashes after they have gone through menopause.
4. Frequent urination
5. Weight gain, bloating
6. Skin changes (itchy & dry skin)
7. Irritability, Depression, Crying Spells
8. Rapid Heartbeat, Palpitations
9. Insomnia, trouble falling, or staying asleep.
10. Thinning Hair
It’s best to consult with your physician to have your hormone levels checked to see if you are approaching menopause. Due to the recent controversy over the past years concerning HRT, hormone replacement therapy, is a topic to be discussed with your doctor.
This is the period of time after a women’s menstrual cycles have stopped for a period of at least one year. Some women may get a period after the one year cessation, but any abnormal bleeding after menopause should be reported to your doctor. Although the perimenopausal symptoms should have subsided now, occasional symptoms may still occur after menopause, and each person’s symptoms may vary.
The term post-menopausal refers to a woman who has already gone through menopause after the one year period when menstrual cycles have stopped.
This is usually a welcome time of relief in a women’s life, when she no longer has to deal with hot flashes, and menstrual cycles, ready to enjoy the next stage of her life.
It’s especially important to maintain proper nutrition, and exercise, for heart and bone health, which can decrease after menopause .Women are at a higher risk for heart disease with the dramatic decline in estrogen after menopause, making it even more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Men also go through hormonal changes, but generally more gradually and not reported as frequently as women. What kind of changes can men expect?
• Male Manopause
This is the time in a man’s life when a gradual decline in the production of testosterone can occur. Although a decline in testosterone levels typically start with aging, it may signal a serious problem such as diabetes. It’s best to consult your doctor to have your testosterone levels checked and to rule out any other medical conditions associated with the decline.
3. Sexual Difficulties
Maintain a healthy diet, along with proper exercise to help boost your testosterone levels naturally. If, however, blood tests confirm a diagnosis of low testosterone, your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to increase your levels.
Hormonal changes occur in both men and women as a normal part of aging, and staying well-informed, maintaining a healthy diet, and following an exercise regimen can make that transition much easier.