There is no crystal ball or DNA test to predict when menopause will hit, though your best bet would be to look at exactly when your mother or older sisters first experienced their own menopause. “Family history is often the best predictor,” states Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical doctor of obstetrics at Yale University School of Medicine. The thing is, though, it is not even close to predictable.
While the usual age of menopause averages in the US at 51 and the common range spans from as low as ages 40 to as high as 58, according to North American Menopause Group, researchers are increasingly discovering lifestyle conditions and choices that can eventually speed up the procedure by two or so years. “There are several things that are highly toxic to ovaries that may cause the human ovaries to poop out earlier,” Minkin says.
And if you’re thinking, what is the big deal after all? While so many women are stopping their menstrual cycles so much earlier than their mothers, it is important to be aware that earlier menopause is considered a biological aging health issue and may be a warning for chronic disease risks in later life. As per a 2014 report of menopause reviews “Women who undergo early menopause situations are at significantly higher risk of stroke, depression, heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia,” Minkin states, adding “in case they do not take estrogen.” In case menopause knocks on a woman’s door early, Minkin advises them to discuss estrogen treatment with their health care practitioner.
Menopause is technically that age when a woman’s stock of egg-producing ovarian follicles drops below a certain set threshold and you have gone 12 successive months without experiencing periods. There are certain things which can affect your ovaries more than other: see if you can reduce your risk of early onset menopause by reducing these things.
A 2015 research in BMJ showed that both “passive and active smokers,” meaning those that smoke or used to smoke as well as those who have been with a smoker for 10 years or more, likely start menopause 1- 2 years earlier than those who live smoke-free. “When an individual smokes, especially a pack or more a day, they constantly damage cells on several levels,” Diana L. Bitner, an assistant professor working at Michigan State University’s School of Human Medicine as well as the author of “I Want to Age Like That!! Healthy Aging Through Menopause and Midlife.” She explains that “when you destroy the ovarian follicles, a woman runs out of them a little more quickly.” In case you are interested in preserving overall longevity and health, seriously consider losing the habit of smoking or indeed hanging out with smokers!
Not terribly surprising, some Boston University College of Public Health research found that women that live with economic challenges are 80% likely to go through menopause a bit early, and stress issues are partly to blame. “We know there is a connection between stress and our immune system, but we do not know what exactly it is,” Bitner says, who also is director of Women’s Health Network at Spectrum Health. In financial hardships, there are likely several factors at work: “Such women are potentially eating like crap, overweight, diabetic, and not sleeping,” says Bitner. “It’s a collection of issues which take a toll suddenly on the human body, including the egg-producing ovaries.” Regular sleep plus solid nutrition may go a very long way toward trying to ease some of the stress.
3. Being Too skinny
Being anorexic, an elite athlete or bulimic can cause a woman’s ovaries to sputter. “It’s not true menopause, in cases where the ovaries actually are popping out, though,” Minkin explains. “In lean women, it is the hypothalamus that is popping out.” And in the case of very thin women who receive hypothalamic extract injections or if they gain weight, ovulation may re-start. And yet research does link eating disorders with early onset menopause, according to Julia Edelman, a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School as well as Menopause Matters author: Your personal Guide to a Healthy and Long Life. According to CDC, a fit body mass index (known as BMI) is between 18.5 & 24.9. Below 18.5 marks is considered underweight normally and could potentially move along the age of menopause.
Women with any drinking problems may find their monthly periods become irregular then eventually stop. It is partly a nutrition question. “These are people drinking their calories, that mean they are not getting their healthy proteins, vitamins, and fiber,” Bitner explains. “I have seen patients drink themselves into early menopause.” The National Institution of Health research shows that most chronic heavy drinking could lead to irregular monthly periods, early menopause and stopping of periods, likely by making interference with reproductive hormones as well as by triggering various disorders, such as liver disease, malnutrition, and pancreatic disease. “Even moderate alcohol use can lower ovarian reserve and cause menopause earlier,” adds Bitner. A study from the Medical School in Harvard confirms that these issues may crop up also among “social drinkers” that down about three drinks per day.
5. Autoimmune Diseases
In autoimmune illness, the immune system could go haywire and begin attacking its tissues—including possibly the human ovaries and estrogen receptors, rendering them out of work. Rheumatoid arthritis, connective tissue disease, and scleroderma have all been linked with earlier menopause in women. A Swedish research of some 18,000 females found those who entered this stage at age 45 or less were more than two times as likely to get rheumatoid arthritis, compared to women who began menopause later. Though National Institutes in charge of Health consider all premature ovarian failures from autoimmune diseases normally to be some “rare disorder,” a 2011 study review links these conditions to close to 30% of the cases of premature ovarian failures. “Any autoimmune disorders can be linked with risks for early menopause,” says Minkin, “but it is not super-common.”
Women with this type of disorder, which starts in the brain, often are likely to enter into more premature ovarian failure that leads to menopause earlier. A Georgetown University research study found out that in a set of women suffering from epilepsy, about 14% had premature menopause, as compared with 1% of the total population. Although it is not clear why exactly, it might have something to do with lower estrogen, Bitner says, that is known to cause a drop in the threshold for various seizures. “Women with a seizure disorder may be at higher risk for having extra seizures before their monthly periods or during the transition into menopause,” Bitner adds.
It’s designed to eradicate fast dividing cancer cells, therefore it is not a shock some chemotherapy takes down the ovarian follicles along its way, especially in females over 40, studies clearly show. “Chemotherapy generally zaps the ovaries plus can shut down all ovarian activity,” says Minkin. This “medical menopause” might be permanent or temporary, depending largely on one’s age. Studies show that anywhere from percentages 0 to 40 in women under 40 go into menopause permanently after chemotherapy, while for women over 40 years, that figure is close to 75% to 90%, as per breastcancer.org. “Even in case the ovaries do not poop out the right away, they are at risk for stopping early,” Minkin adds.
If you are suffering from severe endometriosis, often a potentially cancerous tumor, or another disorder in that neighborhood, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (an illness of sexually transmitted infections, where the ovaries may get encased in a fibrous tissue), you will likely require your ovaries surgically detached. Without ovaries, a woman’s reproductive show can’t go on. “Surgical detachment of the ovaries leads to immediate permanent post-menopause,” says Edelman. That’s not always the case with medical surgery meant to remove the entire uterus, though it could stop menstrual bleeding, thus it’s not always clear exactly when menopause begins. In case you are a candidate for removal of your ovaries, Bitner urges one to talk to their doctor about saving a remnant of their ovaries, which can go on to produce various natural estrogen as they delay menopause.
9. Genetic Disorders
If one finds themselves launching into early menopause, you might be a Fragile X Syndrome carrier, the most basic inherited form of retardation mentally, says Minkin. Some 1 in every 300 women carry permutation, as per the American School of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, and it can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian failure prematurely or ovarian insufficiency (in case the ovaries do not make the right level of estrogen or discharge eggs regularly) by around 20%, a 2006 research showed. Scientists are discovering genetic mutations more that could be held responsible for shutting down ovaries But rest assured many of them are very rare.
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