Menopause, to put it simply, is a grueling experience for women. And, while the average age at which majority of women go through perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, sleep problems start manifesting in the late 40s to early 50s, it is possible for changes to begin much earlier.

About 1% of women younger than 40 years experience a condition called premature menopause or primary ovary insufficiency. Whereas, roughly 5% of women younger than 45 years experience menopause earlier. The stakes are raised when it comes to health risks for women who go through early menopause. Read on to learn about the health risks associated of early menopause and the natural ways to prevent them.

Why Menopause Happens Early?

Firstly, let’s understand the common causes of early menopause. Early and premature menopause occurs because of follicle depletion or follicle malfunction. When this happens, the eggs don’t get matured or released, leading to a halt in the woman’s menstrual cycle. This can happen for a variety of reasons:

  • Family History
  • Genetic and Chromosomal disorders like Turner Syndrome or Fragile X syndrome
  • Toxins – Exposure to chemotherapy and radiation can cause the early onset of menopause
  • Autoimmune Conditions – Conditions like irregular thyroid function and rheumatoid arthritis can affect the ovaries
  • Lifestyle Factors – Smoking has anti-estrogen effects, low body mass index indicates women who are very thin with fewer estrogen stores which can be depleted sooner, lack of physical activity, lack of sun exposure and Stress
  • Infections – Having certain infections like Mumps virus
  • Surgery – Procedures that entail removal of ovaries or uterus
  • Epilepsy or Brain disorder
  • Early Menarche or early onset of puberty

Loss of Estrogen Linked to Health Risks

Research indicates that loss of estrogen associated with early menopause can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, sleep disturbances, dementia and more. This is because, estrogen when present in the right balance in the body, is one of those hormones, that is a powerhouse of sorts. It targets every tissue in the body. As a result, the long-term consequences of premature loss of this hormone can put you in trouble.

Check out what early menopause can mean for your health:

  1. Accelerated Ageing

When you lose estrogen earlier than the normal timeline, it directly means that you are ageing at a greater rate. It can be devastating for younger women, besides the whole fertility issue. A research that was done in 2014 suggested that women with lower than average egg counts for their age have damaged the genetic structure and see shortened telomeres in their DNA than others. Shorter Telomeres is an indicator of your biological age and can mean that you are ageing faster.

  1. You are at an increased risk of Heart Diseases

Right levels of estrogen are believed to have a protective effect on your cardiovascular system. Early onset of menopause would mean that you are in a low-estrogen state for a longer time. And, this prolonged decline in estrogen causes about a 10% boost in LDL or bad cholesterol and reduces the ability of the arteries to expand and contract. There are several studies that indicate women with early menopause are twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke than those with later menopause.

  1. Low Bone Density

All women tend to experience a drop in bone density as they age and go through menopause. Women with early menopause will have to spend more years with weaker bones and are more likely to experience osteoporosis. This is because as estrogen declines, the rate at which your bones break down outpaces your body’s ability to build new bone.

  1. Memory Loss and Lower Cognitive Function

Brain fog is a common symptom of women who experience menopause, although temporary. In early menopause, women are more susceptible to poor thinking and reaction times. A study indeed found that early menopause has a significant impact on cognitive function in later life.

Natural Remedies for Early Menopause

Patients who suffer from early menopause and drastic symptoms of menopause are often prescribed antidepressants and synthetic hormones that carry risks and are not just worth it. Here are some natural ways to deal with early menopause:

Maintain the Ideal Weight

Being underweight can trigger lower estrogen levels since estrogen is mainly stored in fat tissues. That does not mean being over-weight is good. You need to find your ideal weight according to your height and maintain it in the same range so that you sustain the right BMI or body mass index.

Wholesome Plant-Based Diet

Diet rich in sugar, caffeine and high carbohydrates is a big no. Instead, include lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory whole foods to your diet in order to slow down your ageing process. Include foods like blueberries, artichokes, turmeric, blackberries, and glutathione to protect your ovaries.

Along with eating correctly,  studies indicate that consistent exercise can help prevent early menopause.

Supplements to Support Nutrition

Add loads of natural vitamins and trace minerals to your diet. Also, adaptogenic herbs like Maca, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola can provide overall hormone support. Ensure to supplement with your diet with the right amounts of Calcium and Vitamin D to support your bones

Include phytoestrogens foods to make up for the lost estrogen levels in your body. Unlike synthetic estrogen, these are available in a natural form and readily absorbed into the body without any ill-effects. Add flaxseeds, chickpea, lentils, and sprouts.

Keep your Brain Active

Estrogen is a key part of your brain’s signaling system that helps direct blood to more active parts of the brain. Get out of your comfort zone and constantly challenge yourself with brain-enriching activities that can help to boost your deteriorating mental function.

Concentrate on the Health of your Adrenals

After the onset of menopause, it is your adrenal glands that take over the function of producing hormones like estrogen and progesterone in lower quantities. So, support its function by getting rid of excess stress.

Everyone is unique and adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to treat early menopause will not work. Instead, follow a systemic approach and naturally reverse early menopause with lifestyle changes.


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