Menopause Symptoms and Diagnosis

Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses Menopause Symptoms and Diagnosis

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Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses Menopause Symptoms and Diagnosis
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Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist

Duration: 2 minutes, 47 seconds

Menopause is translated as the cessation of periods, and it’s been a very, very controversial area of therapy. All women actually go through menopause; the timing is variable.

The average is around age 51 but it varies quite a bit. The age that your mother or older sister went through is often a better indicator as to when you might go through menopause, because it’s determined genetically to a certain degree.

Some women go through menopause with minimal symptoms, and the other end of the spectrum, it ca be quite debilitating unfortunately for some women.

The symptoms of menopause relate to a lack of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and to a certain degree, testosterone. They can be manifested as sleep disorder, difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep. Sometimes by hot flushes or hot flashes, fatigue, decreased ability to exercise due to the testosterone deficiency, a change in body metabolism where there’s a tendency to gain weight.

There’s also effects on bone, loss of calcium out of bone and increased risk of developing osteoporosis. And then there’s the mood effects that can occur with menopause, which sometimes are very troubling and can lead to depressive symptoms.

The diagnosis of menopause is first clinical. The periods are stopping, or becoming more irregular. And there are blood tests that can be done. Hormones like FSH will be elevated in a woman’s bloodstream, and estrogen and other hormones will be going down, and that confirms that it’s the ovaries that have stopped working.

As to treatment for menopause, there’s hormone therapy on one side, and then there’s other things that can be done to help lessen the symptoms. Dietary changes can be helpful. Dietary changes to ensure you’re getting sufficient vitamin D and calcium become more important once you’ve been into the menopause, to try and lessen the risk of osteoporosis.

And it’s also important to remain physically fit. It’s been shown that women who exercise regularly during the menopause and post-menopausal times will have less symptoms if they’re exercising regularly and with a training effect. They’ll be more able to deal with the symptoms of menopause.

So if you have questions on the diagnosis or treatment of menopause, by all means discuss it with your primary care physician.

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.