Things That Can Speed Up And Postpone Menopause
I don’t believe any woman in the world hopes that menopause arrives early. One of the cruelest jokes Mother Nature plays on us, really, is giving us menopause just when life is particularly good. Think about it: that time of life is around when the kids have left for college, so you finally have time to travel, spend more time with your partner, socialize, and treat yourself. It’s also a time when a woman might be really settled and on top of her game in her career—in a place where she is successful, but work no longer feels like an uphill battle. And then, ugh, hormones ruin everything. If only men knew what that was like. By the way, if you are a man with a menopausal woman in your life—whether that’s a mother, partner, sibling, or friend—be kind. It’s a nightmare. With that in mind, here are things that can speed up, and postpone, menopause.
Speeds up: Radiation therapy
Women who undergo radiation or chemotherapy for cancer may, sadly, be met with the unpleasant surprise of early menopause. These treatments kill cells—including healthy cells that could postpone menopause.
Speeds up: Endometriosis medication
If you take medication for endometriosis, speak to your doctor about its side effects. Some medications for this condition are known to speed up menopause, but your doctor may be able to switch medications if it is safe.
Speeds up: A full hysterectomy
Having a full hysterectomy is sometimes necessary if ovarian cancer or other conditions are a risk. However, the moment you remove your ovaries (the things that produce hormones) your hormone levels decrease and menopause can begin.
Speeds up: A partial hysterectomy produces symptoms
While only a partial hysterectomy, in which just the uterus is removed, won’t actually produce early menopause, it can produce symptoms. Removing the uterus means you’ll no longer get your period, nor can you become pregnant.
Speeds up: Epilepsy
If you suffer from epilepsy, you should know that this condition affects estrogen and progesterone levels, and may lead to early menopause.
Speeds up: Thyroid disease and diabetes
Autoimmune disease cause your anitbodies to attack many parts of your body, including your estrogen receptors. So conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, and even Crohn’s disease can lead to early menopause.
Speeds up: Smoking
The chemicals in tobacco can cause ovarian damage. Over time, this can mean your ovaries don’t produce a healthy level of hormones, and menopause sets in earlier than it does for non-smokers.
Speeds up: Recreational drugs
Most recreational drugs, as well as excessive alcohol use, also cause ovarian damage. Look for healthier ways to unwind from stress, because if menopause comes early, you’ll certainly be stressed out.
Postpones: Updating your cookware
Old, scratched cookware can expose you to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical that messes with hormone levels. If you see scratches on your pots or pans, throw them out and buy new ones.
Postpones: Eating low-fat milk
Low-fat milk, and other low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cheese, have been shown to delay menopause. The enzymes in the milk promote healthy estrogen levels in women, so add this to your diet.
Postpones: Consuming more fish
The healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are important for hormonal balance. Doctors believe they are more potent in fish than in supplements, so add some salmon to this week’s menu.
Postpones: Avoiding plastic containers
Cling wrap, Tupperware etc. Plastic containers have been known to leak chemicals into food that can alter hormone levels. You should especially avoid microwaving food in these items, since that makes it easier for their chemicals to leak into your meal.
Postpones: Avoiding parabens and fragrances
In all of your products, from your makeup to your moisturizer. You may only put these on top of your skin, but their chemicals can reach beneath your skin and disrupt your hormone levels.
Postpones: Using natural nail polish
Your fingernails may seem impenetrable, but the nasty chemicals found in some nail polish can make their way through your nails, and into your body. From there, they can cause hormonal imbalances.
Postpones: Staying sharp
Simply staying sharp, always learning something new, trying new things, and making those synapses fire has been shown to postpone menopause.