Menopause is a right of passage all adult women face as they grow older, something as inevitable as “death and taxes/” However, not all women experience the “change of life” in the same way. While some women endure extreme symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, depression and anxiety as well as loss of libido and vaginal dryness, other health issues may arise in the form of fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety attacks, weight gain, incontinence, hair thinning or hair loss and brittle nails, as well as osteoporosis, etc.
What many people don’t realize is that menopause can also cause gum problems due to a deficiency in estrogen. If ignored, this can lead to tooth loss, infections, and heart disease. The later is of special concern for women who enter early menopause before age 45, according to Dr. Taulant Muka, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, who noted that they are more prone to “have cardiovascular problems and to die younger than women who enter menopause later in life.
Similarly, a new study led by Kai Triebner, a researcher at the University of Bergen in Norway, has found that a decline in lung function may accelerate during and after menopause. Triebner’s study examined data regarding 1,438 women who were followed for 20 years starting when they were between 25-48 years old, beginning long before they started to go through menopause, and concluding when they had completed the change.
According to the report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, “Lung function decline was faster during the transition to menopause and sped up even further after menopause, compared to when women were still experiencing their monthly periods.”
This was assessed by noting shifts in lung function tied to menopause via, researchers forced vital capacity (FVC), a measurement of lung size, as well as how much air can be pushed out of the lungs in a single second. Interestingly, the researchers found that “transitional” women lost approximately 10 milliliters of forced vital lung capacity more annually than pre-menopausal women, while they lost a mean of 12 ml/year more (comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years). following menopause.
Although Triebner stated that it is (generally) impossible to regain lost lung function, unless the loss was due to a medical condition, it is possible for women to “manage the decline,” In addition, past studies have demonstrated that young women can “ boost their lung function” by avoiding cigarettes, and getting plenty of aerobic exercise.through their mid 20’s..