What You Should Know About Menopause

Mary Claire Haver, MD
February 19, 2020
What You Should Know About Menopause

Each and every woman will experience menopause at some point in her life, usually between her late 40s and early 50s. Below are answers to six common questions women have as they enter this, thought to be daunting, stage of their life.

1. What even is “menopause”?

Menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for one year. Once this happens, any vaginal bleeding is abnormal and should be evaluated by your physician.

2. What is happening to your body during menopause?

Menopause occurs as a result of a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries due to the depletion of ovarian follicles. We are born with our ovarian tissue – and it ages with us.

3. What is “perimenopause?”

Perimenopause is the stage of one’s life leading up to menopause, which can last anywhere from a few months to 10 years. For most of us, the ovaries don’t just shut down overnight. They can “sputter” for years before giving up completely. Most women begin to experience common menopausal symptoms, especially irregular periods. Periods may be completely skipped, bleeding during one’s period may vary, and/or time between periods may continually change. An important thing to note about perimenopause, however, is that you can still become pregnant during this time.

4. What specific symptoms are associated with menopause?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to…

  • Hot flashes – the most common symptom of menopause characterized by the feeling of increased temperature in the upper part of your body
  • Weight gain – body generally changes from “pear-shaped” “apple-shaped,” with most of the weight gained in the abdomen/midsection
  • Vaginal dryness/atrophy – inflammation and thinning of vaginal tissues, which usually makes intercourse uncomfortable
  • Irregular periods – eventually leading to the halt of periods altogether
  • Sleeping problems/night sweats – insomnia is the most common complaint
  • Mood changes – depression, mood swings, and anxiety tend to increase during this time
  • Skin changes – primarily decreased elasticity

5. What other indirect effects happen in your body?

Increased risk for osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones.
Additionally, weight gain that is often associated with menopause may increase one’s risk for: cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

6. What can I do now to prepare for or alleviate the effects of perimenopause/menopause?

The best thing to do to be proactive about the changes your body will experience is to lead a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible. The Galveston Diet was specifically formulated to help alleviate these effects. It is important to remember that this new phase of your life MUST come with changes in your exercise and nutrition in order to remain as healthy as possible.

To learn more about The Galveston Diet, click here!

Mary Claire Haver, MD

Mary Claire Haver, MD

Dr. Mary Claire Haver is a wife, mom, physician, and entrepreneur who has devoted her adult life to women’s health. As a Board Certified OBGYN in the Houston area, Dr. Haver has delivered thousands of babies, completed thousands of well-woman exams, counseled patients, taught residents, and did everything an academic professor and OBGYN could do. As her patient population aged, Dr. Haver was overwhelmed with the number of complaints and concerns her patients had with weight gain while going through menopause. For years, she told her patients to eat less and exercise more. It wasn’t until she, too, experienced the changes of menopause and mid-life weight gain that she realized this advice doesn’t work and ultimately let to her creating and developing a new program, The Galveston Diet. The Galveston Diet is the first and only nutrition program in the world created by a Female OBGYN, designed for women in menopause. The Galveston Diet helps women reach their health and wellness goals through an anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition. Dr. Haver believes in the power of nutrition to combat inflammation and highly recommends the unlimited benefits of intermittent fasting. As part of her ongoing research, she became certified in Culinary Medicine in 2019, which specializes in medical nutrition. Dr. Haver is married to her husband, Christopher Haver, since 1996. They are raising their two daughters, Katherine and Madeline, the loves of their lives.

Follow Mary Claire on Facebook @galvestondiet and Instagram @thegalvestondiet

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