Changes in Your Appearance During Menopause

Published: 20th October 2006
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Changes in Your Appearance During Menopause

Changes in your appearance will gradually become obvious to you, including body shape changes, skin that is drier and begins to wrinkle, and fingernails that break more easily.

Body shape changes and redistribution of fat during menopause are not uncommon, with many women experiencing some fat accumulation in the stomach area and thighs. Although this may seem upsetting as it occurs, it may also be beneficial by plumping up skin that is naturally losing its firmness, especially after menopause. A little extra fat may also help alleviate the discomforts of menopause because the body converts the androgens in fat to estrogen.

Appearance Changes: Your Weight

It is generally agreed that menopause does not cause weight gain, although some weight gain is a natural part of the aging process. Excessive weight gain and fluid retention associated with the menopausal years is usually related to lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Women taking HRT have reported weight gain associated with it.

Weight gain or weight loss can also be associated with thyroid gland malfunction. The thyroid gland, located in the lower throat area, regulates a woman's metabolism. When thyroid function is too low (hypothyroidism), a woman may experience weight gain, lack of energy, dry skin, brittle nails, dull hair (sometimes accompanied by hair thinning), a slow pulse, and intolerance to cold. When thyroid function is too high (hyperthyroidism), a woman may experience weight loss, feelings of anxiety and nervousness, inability to relax even when tired, a fast pulse, intolerance to heat, and sometimes heart palpitations.

Thyroid gland malfunction is also believed to cause estrogen imbalances in the body.
What causes the thyroid gland to malfunction? The reasons any gland malfunctions in the endocrine system are not easily determined because the function of one gland affects the others. The ovaries are one of the seven primary endocrine glands; the others are the pancreas, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, and hypothalamus. Thyroid imbalances seem to occur during pre-menopause because the thyroid gland interacts with the pituitary gland as it attempts to stimulate ovulation. Stress has a dramatic effect on thyroid function one-way or the other. Diet and nutritional intake may also affect your thyroid gland function.

Your physician can conduct various blood tests to evaluate your thyroid function. Keep in mind that various medications can affect thyroid tests, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking HRT or birth control pills, aspirin, cough medicine containing iodine, Corticosteroids, or Dilantin.

Appearance Changes: Your Skin

Skin, the largest organ of the body, seems to be especially sensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in a woman's body during menopause. The skin has a thin outer layer called the epidermis, and a thick, deeper layer called the dermis. The dermis, composed mostly of protein collagen and elastin fibers, also contains blood vessels, sensory nerves, and lymph, oil, and sweat glands that nourish hair follicles and the thin epidermal layer. Collagen makes your skin thick, toned, and elastic.

The cells of the skin are constantly renewing themselves in the same way all the other cells in your body are, with the assistance of hormones that break down the old cells and stimulate the growth of healthy new ones.

As a woman's hormone production decreases, so does the ability of her skin cells to reproduce, resulting in less collagen. In turn the skin becomes thinner, with less fat and muscle to support it, as well as having diminished moisture content. At the same time the deep tissues are contracting, the thin upper layer of skin becomes less elastic and resilient. Eventually, as the natural aging process occurs, skin starts to sag and wrinkle.

Appearance Changes: Your Hair

Estrogen stimulates the growth of sexual hair on a woman's body and inhibits the growth of unwanted hair on the face, legs, and arms. During menopause, as estrogen production diminishes, it is not uncommon for a woman to see a decrease in her pubic hair and underarm hair. Sometimes the hair on a woman's head becomes drier and coarser during menopause.
While estrogen production becomes erratic or diminishes, the body continues to produce androgens, causing an imbalance that may result in growth of unwanted hair on the legs, and arms, and sometimes a few coarse hairs on a woman's chin or the side of her face.
Depending on your genetic makeup, the hair on your head1 may gradually thin. The follicles that contain the roots of hairs are located in the deep tissue layer of the skin. During menopause, when estrogen levels drop or become erratic, the tissue surrounding the hair follicles loses collagen and provides less support. Blood flow and energy flow through the nerves, also located in the deep skin layer, may decrease as well, providing less nourishment to the hair follicles.
Stress can cause hair thinning and hair loss by depleting the body of essential B vitamins and causing blood flow to the skin and hair follicles to be diminished.

Author infor.....

Annabel Cruz is a researcher that studies Natural healing by combining both Western and Eastern ways. Feel free to use this article on your website or ezine as long as the following information about author/website is included. And we provide best pueraria mirifica information on the site.

Author Info...

Annabel Cruz is a researcher that studies Natural healing by combining both Western and Eastern ways. Feel free to use this article on your website or ezine as long as the following information about author/website is included. And we provide best pueraria mirifica information on the site.

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