Friday November 24, 2017

Menopausal Women likely to Experience an accelerated Decline in Breathing Problems and Fatigue

Menopause brings hormonal changes that have been linked to systemic inflammation, which itself is associated with lung function decline

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Representational image. Wikimedia

London, December 3, 2016: Menopausal women are likely to experience an accelerated decline in lung function, leading to increase in shortness of breath, reduced work capacity and fatigue, a study says.

The researchers found that menopause was more likely to cause restrictive, rather than obstructive, breathing problems.

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Obstructive breathing problems make it difficult to exhale air from the lungs while restrictive breathing problems make it difficult to fully expand the lungs upon inhaling.

“Whether obstructive or restrictive, the decline in lung function may cause an increase in shortness of breath, reduced work capacity and fatigue,” said lead author Kai Triebner from University of Bergen in Norway.

“Symptoms depend upon how much lung capacity is reduced, and a few women may actually develop respiratory failure as a result of this decline,” Triebner said.

For the study – published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine — the researchers analysed data from 1,438 women enrolled in the European Respiratory Health Survey.

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Participants in the study ranged in age from 25 to 48 at enrollment, and none was menopausal when the study began.

They were followed for 20 years and during that time most went through the menopausal transition or became postmenopausal.

The authors said there were several possible explanations for their findings. Menopause brings hormonal changes that have been linked to systemic inflammation, which itself is associated with lung function decline.

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Hormonal changes are also implicated in osteoporosis, which shortens the height of the chest vertebrae and may, in turn, limit the amount of air a person can inhale.

“Women, and their physicians, should be aware that respiratory health might decline considerably during and after the menopausal transition,” Triebner said. (IANS)

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  1. I attest to these findings. I had absolutely no respiratory disorders whatsoever, before menopause-no asthma or allergy, or COPD, and at peri menopause I started having breathing difficulty with a sensation of incomplete lung filling. This progressed into puffing-and-blowing episodes which progressed further into groaning and grunting, peaking into apnea and literal gasping, and opisthotonos posturing, multiply per episode, in multiple episodes per day! Indeed one of my first menopause symptoms was easy fatiguability and cough, even before any menstrual irregularity!
    Estrogens are studded everywhere in a female body, in peripheral muscles but also in the brain. It seems reasonable that estrogen depletion affects not only skeletal chest muscle function but even the respiratory brain centre that controls respiration.
    My menopause was unprecedented, in so many aspects, with nausea and vomiting, severe headaches, electrifying pain, and total invalidation and stupor, and much much more, pointing to marked estrogen deficit, in concordance with the extreme effect on my respiration.
    After already 13 years of hot flashes consummation-on no hormone treatment, my respiratory status has amazingly improved, like many other symptoms, seemingly in parallel with estrogen correction probably at paraovarian sites.
    Expect anything and everything from menopause; it is a great mimic of every disease entity thinkable. After all, a human female body is all hormones, namely estrogens, and depletion of those could potentially cause any manifestation- like was my case!
    Dr Hana Fayyad, pediatrician ( Maria Jasmine Freeman, published author, on menopause).

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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) May Combat Lung Function Decline in Women: Study

Menopause, where the level of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone fall, accelerates the decline in lung function

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HRT
Women who undergo HRT have less chances of lung function decline. Pixabay

London, Sep 12, 2017: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used to treat common symptoms of menopause, can help slow the decline in lung function in middle-aged women, according to new research.

Women who suffer from airway diseases, the decline in lung function may influence quality of life, as it could lead to an increase in shortness of breath, reduced work capacity and fatigue.

According to the study, menopause, where the level of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone fall, accelerates the decline in lung function.

But women who took HRT — where these hormones are prescribed — for two or more years lost an average of 46 ml less of lung volume compared with women who never took HRT.

“Our findings show that female sex hormones are important for the preservation of lung function in middle-aged women,” Kai Triebner, post-doctoral student at the University of Bergen in Norway.

Also Read: Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women: Study 

For the study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, Italy, the team followed 3,713 women for approximately 20 years from the early 1990s to 2010.

While HRT can help with menopausal symptoms and protects against osteoporosis, it has also been linked with an increase in the risk of breast cancer and heart and blood vessel problems.

“Women with existing health problems, for instance asthma, need to be followed more thoroughly through the menopausal transition and be provided with advice on medications that take the changing hormone levels better into account — ideally with a personalised approach,” Triebner added. (IANS)

 

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Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women: Study

Women in this age group, who are more vulnerable to abdominal weight gain, are now left with a new spin on their weight management priorities

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Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women
Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women. Pixabay
  • Study suggests abdominal fat in the middle aged postmenopausal women drives cancer
  • Body fat distribution is more important as compared to the body weight, when talking about the risk of cancer in postmenopausal women
  • The best protection is to avoid central obesity 

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 12, 2017: So if you never gave a thought to the idea of getting rid of that middle-age abdominal fat, ladies, this is the right time to start, as a recent study suggests, abdominal fat is a key factor in driving cancer for postmenopausal women.

It is important to understand the difference between the body weight and body fat distribution, since the latter is more important when talking about the risk of cancer in postmenopausal women, according to the study presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Women in this age group, who are more vulnerable to abdominal weight gain, are now left with a new spin on their weight management priorities, as a result of the findings, said Line Maersk Staunstrup, the study investigator.

“When assessing cancer risk, body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage may not be adequate measures as they fail to assess the distribution of fat mass,” she explained.

“Avoiding central obesity may confer the best protection,” she added.

The findings are from the prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factor study. The study, which is observational in nature, is a prospective cohort study designed to understand the age-related diseases in Danish, postmenopausal women, in a better way.

Also read: Melatonin May Help Treat Blood Cancers like Leukemia and Lymphoma, Claims a New Research

The study included 5,855 postmenopausal women, with the mean age being 71, who went through baseline dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to assess body fat and its composition, which have been followed for 12 years.

“The average elderly women can very much use this information, as it is known that the menopause transition initiates a shift in body fat towards the central trunk area. Therefore elderly women should be especially aware of their lifestyle when they approach the pre-menopause age,” said Mærsk Staunstrup.

“Clinicians can additionally use the information for a preventive conversation with women who are in higher risk of cancer. While clinicians have access to whole body DXA scanners at most hospitals, portable DXA scanners have become available on the commercial market and this may allow regional bone and fat scanning, however it may not be the most reliable for measuring central obesity,” she concluded.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)