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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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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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  • Maria Jasmine Freeman

    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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  • Maria Jasmine Freeman

    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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Women’s Bone Health Can Be Improved By Soy-Based Food

Findings suggest that women do not even need to eat as much soy as is found in typical Asian diets, but adding some tofu or other soy, for example foods found in vegetarian diets, could help strengthen bones.

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Tofu, soy milk can boost bone strength in women. Pixabay
Tofu, soy milk can boost bone strength in women. Pixabay

Women who consume soy protein found in foods such as tofu and soy milk might be able to counter the negative effects of menopause on bone and metabolic health, a study suggests.

The study done on rats showed that those fed with soy had stronger tibia bones, which is an important part of both the knee joint and ankle joint.

For postmenopausal women osteoporosis, decreased physical activity and weight gain are serious health concerns.

Soy protein might have positive impacts on bone strength for women who have not yet reached menopause, the researchers said.

“The findings suggest that all women might see improved bone strength by adding some soy-based whole foods — tofu and soy milk, to their diet,” said Pamela Hinton, Professor at the University of Missouri in the US.

bones of those fed soy were stronger compared to the ones fed corn-based diet. Flickr
Bones of the women that were fed soy were stronger compared to the ones fed corn-based diet. Flickr

“We also believe that soy-based diets can improve metabolic function for postmenopausal women,” she added.

In the study, the team examined the effects of soy versus corn-based diets on rats selectively bred to have low fitness levels. They were further divided into those with and without ovaries to mimic effects of menopause.

Comparing the impact of soy diet on bone strength and metabolic function on the rats it was found that the tibia bones of those fed soy were stronger compared to the ones fed corn-based diet, regardless of ovarian hormone status.

Moreover, soy-based diet also improved metabolic function of the rats both with and without ovaries.

Also Read: Fruits, Veggies May cut Psychological Stress Risk in Women

“Our findings suggest that women do not even need to eat as much soy as is found in typical Asian diets, but adding some tofu or other soy, for example foods found in vegetarian diets, could help strengthen bones,” Hinton said. (IANS)