Helping With This Natural Phase for Older Women Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life and marks the end of her reproductive years. While it brings significant hormonal changes, it doesn’t have to be a time of discomfort or distress. By incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into their daily routine, women can manage the uncomfortable symptoms that come with menopause. Read on as we discuss the 10 best vitamins and supplements that can support women during this transitional phase. 1. Calcium and Vitamin D During menopause, there is a natural decrease in estrogen levels. This can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium and vitamin D are crucial for maintaining good bone health. Calcium supports the formation and maintenance of strong bones, while vitamin D aids in calcium absorption. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens and fortified foods. Vitamin D can be obtained through sunlight exposure and fortified foods, but supplements may be necessary to meet the recommended daily intake. 2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for overall health, especially during menopause. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health and improve mood. Additionally, they can alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and joint pain. Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines, is an excellent source of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements are available that can help ensure optimal intake of these fatty acids. 3. B Vitamins B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate) and B12, are crucial in maintaining energy levels and supporting emotional well-being. They can help combat fatigue, mood swings and memory lapses commonly experienced during menopause. Foods rich in B vitamins include whole grains, legumes, leafy greens, eggs and fortified cereals. Taking a B-complex supplement is also a good way of ensuring adequate intake. 4. Magnesium Magnesium is an essential mineral that supports many biochemical reactions in the body. During menopause, magnesium can alleviate mood swings, reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It has also been shown to aid in maintaining bone density and muscle function. Dietary sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and leafy greens. Women who are concerned about a lack of magnesium in their diet can also take supplements to ensure optimal intake. 5. Black Cohosh This herbal supplement has been traditionally used to manage menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats and sleep disturbances. It is believed to mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. While research results are mixed, many women find relief while taking black cohosh. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any herbal supplement, as it may interact with certain medications or have side effects. [youmaylike] 6. Soy Isoflavones These plant compounds have a similar structure to estrogen. They are known as phytoestrogens and can help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Products such as tofu, soy milk and tempeh are rich sources of isoflavones, but there are also supplements available. 7. Vitamin E Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It works by reducing oxidative stress in the body. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli. There are also supplements available if you are concerned about achieving adequate intake. 8. Probiotics Menopause can sometimes disrupt the balance of gut flora, leading to digestive issues and a weakened immune system. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support digestive health and immune function. They help to alleviate bloating, gas and constipation and are available in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. 9. Evening Primrose Oil Evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. These seeds are rich in gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which is an omega-6 fatty acid, and have been found to reduce hot flashes, improve skin elasticity and relieve breast pain associated with menopause. Evening primrose oil is available in capsule form and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. 10. Ginseng Ginseng, particularly the Panax ginseng variety, has been used in traditional medicine to alleviate menopausal symptoms. It may help reduce fatigue, improve cognitive function and enhance overall well-being. It is available as a supplement and should be used with caution as it can interact with certain medications and cause side effects in some individuals. Final Notes It's important to note that while vitamins and supplements can be beneficial during menopause, they should not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. It's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Incorporating essential vitamins and supplements into their daily routines can provide much-needed support for women during menopause. By understanding their unique needs and consulting with healthcare professionals, women can navigate this transformative stage with greater comfort and vitality.
Tethered Cord Syndrome
If you've never heard of tethered cord syndrome, it's likely because the condition is very rare, and thankfully so.
While this syndrome isn't typically dangerous, it can worsen if the condition is not seen. It can also cause permanent damage and diminish a person's ability to walk. But what is tethered cord syndrome?
In this article, we will briefly look at the symptoms of tethered cord syndrome, the causes, and the best ways to treat this neurological disease.
What is Tethered Cord Syndrome?
In this condition, the cord in tethered cord refers to the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is an essential component of the human body. It carries messages from the brain to all the other parts of the body through its bundle of nerves.
It occurs in a baby while it is in the womb. During development, the baby's spinal cord grows at the same pace as the other bones around it and is of the same length. But as the baby grows, the spine grows out.
But, in some cases, the spine becomes "tethered" when the cord's tail end becomes tied to the end of the body's spinal column. The spinal cord and the spine itself are different parts of the entire spine; remember that.
When the child is born, the tethered cord prevents the spinal cord from moving within the column. This doesn't affect the child as much until they start growing. Because the spinal cord cannot stretch, they start experiencing back pain and trouble walking.
Adults With Tethered Cord Syndrome
While some conditions typically become apparent in adulthood, this syndrome is not one of them.
Tethered cord syndrome is rare in adults and only occurs if the condition is not discovered or diagnosed during childhood.
Acquired tethered cord is also very rare among adults but can occur if any fatty mass at the spine's base becomes attached to the spinal cord's tip. This fatty mass can only develop if a patient has lipomyelomeningocele, a form of spina bifida.
What Are the Causes of Tethered Cord Syndrome?
There is no definitive cause of tethered cord syndrome. What we do know is that tethered cord occurs from birth with some children, and that a child with spina bifida may also have tethered cord syndrome.
Within the body, tethered cord syndrome occurs when the spinal cord end gets attached to something that doesn't let it move. What catches hold of it may include:
- Fat: Fat that grows around the spinal cord can catch it and grab hold.
- Bone: A piece of the spinal bone can attach to the spinal cord base.
- Scarring: If your child has back surgery, scars that form around the cord's bottom end can grab the spinal cord.
- Tight Ligament: This tight ligament is known as the filum terminale. This ligament is as thin as a string and is stretchy, but when tightened, it can catch and tether the spinal cord.
What Are the Symptoms of Tethered Cord Syndrome?
The most common symptoms of tethered cord syndrome include:
- Lack of bowel control: The child may have problems controlling their bowels because the nerves cannot stretch as much as they should.
- Lack of bladder control: For the same reason, because the child's spinal cord cannot stretch, the child may not feel when they want to urinate and would wet themselves without knowing.
- Back pain: The child may experience lower back pain and limited movement.
- Curved spine: Because the spinal cord is attached at the base, this may pull the spine down, causing the spine to curve.
- Trouble walking: While the child may not have issues walking before, they may begin experiencing issues walking as they grow up.
Diagnosing and Treating Tethered Cord Syndrome
If a parent notices these symptoms, their first step should be to take the child to the doctor. If the doctor suspects tethered cord syndrome, they will ask to run some tests to get a better picture of the child's spinal cord.
They may run an MRI and get a urology consultation to check if the child's bladder is affected. If results come back positive, the doctor will recommend surgery.
Treating Tethered Cord Syndrome With Surgery
While surgery may sound intimidating, it is necessary.
Surgery on the spine to correct a tethered cord is known as a laminectomy. And while this is major surgery, it's also common, so there's no need to worry. The laminectomy is compulsory if you want your child's spine fixed. If this operation is not done, it may make your child's condition even worse and result in permanent damage to the spine.
The Surgery Procedure
The patient will be given a general anesthetic, so they won't feel a thing.
During the operation, the doctor will make an incision on the patient's back and cut whatever element is tethering the cord. Once its hold is released and the cord returns to the spinal column, the surgeon will close up the incision.
This surgery takes three hours and requires a fair bit of surgical skill, so don't be concerned if your child doesn't come out within an hour.
The child will receive pain medication and fluids through IV and will be required to lie flat on their back for 2–3 days. Moving the child will be the nurse's responsibility, so you won't have to perform much care except feeding them.
Typically, children stay in the hospital for about a week, but that can vary depending on how severe their tethered cord was. Once the doctor feels comfortable knowing that the child can sit up, they'll allow you to take the child home.
As a parent, you will worry about your child being in pain because of the tethered cord.
But, if you keep an eye on their health and report to the doctor if anything seems amiss, you may be able to catch this condition in time.