The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

Ac­cord­ing to re­search, women be­tween the ages of 40 and 60 years are of­ten re­ferred as those in the “sand­wich gen­er­a­tion” as they as­sume both the re­spon­si­bil­ity of car­ing for the young and the old. This phase of life is es­pe­cially chal­leng­ing as it co­in­cides with a time when women un­dergo sig­nif­i­cant hor­monal changes. Med­i­cally, it is a stage known as per­i­menopause, which gen­er­ally af­fects women af­ter the age of 40.

Es­sen­tially per­i­menopause is a pe­riod of tran­si­tion into menopause. It tran­spires over a few years and em­bod­ies fluc­tu­at­ing es­tro­gen lev­els that progress in a down­ward pat­tern. Hor­monal fluc­tu­a­tions can lead to var­i­ous phys­i­cal and emo­tional symp­toms such as lethargy, feel­ing dull, body aches and pains, dry skin or break­outs, in­tol­er­ance to heat (mini hot flushes), weight gain, poor mem­ory, mood changes and anx­i­ety. Cou­pled with the pres­sures of be­ing part of the “sand­wich gen­er­a­tion”, women in midlife go through tremen­dous amounts of stress.

Stress causes the body to chan­nel its re­sources pri­mar­ily to­wards sur­vival. This leads to ne­glect of hor­mone reg­u­la­tion pro­cesses and the wors­en­ing of hor­monal im­bal­ance. Al­though it is a dis­tress­ing time,

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