Do I need a special diet as I approach menopause?
A balanced diet will give you most of what your body needs to stay healthy. Here are a few special points to consider: • Older people need just as many nutrients but
tend to need fewer calories for energy. • Women over 50 need 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 and 1.5 milligrams of vitamin B6 each day. Ask your doctor if you need a vitamin supplement. • After menopause, a woman's calcium needs go up to maintain bone health. Women 51 and older should get 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium each day. Vitamin D also is important to bone health. Women 51 to 70 should get 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day. Women ages 71 and older need 800 IU of vitamin D each day. • Women past menopause who are still having vaginal bleeding because they are using menopausal hormone therapy might need extra iron.
I'm having a hysterectomy soon. Will this cause menopause?
A woman who has a hysterectomy (his-tur-EKtuh-mee) but keeps her ovaries does not have menopause right away. Because your uterus is removed, you no longer have periods and cannot get pregnant. But your ovaries might still make hormones, so you might not have other signs of menopause. You may have hot flashes because the surgery may affect the blood supply to the ovaries. Later on, you might have natural menopause a year or two earlier than usually expected. A woman who has both ovaries removed at the same time that the hysterectomy is done has menopause right away. Having both ovaries removed is called a bilateral oophorectomy (OH-uh-fuh-REK-tuh-mee). Women who have this operation no longer have periods and may have menopausal symptoms right away. Because your hormones drop quickly, your symptoms may be stronger than with natural menopause. If you are having this surgery, ask your doctor about how to manage your symptoms. Menopause that is caused by surgery also puts you at risk for certain conditions, such as bone loss and heart disease. Ask your doctor about possible steps, including MHT, to help prevent these problems.
What if I have symptoms of menopause before age 40?
Some women have symptoms of menopause and stop having their
More information on menopause and menopause treatments
• Food and Drug Administration, HHS
• National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Phone: 888- 644- 6226 ( TDD: 866-464-3615)
• National Institute on Aging, NIH, HHS
Phone: 301-496-1752 ( TDD: 800-222-2225)
• The Hormone Foundation
• The North American Menopause Society