"What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The lustre of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forgo her wreath?
—Yes, but not this alone.
Is it to feel our strength—
Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more loosely strung?
Yes, this, and more…"
Begins the longer poem by a Victorian poet Matthew Arnold. Changes do occur when we age and it's inevitable. We, being "Phenomenal women"( like how Maya Angelou calls us) need to train ourselves how to accept the changes. We must be prepared to embrace the greatest change of all the period of menopause.
Menopause is the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycle. It usually starts after 12 months from your last period and marks the end of your reproductive years. Let us understand some of the changes that occur during menopause.
- Change in period/menstrual cycle – Irregular periods, heavy periods, longer duration of period etc. are some of the common menopausal signs.
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes- Hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body.
- Disturbed sleep
- Vaginal dryness
- Weight gain 
Menopausal symptoms is caused due to the changes in the hormonal levels therefore the symptoms will vary from one person to the other.
- Cardiovascular disease- Menopause is marked with the decline of estrogen levels. This decrease in the estrogen levels leads to vasoconstriction and changes in the lipid level. This increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that coronary heart disease is usually 2-3 times common in menopausal women that the women of the same agdidho is yet to undergo this phase. 
- Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a condition that results in the decreased skeletal mass that increases the chances of fracture. Menopausal women have higher chances of developing osteoporosis. This is because of the decreased levels of estrogen which enhances bone loss thereby leading to osteoporosis.
- Obesity- During menopause there is a severe decline in the estrogen levels which disrupts the energy balance and leads to accumulation of fat. It is one of the main concern of the menopausal women.
We all learned that how decrease in the estrogen level is responsible for the various complications associated with menopause. Well we do have saviors which mimic the role of estrogen.
Phytoestrogens? What's that?
Every time we discuss about estrogen or menopause, phytoestrogen also comes into the picture. Phytoestrogen are compounds which have properties similar to estrogen. Studies have shown that phytoestrogen administration decreases the symptom of hot flashes in menopausal women.
In the same way it has also been effective in the prevention of incidence of osteoporosis. Apart from this phytoestrogen administration also decreases other menopausal symptoms like mood swings, insomnia and promotes heart health.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D and Calcium are the most important vitamins to be sought for during menopause. The onset of menopause is often associated with the increase risk of osteoporosis. Therefore calcium supplementation plays a very important role in preventing osteoporosis. It increases bone mineral density and reduces risk of fracture during peri and post menopausal women. Vitamin D supplementation helps in increasing bone mineral density. It also helps in decreasing the risk of hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia.
Deficiency in B Vitamins can lead to serious health conditions during menopause. This is because B Vitamins play an active role in energy producing metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Low B12 levels were associated with cognitive dysfunction in menopausal and older women. In the same way low levels of B6 was associated with cognitive dysfunction and cognitive decline.
One of the studies showed that low intake of Vitamin B2 in menopausal women increased the risk of osteoporotic fractures by 1.8 times and fragility fractures by 2.6 times. 
Studies conducted on menopausal women of Korean population showed that vitamin C showed improvement in bone health.
Not only this but vitamin C supplementation was found to be superior in reducing cognitive decline in a menopausal population that methylcobalamine.
Studies have shown that Vitamin E can help reduce hot flashes symptoms. Some studies have also shown that Vitamin E because of its antioxidant properties can be helpful in subsiding sleep related problems faced during menopause.
Zinc helps in maintaining collagen and tissue health and can relieve vaginal dryness during menopause.
Magnesium plays an important role in cartilage and bone matrix calcification therefore it was found to be helpful in prevention of osteoporosis. Magnesium is also said to be helpful in tackling sleep problems and mood swings.
All the vitamins and minerals play an important role in maintaining good health during menopause therefor we must meet the demands through either diet or supplementation.
A pause to know about menopause can be helpful in making you prepared for the biggest and toughtest change in your life. Change is inevitable, all we can do is to accept it & be prepared for it.