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Is premature aging related to menopause?

Is an early menopause related to premature aging? I've been wondering about this ever since I hit my own menopause rather early - at age 44. Since then, I've just noticed my face and hands looking a lot older, and I've been feeling older in terms of my fitness level.
Premature aging is related to menopause is someways, but not in all. This is a complicated issue. Regardless, your symptoms of "feeling older" should be evaluated. Keep in mind that many other medical issues effecting the heart, lungs, thyroid etc start to occur around your age, so a thorough investigation of other possible causes should occur. Premature menopause, is a sign that the body is going through a change in life. Post menopausal women do have symptoms that are associated with aging. The lack of estrogen causes decreased libido, etc. There are some physical changes to the breast and possibly the skin that do occur as well. As such, early menopause might make you feel like you are aging early. That being said, we know that early menopause does NOT mean you are going to die earlier or that your life will be shorter. As such, it does not really affect your overall age. In other words, premature menopause can make you feel older sooner, but doesn't actually make your older! There are other causes of your complaints that should be ruled out. Normal cancer screening, thyroid testing, blood testing and a good physical exam would be recommended. Keep in mind that depression is also common in the immediate period after menopause, so you should be screened for this. Talk to your doctor.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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