Here in the United States, menopause is not something that most women look forward to. However, in other cultures, including the Mayans, it is welcomed with open arms!
There is no one answer to why menopause symptoms differ from one culture and one woman to another. However, there are studies on the chemistry changes during this transition, and there are many non-chemical, non-hormonal aspects of this change.
One study indicates that the differences in adrenal hormone varies between women and correlates with the difference in symptoms. Another shows that levels of circulating adrenal hormones may be more important than the decline in ovarian function. A third says that adrenal steroid production plays a large role in healthy aging. If our adrenal glands are working properly, they will offset the hormonal changes from the ovaries.
So, what affects our adrenal gland? Stress. When we are under stress, our adrenal glands kick out hormones. In our society, we are very highly stressed. There are many people who are suffering with adrenal fatigue and it is usually not diagnosed. It is also caused (or worsened) by a diet high in processed foods and sugars.
What can we do about stress? See my blog on stress management. In it, I discuss self-help ways to deal with stress, as well as sharing the importance of NUCCA in dealing with stress directly, dealing with the symptoms that stress has caused, as well as helping you to sleep better so your body can heal.
Mental state is extremely important. Not only is your expectation of pain a factor in your pain during childbirth, your expectation of menopause symptoms will affect your experience.
Feelings of usefulness or uselessness after your childbearing years are over will change the chemical composition of your body.
Food and nutrition. This obviously affects your health. All aspects of your physical health are inter-related. Plus, some foods contain hormones or affect how your body synthesizes hormones.
Water. Stay hydrated and it will also help your stress level.