J. Ben Shimol

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Title: Undergoing Perimenopause: A look at the experience in women with systemic autoimmune diseases and fibromyalgia

Abundant research has explored the physiologic changes surrounding menopause including an overall trend toward increased inflammation. Accordingly, in most rheumatologic diseases, while selected features may abate, symptom exacerbation is more common, as precipitated by the dynamic changes that take place with the onset of menopause. Similarly, in fibromyalgia, levels of pain and wide-ranging somatic symptoms tend to intensify with menopause. Despite these trends, however, the intricacy of the intertwining psycho-neuroendocrine-immune pathways results in a much more complicated picture with often unexpected clinical manifestations. Furthermore, the comorbidities accrued by increasing age and the consequences of long-term medication use may also confound the clinical picture. Routine rheumatologic care of women with systemic autoimmune and fibromyalgia-related conditions involves regularly scheduled visits. Nonetheless, repeated publications highlight a gap in medical professionals’ educating and addressing issues concerning the impact of menopause. Moreover, few studies have explored how to optimize the treatment of chronic diseases through the menopausal transition. In the last several years, global attention toward menopause and its effect on working women has burgeoned. Only with focused scientific studies that integrate advanced learning technologies with a holistic and more personal approach toward treatment, will medical practitioners be able to optimize care, smoothing out the course of menopause for women.

J. Ben Shimol is a Professor at the University Library E. Wolfson Medical Center , Israel

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