Menopause is not a diagnosis or a time to be dreaded. Menopause is a wonderful passage from the childbearing years to a new phase of life, which enbodies the attainment of value over time. This value is proportionate to our capacity to learn from our experience. When we truly learn from experience, our perspective on life deepens and broadens. This allows our hearts, having known both suffering and forgiveness, to open in compassion for all of life.
Menopause is defined by the complete cessation of menses for 12 consecutive months. The average age of menopause is 52, but symptoms can start months or even several years before your period ends. While mild symptoms are a normal part of the decrease in estrogen coming from the ovaries, many women experience more severe symptoms during this passage because they have had an imbalance of hormones and brain neurotransmitters in the years leading up to menopause. This can be due to environmental exposure to estrogens; high levels of stress; nutritional imbalances due to impaired liver function, malabsorption due to food allergies and/or dysbiosis of gut flora; adrenal fatigue and/or thyroid malfunction. Symptoms that can occur while a woman is going though menopause include:
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Cravings for sweets or carbohydrates
- Diminished sexual desire, vaginal dryness and tissue thinning
- Anxiety, irritability, depression, and/or mood swings
- Restless sleep and/or insomnia
- Fuzzy thinking (difficulty concentrating, memory problems)
- Weight gain, especially around the abdomen
- Stiffness and joint issues
- Irregular periods
Other menopause symptoms include heart palpitations, headaches, thinning hair, dry skin and eyes, increased facial hair, digestive problems and urinary dysfunction.
Every women has a unique hormonal profile. Since our environment influences hormones, each woman has a unique need for and supply of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – there is no one size fits all. Therefore, it is necessary to start with a standard dosing range and adjust it according to how a woman feels. This requires individualized and specialized attention.
At the Women’s Health and Healing Center, a thorough intake and evaluation will be done to evaluate your unique situation and hormonal status. Together, we will develop a personal program for your menopausal transition that will be most conducive to your lifestyle. There are a multitude of options for a woman to choose from, such as herbs, nutritional supplements, lifestyle modifications, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) using bioidentical hormones that are formulated for your individual needs. Natural and traditional treatments will be discussed to enhance your awareness of the benefits and risks, so you can choose the therapies you feel will work best for you.
We like to remind patients that the contributing factors causing the symptoms didn’t occur overnight and it will take several weeks for the body to restore balance when natural therapies are used. However, once a woman begins to feel improvement, it motivates her to continue to stick with her individual program, which will continue to help make her coming of age absolutely beautiful.