What is Menopause? Menopause is a normal and natural event that happens in a woman’s life when her menstruation ends for at least 12 consecutive months. This normally occurs between ages 45-55 and is caused when the ovaries stop making eggs. Because of this change, the body produces less estrogen and progesterone. The process before menopause occurs is called perimenopause. It can be challenging for some women, but once it is over with, women feel fine—some even claim, better than ever. It is a normal and natural event in a woman’s life—something that cannot be prevented.
What are Symptoms of Approaching Menopause? The symptoms of approaching menopause (symptoms of perimenoupause) can last 5 or more years as the transitional change is most often slow. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Menstrual periods change—they become more or less frequent and then eventually stop
- Heart pounding/racing
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Skin flushing
- Sleep problems
There are some women who develop other symptoms as well. The following are less common symptoms but are associated with perimenopause/approaching menopause.
- Heart palpitations
- Lower sex drive
- Joint aches and pains
- Mood swings
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal infections
Are There Any Tests to Diagnose Menopause? There are two main ways to check hormone levels in order to determine if someone has entered perimenopause or menopause: a blood test or a saliva test. I can check hormones e.g. estradiol, FSH, and LH to help determine if you are approaching or are in complete menopause.
What are Natural Ways To Treat the Symptoms of Approaching Menopause? First of all it is important to recognize that the symptoms of approaching Menopause do not go on indefinitely. They occur solely during the transition period into Menopause.
I always prefer to treat all ailments and health issues as naturally as possible. For many women, lifestyle change alone can be enough to deal with the symptoms or through herbal supplements, but for others, also including bioidentical hormone therapy can help. The following are great ways to help:
- Through diet: Avoiding caffeine and alcohol (however, some research actually says one glass of red wine a day is good), avoiding spicy foods and soy, as well as increasing calcium and vitamin D intake.
- Through exercise/relaxation: Doing Kegal exercises and practicing slow/deep breathing during hot flashes. Some exercise techniques that work well with these include yoga or tai chi. Staying sexually active is also important.
- Through herbal supplements: black cohosh, red clover, dong quai, panax ginseng, kava, and evening primrose have all been used for centuries to help treat hot flashes and other symptoms of approaching menopause.
- Through Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Bioidentical Hormone therapy involves taking supplements of natural forms of estrogen or progesterone or both —it helps treat symptoms of severe hot flashes, night sweats, mood issues, vaginal dryness without all the side effects of synthetic hormones. It basically helps reduce symptoms and ease the transition. I can make them custom-compounded to work with your specific needs based on your current hormone levels. After a period of time, I can reassess your hormone levels to see if they are making a difference and of course, monitor your symptoms to see if the hormones are benefiting you.
If you are showing symptoms of perimenoupause or menopause and are having a difficult time dealing with them, call me or contact me here through my website for a consultation. I would love to help you get through this natural but sometimes uncomfortable transition in your life.