Menopause, by definition is the cessation of a menstrual cycle for longer than 12 months. However, women can experience symptoms of menopause four years prior and up to five to ten years after menopause. Many of these changes are due to hormonal imbalances. With aging, women produce fewer and fewer ovarian eggs. This means that fewer follicles grow each menstrual cycle resulting in a shorter and shorter menstrual period each month. As menopause approaches, the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. Eventually, estrogen levels drop low enough that there is not enough uterine tissue build-up to produce a menses, which leads to menstruation stopping altogether. Finally imbalances in, or low thyroid and/or adrenal hormones can also contribute to and exacerbate the symptoms of menopause.
Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe and vary from woman to woman.
The most common signs and symptoms of Menopause include:
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mental decline – mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety and memory lapses
- Loss of Libido
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness and urinary tract changes
- Hair and skin changes
- Beginning stages of osteoporosis and heart disease
A Full individualized history from you determine if you are experiencing symptoms of Menopause. They most often spend up to an hour and half with you on your first visit to really get to know you as a person and to know your full history before starting with any laboratory tests or with any treatments.
Both simple blood tests, like a female hormone panel, and other specialized tests like a thyroid function test, an adrenal function test, or an IgG Food Allergy test can determine the underlying cause of your Menopausal symptoms.
The goal of overall treatment and changes is to provide relief from symptoms and also to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and other diseases associated with aging. Many women going through menopause can seek symptom relief through specific dietary recommendations, exercise, stress reduction, and botanical formulas. There are also specific nutrients that can re-set and stabilize the thermostat in the body that is flipping on and off due to the fluctuation in estrogen.