Thankfully times have improved since our grandmother’s day and women’s health issues like menopause are widely and publicly discussed. Nevertheless, very often the only truth that a woman knows about menopause beforehand is that one day her menstrual cycle will stop and she might find some “hot flashes”. In her ground-breaking book “The Sexy Years”, Suzanne Somers covers in depth, menopause, its symptoms and she reports about natural remedies.
She relates in a humorous way how “one day in mid-life the Seven Dwarfs of Menopause showed up at my door – Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All-Dried-Up.” Like most women, she understood the menopause was coming but had no clue what to expect. Suzanne was fortunate enough to get the answer to her prayers which eventually “delivered the Seven Dwarfs packaging” – she had been led to Bioidentical (Natural) Hormone Replacement Therapy and she’s now one of the main advocates for it.
Stages of Menopause
Do you fall into one of these? There’s a stage of life leading up to Menopause named Perimenopause and a period of life when Menopause is completed called Post-menopause. Menopause itself can be a point and infrequently occurs overnight. For lots of girls it occurs in their 50’s to 60’s. Recent research and research are reporting that today’s girls are starting menopause sooner possibly because of carrying having taken birth control pills (artificial hormones), eating artificial hormone laden eggs and meats, and living quite stressful lifestyles, or it may be caused earlier by clinical intervention.
All girls transition through these three stages and with menopause occurring earlier for many women, the first phase is pushed sooner as well. Perimenopause (or pre-menopause), usually believed to begin in one’s 40’s, today often starts in one’s 30’s. This stage is marked by decreased production of estrogen and progesterone and irregular periods. A popular misconception is that menopause symptoms do not begin until a woman has no periods. In fact, the hormonal changes that begin in perimenopause can lead to menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, insomnia, fatigue and mood swings.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
(also known as natural hormone replacement therapy) provides a solution to menopause symptoms and can be quite useful in relieving symptoms during perimenopause and make this transition period more comfy. Following perimenopause, menopause really begins when a woman hasn’t had a menstrual period for a single year. A woman is born with a finite number of eggs, typically about 1.3 million, that are stored in her ovaries. The ovaries also produce estrogen and progesterone, which regulate ovulation and menstruation. Menopause occurs when the ovaries are depleted of their eggs and no amount of stimulating hormones may induce them to work.
The ovaries dramatically decrease their production of estrogen. Estrogen has impacts on a number of body organs, such as blood vessels, heart, bone, breasts, uterus, urinary system, skin and mind. At the moment, the ovaries can also decrease their production of testosterone, a hormone involved in the libido or sexual drive. It’s thought that the reduction of testosterone, estrogen and change in progesterone levels are the reason for the menopause symptoms. And the changes in these hormone levels are what also cause the symptoms that a woman may experience in perimenopause.
In a totally healthy female body, the glands in the endocrine system (adrenal glands, pituitary gland, as well as the thyroid gland ) work in coordination to make the hormones required for a smooth, symptom free transition to perimenopause and then menopause. A fully healthy body is hard to achieve in today’s world with so many toxins in the food, air and water in addition to the enhanced daily stress and little exercise. Consequently, there’s a really high number of women experiencing menopause symptoms. Not for nothing has this stage traditionally been known as “the change of life”.
Often it marks a time when many girls believe they have lost control of their own bodies as a range of unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain, threatens to take over their own lives, symptoms that might have begun in perimenopause. Many women experience great advantage from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy – natural hormone replacement. Post menopause is the last phase when the majority of the distress of menopause symptoms has faded and oftentimes, ceased completely. Energy yields and emotions come back to normal with no mood swings.
During this phase additional health issues turn to prevention of Osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Post menopausal measures for good health should be a continuation of pre-menopausal strategies, i.e. a healthy diet containing calcium-rich foods along with a normal routine of weight-bearing exercise. Continuing Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy or natural remedies are suggested for any lingering menopause symptoms, and getting routine Well Woman tests, including assessing bone density and heart health.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)? Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), also known as natural hormone replacement therapy, is the supplemental utilization of Bioidentical hormones (testosterone, testosterone or testosterone) to replace and balance one’s hormones to help alleviate menopause, perimenopause or post menopausal symptoms. Bioidentical hormones are the exact same,”identical” hormones, molecule per molecule that the body generates.
Good to know
They come from plant sources, but are still considered natural to the body since they’re identical biologically to female hormones and thus they help girls rebalance hormone levels in a safe and natural manner. Imbalanced hormone levels can become more and more complicated, because sometimes the amount of a hormone isn’t as critical as its ratio to the other hormones. This is the reason why conversations with a health care practitioner will be about”balancing” hormones instead of merely increasing them.
Conversely, synthetic hormone medications don’t mimic your body’s natural hormones. They mainly turn off menopause symptoms as opposed to rebalancing hormone levels and recent studies have proven synthetic hormones may significantly increase the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, and strokes.
What to do?
- Get a Hormone Analysis. The first visit usually lasts an hour or so. The health care practitioner will (a) discuss with the patient what they’re experiencing and answer all queries, (b) perform a complete review of the medical history and (c) order a hormone evaluation in the form of a Lab Test to learn hormone levels. The hormone test results will provide the precise measurements of these kinds of hormones; testosterone, estrogen, testosterone, adrenals and thyroidgland. Depletion ofan imbalance between one or more of these hormones can lead to many menopause symptoms and balancing the amounts results in their own relief. After reviewing the evaluation results, the health care practitioner will review the results with the patient and discuss the choices available so that she can make informed decisions regarding her hormonal needs.
- Ideal hormone levels depend on your height, weight, genetic inheritance, diet, metabolic rate, daily stress, body composition, exposure to environmental toxins, protein synthesis, and other factors – all of which differ from girl to woman. An individualized program is then created. If the individual chooses BHRT, the application will have a prescription using individualized compounded doses of bioidentical hormones instead of”one dose fits all” approach of conventional hormone replacement therapy. It’ll be tailored especially to fit you. Although Bioidentical (natural) hormones aren’t drugs, the prescription will have to be filled at a compounding pharmacy.
- Track the Results and Continue To Communicate with Your Healthcare Practitioner. Many women find they get relief from their symptoms almost immediately and it’s necessary to monitor progress and work closely with your health care practitioner. After three months, one makes a return trip to once again measure your hormone levels, moving closer toward your perfect balance. For the best results, it is advised that a woman get a baseline hormone level test when she’s younger and in peak health. This provides a benchmark and greatly aids in rapidly balancing a patient’s hormone levels later in life when symptoms begin to occur.