Tips for an easier transition into menopause

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2022

Let’s start by saying that the Menopausal Transition is a normal natural part of life. Women have several hormonal transitions during their lifetime. Puberty, Pregnancy, and Menopause are all natural times of hormonal change, with puberty and menopause being polar opposites of each other.  Prepubescent girls aren’t thought of as being hormone deficient and neither should postmenopausal women. As this is the natural cycle.

I see post-menopause as being a return to our childlike pre-pubescent self. A return to happiness, curiosity, creativity, cheekiness, and helpfulness. 

It is good to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we just need to make it through the transition first. 

It is thought that about 20% of women breeze through this time of life with NO concerns at all. Their periods simply stop one day and that is it.

Unfortunately, 20% of women sit at the opposite end and really struggle with extreme symptoms at this stage of life. There certainly may be a role for Menopause Hormone Therapy for these women.

The rest sit somewhere in the middle, maybe their symptoms aren’t all that frequent or maybe their symptoms aren’t that intense. 

If we all end up with altered hormone levels and without our periods why does this transition hit us all differently? It’s not just the frequency or intensity that changes but our entire symptom picture looks very different for each woman who is symptomatic.

Some women really struggle with heat, having hot flushes or night sweats, and some women really struggle with mood changes or cognitive issues. Other common symptoms include: insomnia, weight gain, joint pain, headaches, racing heartbeat, digestive difficulties, reduced libido, and the list goes on.

No two symptomatic women experience this transition the same. It is a very unique and individual process. 

 

As it is possible to transition into menopause without symptoms, why are you having issues?

 

I see several common factors that can contribute to a woman being more likely to have symptoms. Here are seven factors that I consider in my consultations. (Warning most women have a combination of these factors)

 

1. Poor diet with inadequate water, low protein levels, consuming the wrong fats, and eating far too much sugar and processed carbohydrates.

 

2. Living in a toxic environment, my main concerns here are mould, toxic metals, and chemical exposure.

 

3. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, not exercising, not sleeping, etc.

 

4. Nutrient deficiencies. Vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids are key building blocks for health, deficiencies are common. 1 in 3 people has at least 10 mineral deficiencies. Deficiencies are absolutely linked with poor function and disease. This is a core focus for me.

If you think this could be you and you would like more information I’m running a Minerals for Menopause webinar in May. Click here for more details 

 

5. Adrenal health, your adrenal glands are thought of as your stress gland as they produce our stress hormones but they are also responsible for producing a form of estrogen called estrone. This is our main form of estrogen in post-menopause, so we want to optimise our adrenal health to allow for the greatest production of hormones. 

 

6. Poor digestive health and an imbalanced microbiome. Have you heard of the microbiome? It’s our collection of good, bad and symbiotic microorganisms. Most of our neurotransmitters are produced in the digestive system, it's thought 95% of our serotonin is produced here. Serotonin is thought of as our happiness neurotransmitter but it’s also helpful in regulating the thermoneutral zone. This regulates body temperature and can help reduce hot flushes, hence why anti-depressant medication is sometimes prescribed as a non-hormonal treatment option for menopause.

There is also the estrobolome, this is a subpart of the microbiome primarily responsible for metabolising and modulating the levels of circulating estrogen. So you can see how your digestive health plays a big role in either supporting or hindering your experience of the menopausal transition.

 

7. Your general health. Any undiagnosed or poorly controlled disease processes are reducing your ability to transition with ease. The big trouble makers I consistently see include issues with blood sugar regulation and diabetes, suboptimal thyroid health, fatty liver disease, and even chronic viral infections such as the herpes family, or hepatitis family.

 

Naturopathic Treatment for Menopause isn’t an alternative to Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT for short) if you haven’t heard of MHT it’s the new term for HRT. It’s not an either-or option as they can complement each other. Everyone can benefit from Naturopathic treatment and improved general health with or without hormonal replacement. MHT on the other hand can be the fastest way to relief (especially for vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats) but it isn’t appropriate for every woman and it doesn’t necessarily set you up for long term health as you haven’t addressed or optimised other aspects of your wellbeing.

 

When I look back over my patient load 75% of my patients have used these naturopathic strategies discussed above to manage their transition without the need for hormone replacement. This group of women includes cancer survivors who are actively looking to avoid hormone replacement and other women who just want to try a natural approach and want to set themselves up for a more healthy way to age.

18% of my patients have started working with me while already on Menopause Hormone Treatment, as they were not happy with the results they were getting. They wanted to utilise the best of both worlds for greater results.

7% of my patients I have encouraged to consider starting MHT. These are a mix of women who have started working with me to help improve their surgically induced menopausal transition or who are having extreme symptoms and need relief while we investigate.

 

I think it’s wonderful to live in a world with options. If you want hormone replacement it's available, if you want a more natural approach to this normal transition it's available, if you want the best of both worlds it's available.

It’s your health, it’s your life, it’s your choice. 

 

If you are considering booking a consultation to have these and more contributing factors assessed click here for more details.

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