“This simple hormones balance symptom test is an uncomplicated way to give you information on your state of hormone balance or imbalance.”
Just because menopause is a natural process in a women’s life doesn’t mean it will be an easy transition. With great compassion I have to acknowledge for many women it can be a roller coaster ride. With all the xenoestrogens in today’s diet plus the pressure and stress in our society, it’s not uncommon for women to have hormonal dysregulation. And with 2 million or more women entering menopause each year, we are talking about a major health challenge. So let’s consider a Wellness approach to menopause.
Menopause is clinically defined as “the permanent, natural cessation of menstruation.” You are considered menopausal when menstruation has stopped for at least six months, and you’re over 45 years of age. Ideally, the ovaries and adrenals produce estrogen and progesterone during the fertile years. The adrenal glands make estrogen by converting the male hormone, testosterone to estrogen. But what happens if your adrenal glands are exhausted? Who picks up the slack?
Fat cells can also manufacture estrogen but that’s not an appealing option. After age 40 a woman’s hormones start their descent and by the time she is post menopausal estrone is reduced by 60%, estradial by 90%, and progesterone by 60%.
Women in their 40s can experience perimenopause and can sense subtle hormonal changes. It’s not too soon to start rebuilding if you have these symptoms: dry skin and wrinkles, frequent urination, depression and moodiness, periods becoming irregular and blood flow changes.
Eventually, the closer you are to your 50s you may have more intense symptoms such as hot flashes. 60% of all women experience some form of hot flashes lasting for 1-5 years. 10-20% experience hot flashes for life.
Other symptoms are: night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, headaches, irritability and anxiety, insomnia, weight changes, fatigue, low libido, and heart palpitations.
Diet is extremely important when it comes to limiting the severity of menopausal symptoms. Eating well can go a long way in helping you to feel better. A diet low in fat and animal protein, with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes will help. Foods to avoid are sugar, fried and fatty foods, dairy products, white flours, refined and processed foods, caffeine, carbonated soft drinks, red meat and alcohol.
Blood sugar and hormonal fluctuations are connected. If blood sugar is not balanced and regulated, hormonal fluctuations will be more intense and erratic. Weight gain becomes an uncontrollable problem in most women. Food cravings and hot flashes feel intolerable when blood sugar is not controlled. Sugar, refined flours, and too many simple carbohydrates should be strictly avoided.
Movement or exercise is an important stress reducer. It increases hormones that counter depression. It’s wise to be moderate when starting an exercise routine. Over exercising can be harmful, as it can over stress the adrenal glands. I’ve worked with many women who have “panicked over their weight gain” so they over exercise which causes more stress.
Over exercising is working out 6 or 7 days per week for 1 or more hours resulting in fatigue or “hyper” energy. Your body will automatically lower your metabolism to keep you from burning out. Try a 30 – 60 minute workout, 3-4 days per week, leaving you refreshed; and try to exercise outdoors as much as you can. I have included a hormone balance test for you to take. This simple test is an uncomplicated way to give you information on your state of hormone balance or imbalance.
Menopause complications can be a result of too much estrogen, estrogen deficiency, improper estrogen ratio or estrogen dominance, adrenal fatigue, excess androgens and progesterone deficiency. Hormone testing can be expensive but sometimes necessary. However by completing the questionnaire and bringing it to your Wellness Practitioner, they can help pin point the major areas.
Did you know that women can have elevated estrogen levels and still have hot flashes? This test helps to co-ordinate many of the symptoms you have been experiencing and may help you put the pieces of the puzzle together as you and your clinician develop a comprehensive strategy. Your clinician has supplements that not only relieve symptoms but can help treat underlying causes.
As a clinical nutritionist with over thirty years of experience, let me encourage you. YOU can conquer menopause with the right help.