Menopause isn’t a medical condition or disease. Rather, it is a term used to describe the end of menstrual cycles in women. Clinically, it occurs after a woman has gone a full 12 months without having a period. Though it typically occurs in women after the age of 50, it can happen in a woman’s 40’s as well.
Menopause cannot be stopped or slowed. However, it can lead to significant symptoms for many women. There is a wide range of symptoms that can occur including those that are very mild, requiring no treatment and those that are debilitating, requiring support. Natural medicine treatments for menopausal symptoms often help improve sleep, boost energy levels, and improve a woman’s overall health and mental wellbeing.
The symptoms of menopause begin with some change in menstruation, but what the change is will differ from one person to the next. Many times, periods begin to become irregular, then periods are skipped, and may return randomly. Sometimes, periods tend to occur in a shorter cycle, which makes them seem more frequent. It is still possible to become pregnant as long as a woman has periods.
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Common Symptoms May Include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Thinning hair
- Hot flashes and chills
- Night Sweats
- Weight gain
- A slower metabolism (often contributing to weight gain)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in emotional wellbeing, moodiness, and depression
- The breasts become less full
- Dry skin
- Low libido (low sex drive)
Causes and Risk Factors
Menopause occurs as a result of lower amounts of reproductive hormones produced mostly by the ovaries. In most women, estrogen, and progesterone levels begin to fall off in the late 30’s. This may contribute to increased difficulty in getting pregnant. These hormones contribute to the regular menstrual cycles. By the age of 50, most women will stop producing eggs in their ovaries and periods will stop.
It can also be caused by other factors. Women who have had a hysterectomy, for any reason, may experience menopause early. Some women will continue to see eggs released at this time and hormones produced if the ovaries remain intact (partial hysterectomy). In women who have surgery that removes the ovaries and the uterus will enter into immediate menopause. Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation treatments may cause permanent damage that leads to menopause.
About one percent of women could have premature menopause which occurs before the age of 40. This may indicate that primary ovarian insufficiency exists. This condition indicates that the ovaries fail to produce the typical amount of necessary hormones. This may be brought on by genetic factors as well as some treatments for conditions such as certain autoimmune disease.
What to Expect from Your Appointment
For women who believe they have been in menopause, it may help to visit a doctor. A primary health doctor will make any recommendations possible for treating the symptoms displayed. He or she can also diagnose that menopause has occurred and provided insight into what to expect. While medical doctors may prescribe medications for the symptoms, there are also natural treatments available for menopause well.
Menopause Natural Treatment
For many women seeking a natural solution to menopause symptoms, many options may be available. For example, utilizing cold water and towels can help to reduce the impact of hot flashes. Also, learn what might trigger them. Common triggers for chills and hot flashes include alcohol, consumption of spicy food or hot beverages, hot weather, or stress.
Improving sleep can also be a primary tool used to reduce the onset of symptoms. Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques can help a woman to sleep better, which in turn helps to reduce additional symptoms of menopause.
A healthy diet is also important. This aims at improving hormone balancing. A balanced diet includes a wide range of fruits and vegetables (the addition of various deep colors is important here). Additionally, healthy fats and lean meats are also important. Many women need to supplement their diet with mineral formulas and Vitamin D at this time as well.
Menopause natural treatments may also include a more aggressive, but holistic approach. This might include the use botanical medicine that contains phytoestrogens and phytoprogesterone. These are plant sources of hormone-like substances that can provide significant relief to the symptoms a woman in menopause can experience. Many times the use of bioidentical hormones might be recommended. Bio-identical hormones are a plant source of hormones that are made in the lab to be chemically identical to those that the human body produces.
Dr. Karampahtsis has been helping women in menopause or perimenopause since 2004. During the consultation, he listens about your symptoms and concerns. He takes into consideration your health history, your family history as well as your lab results to formulate the most comprehensive plan that will cover your needs. Your personal beliefs and desires of how you want to address your health and well-being are taken into consideration.