The menopause does not need to be a terrible or negative phase in your life, it can be a joyous and positive one. One that can give you more than you ever dreamed possible. With the correct tools we can make it together, we can slow the ageing process, ward off chronic disease, keep our sharp, creative thinking, our sex appeal oozing, and our weight down!
What is the menopause?
The menopause is a natural life transition that every women will go through at around the age of fifty one. This is the time when your ovaries slow and eventually stop the production of female hormones, although approximately two-thirds of postmenopausal woman up to the age of eighty can still continue to produce some oestradiol (E2 – a type of oestrogen). With the decline of oestrogens and progesterone, the reproductive system gradually shuts down. Medically defined, the menopause is the time in which a woman ceases to menstruate for the duration of 12 months. The run up to menopause can actually begin 10 years earlier, and is called the perimenopause.
“There is no way to stop the ageing process but you can certainly slow it. The way you deal with it can greatly affect your quality of life. Menopause is part of the ageing process. There is now an alternative, a safe method, to redress all menopausal symptoms, and the disease they now call aging, along with all of its age-related diseases.”
It’s not you, it’s your hormones!
The secret to having a healthy and happy life during the menopause, and beyond (postmenopause), is to recognise the changes that are happening within your body at that time. And very importantly, to understand what hormonal decline is and how it affects the body in perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. When you understand and recognise the symptoms, you are in a position to proactively turn to restorative medicine, and to restore the missing hormones that your body so rightly deserves. When you hit menopause you are in a severe state of hormonal degradation. To regain hormonal health is to regain your life, your health, and at the same time, acquire longevity. To reappear, and be the you, you once were!
Let nature takes its course..?
Perimenopause is the precursor to menopause, and marks the beginnings of hormonal decline. This is when your body is in a state of hormonal imbalance, which potentially has dangerous consequences; the female sex hormones, oestrogen(s) and progesterone levels fluctuate daily, causing inconsistent surges. It is these surges that cause symptoms such as unexplained weight gain, mood swings, hot flushes, lack of sex drive, sleeplessness, uterine fibroids, breast cancer, etc. Symptoms are warning signs, telling us all is not well within the body.
The major ager
Hormonal decline is the ‘major ager’. As we age all of our hormones decline, therefore creating an imbalance, which brings with it symptoms and a dysfunctional body. In menopause, oestrogen(s) and progesterone levels decline drastically. These female hormones, that are so famous for fertility in our younger days, should not to be ‘left out in the cold’ once we reach menopause, as they are key hormones and play a vital role in bone health; protecting against osteoporosis, skin; keeping it healthy and glowing, brain function; protecting against dementia, heart health; protecting against heart attack, vaginal and urethral tissues; keeping our sex drive going. Declining hormone levels, including testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, pregnenolone, thyroid, insulin, melatonin, human growth hormone, and others, are all associated with chronic illness and all age-related diseases.
When the minor hormones such as oestrogens, progesterone and testosterone decline, the major hormones rise, due to a feedback loop mechanism. The major hormones are essential to life whereas, minor hormones are responsible for fine-tuning and a feeling of well-being. Each hormonal system communicates with the other and needs to be in balance for you to feel well, and for your body to work at optimum. Cortisol, adrenaline, thyroid and insulin are all major hormones. With low or imbalanced hormones your body is in a vulnerable state, which is potentially dangerous to your health.
When cortisol is dominant to that of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) it puts you at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Thyroid dysfunction causes havoc within the body and its systems, because thyroid function affects nearly every other organ in your body. When the thyroid dysfunctions, so does the immune system. The definition of a low immune system is more colds, flu and more risk of contracting cancers. Insulin levels that are continually high will cause a shift in hormone production (an imbalance), which will alter your body composition and shape, causing an unhealthy increase in weight.
Tell me more about the symptoms
Hormonal imbalance is the cause behind some of the most distressing symptoms of the menopause, so before we look at treating that cause with restorative medicine and bioidentical HRT, let’s take a closer look at the most common menopause symptoms during each transition.