There comes a time in every woman’s life where her body decides it’s no longer able to have children. Menopause is the transition from fertility to infertility during which the body undergoes a complete hormonal restructuring.
You can begin to feel like a teenager again, as fluctuating hormone wreak havoc on your energy, weight, and mood. Not only are you experiencing major biochemical changes during menopause, but you also experience major appearance changes as well. Skin breakouts, persistent belly fat, and accelerated signs of aging can add to the frustrations of menopause.
Fortunately, there are a many ways you can fight the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, both on your own but also with the support of a good functional medicine doctor. We’ve come a long way in understanding and treating menopause, let’s take a closer look.
What is Menopause Exactly?
Menopause has been recorded in ancient texts as far back as Aristotle. Since then, if menopause occurs after 40 years of age, it’s considered normal. Although, today menopause typically occurs a bit later in life, usually around 51 years old.
Menopause occurs when the ovaries produce significantly less sex hormones, including:
Estrogen – Estrogen is the predominant hormone associated with menopause. There are actually three forms of estrogen: Estrone, estradiol, and estriol.
- Estrone is the predominant estrogen after menopause.
- Estradiol is your predominant estrogen before you go through menopause and is known for supporting memory, bone growth, serotonin levels, and heart health.
- Estriol is predominant during pregnancy and protective against breast cancer.
Progesterone – The decline in progesterone during menopause is largely responsible for the mood related symptoms. Low progesterone can cause depression, anxiety, nervousness, low libido, and insomnia.
DHEA – DHEA actually starts falling in your early thirties. By the time you enter menopause, DHEA production has fallen dramatically. Your body needs DHEA to create estrogen and progesterone. Without sufficient DHEA, you may experience a decreased sense of satisfaction with life, immune system health, and ability to handle stress. Smoking seriously affects your body’s DHEA levels, so I always recommend you quit smoking – the earlier, the better.
Testosterone – Many women who come to my office are surprised to find out that testosterone balance is just as important for women as it is for men. Just because women don’t need as much testosterone as men, doesn’t mean they don’t need any at all. In fact, one of the best correcting factors I see that helps postmenopausal hormone balance is adjusting testosterone levels. Don’t rule out testosterone, it’s important for women too.
As these hormones begin to fall, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms.
● Irregular periods
● Hot flashes
● Weight gain
● Sore breasts
● Mood swings
● Chronic headaches
● Facial hair
● Dizzy spells
● Lower back pain
When these hormones drop, they often fall out of balance with one another. When you work to correct your hormone balance, it isn’t enough to simply boost one hormone, they must all be adjusted together. Understanding that hormones exist in a balance is key to understanding how you can minimize the effects of menopause on your quality of life.
For a more complete overview of the delicate balance of women’s hormone, check out A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Hormones – Everything You Need to Know . Here, I outline what your hormones should look like before menopause and how each play a different role in your health and happiness.
Correcting Menopause is All About Balance
With the help of a functional medicine doctor, you can work to correct menopause imbalance with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. There are many benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy , including improving frustrating symptoms such as:
● Mood swings
● Hot flashes
● Decreased libido
● Memory loss
● Vaginal dryness
● Undesired weight gain
● Brain fog
● Urinary incontinence
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has also been shown to:
● Have minimal side effects
● Improve cardiovascular health
● Improve sex drive
● Protect against Alzheimer’s disease
● Reduce bone degradation
● Boost memory
Hormone replacement therapy works to rebalance the vital hormones at the center of this problem. When you balance your estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone, you’ll achieve better energy, weight management, and a stable mood.
Your Lifestyle Can Help Balance Menopause Hormones
Another way we work to restore balance is through effective lifestyle changes. When you take care of your body in ways that support good hormone function, you may find you won’t need as much hormone replacement therapy. Natural hormone balance techniques should always be part of any menopause treatment plan.
A few of my favorite natural methods for balancing hormones include:
● Exercising– especially weight training
● Getting plenty of high quality sleep
● Maintaining healthy weight
● Eating enough healthy fats
● Reducing stress levels
● Ensuring you’re getting sufficient amino acids and proteins
● Implementing intermittent fasting
● Supplementing with magnesium and zinc if needed
Finding a Functional Medicine Doctor Who Specializes in Menopause
Rebalancing your hormones after menopause is vital to your overall quality of life. My patients are often amazed by how widespread the benefits of fully balanced hormone can be – they affect every aspect of your daily life.
Ideal hormone balance differs from woman to woman, which is why you should work with an experienced doctor who will take the time required to identify which levels make you feel great.
If you’re in need of an experienced functional medicine doctor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you can request an appointment with the Dynamic Life Health Center today. Simply fill out the contact form here or call 817-912-1600.
You don’t have to suffer from menopause related low energy levels, undesired weight gain, or moodiness and irritability. I have decades of experience in helping women restore hormone balance after menopause – you can benefit too!
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