Menopause should be a natural and simple process: Women are born with a limited number of eggs in their ovaries. When your eggs run out, your body no longer needs to produce hormones at such a high level, because who wants to have a baby when they are 50?
As the ovaries release their last eggs and the hormone levels start to decline, other tissues or glands in the body should kick in and produce similar (though less biologically active) levels of these hormones. In particular, the adrenal glands take over much of the responsibility of the ovaries.
This adjustment is called menopause.
Statistically, a third of women breeze through this change of life period and wonder what all the fuss is about. A third have a mild to moderately difficult time, experiencing symptoms like hot flushes, irritability and headaches.
The final third have a moderate to extremely difficult time during this period and may even need short term medical intervention such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Doctors have also been known to prescribe anti-depressants, sleeping pills, estrogen creams and blood pressure medication to help with symptoms. In my opinion, this can be a heavy-handed and sometimes risky approach, which focuses on treating the symptoms only. As a naturopath, I prefer to concentrate on finding and treating the underlying causes of these symptoms, which will reduce the length of time that medication may be needed.
Are you likely to have a problematic menopause?
If you have had a lot of stress in your life, or tend to run off a high amount of nervous energy for a long period of time (adrenal fatigue), you will experience a lot more of the symptoms that we currently associate with a problematic menopause.
Other factors that can contribute to a challenging menopause include:
- Your mother’s experience with menopause
- Low thyroid function (hypothyroid)
- Liver stress caused by poor diet, alcohol and caffeine, as well as pesticides and heavy metals.
- Hysterectomy (even if the ovaries are retained) is thought to advance menopause by about 2 years
- Smoking can bring on an early menopause
- Radiation and/or chemotherapy which can bring on premature ovarian failure
- Certain medications
If you want to learn more about the ways we can help you with menopausal symptoms, please call us on (02) 4961 4075.
Stay tuned to the newsletter next week for tips on things you can do on your own to get relief from menopause symptoms.
Yours in health,
Are you ready to take charge of your vitality and wellbeing through menopause?
Click here to download our free guide containing tips on managing your menopause symptoms naturally.
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