Is it menopause?
TRUE menopause is defined as 12 months of no period, but many women present with symptoms around menopause age, whilst still menstruating.
Often the worst symptoms occur in the peri-menopausal years – as the cycle starts to down regulate, but before it completely stops.
In traditional medicine, menopause is viewed as a time of coming into your wisdom.
It’s a time of reduced fertility, but increased creativity and regaining energy.
This is defiantly NOT how my modern menopause patients view the experience.
It seems to them to be a time of deep fatigue, chaos and unexplained health issues.
Interestingly oestrogen and progesterone receptors are not just ‘down there’, they are found in our heart, lungs, muscles, thyroid, liver, brain and this is why symptoms can be found far and wide in the body.
As sex hormones decline many women notice those genetic weakness starting to appear – higher cholesterol, blood pressure, weight gain, blood sugar issues, arthritis, as well as an increase in PMS symptoms: headaches, food cravings, appetite change, anxiety, pain, breast tenderness, hot flushes, bloating, heavy or irregular cycles.
As our body goes through a natural decline in sex hormones, other hormone pathways take up the work – especially our adrenal and stress hormones.
Women who are most stressed, anxious and depleted (tired) going into menopause are more likely to have the worst symptoms as the stress hormones are already too busy and don’t have enough reserve to take over the role of the declining sex hormones.
So whilst menopause is a natural event, and you can expect some symptoms, naturopaths will spend a lot of time working with you to build up reserve energy, reduce stress reactions and address underlying inflammatory processes that are in your genetic pool (such as cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure etc).
We support women through all areas of hormonal health, but particularly in the perimenopause years, herbs are gold!
NEW PHASE: Menopause can be a challenging time for many women.
BY NATUROPATHS BELINDA MCPHERSON AND SOPHIE LORBACK (BHSCI. NATUROPATHY)