Menopause and Perimenopause: The Signs and Symptoms | Holtorf Med
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Menopause and Perimenopause: The Signs and Symptoms


Why do women experience hormonal changes in their life cycles? Complex factors play important roles: disturbances in our social and ecological systems, poor diets, pollution, stress and more affect the fine hormonal balance of a woman, as well as her health.

Of all the hormonal phases a woman goes through during her lifetime, menopause and the lesser-known perimenopause, are the most dreaded and also the most misunderstood and mistreated.

Many medical approaches treat menopause as a disorder caused by falling hormone levels. In reality, menopause is foremost a natural event. Women in many other cultures do not experience this stage as a crisis demanding medication. In such societies, this time in a woman’s life is seen as one of gain, a time of great wisdom. Many of them simply do not suffer the physical and emotional symptoms that women in the West are programmed to accept as inevitable and “normal.”

In our modern society the focus of the menopause is one of loss – the loss of hormones, the loss of periods, the loss of the ability to create life, the ’empty-nest’ syndrome. In the end, the hormone imbalance generated by stress, lifestyle, diet, illness, toxic environment, etc. affects our ability to function normally. It makes us feel inadequate to handle the demands within our lives and sometimes even causes depression to occur. But this can dramatically change if you’re proactive, get the help you need and educate yourself!

Perimenopause: Starting Your Transformation

The word peri means “around”, which describes a time between a healthy cycle and actual menopause. Perimenopause can last from six months to ten years prior to the occurrence of menopause.

Beginning at or around age 35, our hormones generally start to change; you may or may not notice any symptoms. At this time, estrogen begins a slow decline and progesterone begins a faster decline, although ratios may increase and/or decrease before they decline permanently. Now is also the time when ovarian follicles (containing eggs) also begin to fall off more quickly.

Sooner or later, your follicles become less sensitive to FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and ovulation may not happen with every period. Menstruation can also become irregular. As the pituitary gland increases the production of FSH, other hormone loops connected to the pituitary function may be affected, including your stress response and thyroid hormones. At this point you may notice more symptoms.

Symptoms of Perimenopause

The progesterone and estrogen balance is essential for a smooth hormonal transformation. But this balance can be easily altered, by numerous factors.

Symptoms of a progesterone deficiency include: heavier and/or longer periods, periods become closer together, bloating, cramps, breast tenderness, irritability, rage, anxiety, insomnia.

Symptoms of estrogen deficiency include: shorter and/or missed periods, increased fatigue, night “sweats”, hot flashes, sadness, heart palpitations, increased urination, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, increase in bladder or yeast infections, acne, osteoporosis, migraines, memory loss, weight gain.

Menopause: Taking Care of Your Transformation

Menopause is a process that doesn’t happen overnight or even over the course of one day. It takes time. It is defined as occurring when a complete year has passed since your last period. Even if a woman hasn’t had a period for eleven months, if a period should occur, you start the count all over again. Getting a period within a twelve month period indicates that ovulation can still occur and pregnancy could still happen.

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause has many of the same symptoms that occur during perimenopause. However, this is when degenerate effects to your body might begin to occur due to the progesterone and estrogen hormone deficiencies. These include: musculoskeletal symptoms, feeling achy, thinner skin, hair loss, weight gain, cardiovascular problems, cognitive function decreases, continued memory loss, decrease in bone regeneration, increased urination, bladder prolapsed.

Solve Your Menopausal Symptoms Now!

The moment you feel things changing in your body and you experience any symptoms from above, it’s best to see a knowledgeable specialist, to order a complete blood workup and assess your hormone levels. You should also be checked for any other contributing factors, such as adrenal dysfunction or thyroid issues.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause. These hormones, which are derived from plants, are structurally identical to the hormones produced by the human body. Long term BHRT treatment is highly encouraged due to its exceptional results in maintaining bone density, decreasing incidence of breast or uterine cancers, lowering the incidence of heart disease (stroke), and prevention of dementia.

Discuss with your doctor how and if BHRT therapy can benefit you and what other lifestyle changes are necessary to bring you back into balance.

Menopause is an important milestone, the start to significant transformation in all areas of your life. Life could get much simpler around this time. You can feel and look better than you ever imagined after menopause, even if your symptoms are terrible right now ! It just takes a little help and a lot of self-care. Focusing on the positive aspects that come with menopause is essential.

It’s true everyone gets older and this comes with some inevitable physical changes but menopause is not the enemy. There are real and effective solutions out their so you can feel your best! Self-knowledge and self-confidence are the true gifts of menopause.

Menopause and Perimenopause: The Signs and Symptoms was last modified: October 4th, 2017 by Holtorf Medical Group

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