Before and during menopause your body does some pretty interesting things…
Its time we roll up our sleeves and talk about hormones.
In this weeks episode we will discuss why you’re having these symptoms and what you can do about it. We will also explore BioIdentical Hormone therapy as an option for hormonal imbalance.
Menopause is a time of change. It’s when your body’s reproductive system shuts down and winds down, and you no longer produce eggs or have periods.
Menopause is a major life change that can be difficult to navigate. While it’s not pleasant, menopause doesn’t need to be scary or painful—there are plenty of ways to combat its symptoms and get the most out of this phase in your life.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about menopause.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing eggs, and she stops having periods. It usually happens between ages 45 and 55 but can happen earlier or later. Most women in the world go through menopause, but it isn’t something that has to be scary or cause health problems.
What Causes Menopause?
We all know that menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having periods. But what causes it?
Menopause is caused by an imbalance in hormones. Specifically, the body’s estrogen levels begin to drop, and progesterone levels begin to increase. This change happens because your ovaries are not producing as many eggs as they did when you were younger, producing less estrogen.
Between ages 25 and 30, your body produces less estrogen every month than before. Eventually, your estrogen levels will drop so low that you won’t be able to get pregnant anymore.
This is why women are typically in their 40s when they go through menopause. This is when their bodies start making less estrogen than they need to keep up with the demands of menstruation and pregnancy.
Symptoms of Menopause
These are sudden and intense feelings of heat, usually accompanied by sweating. They’re usually random and can happen at any time of day—even when you’re sleeping!
Hot flashes aren’t the only thing that can make you sweat at night; some women also experience night sweats, accompanied by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
The hormonal changes that come with menopause can cause mood swings and irritability, so it’s important to be aware of this symptom if it starts happening to you.
Vaginal dryness is another common symptom during menopause, especially when estrogen levels drop significantly. This can make sexual intercourse painful and uncomfortable for many women.
Your periods may become irregular as your body adjusts to lower hormone levels. Your period might come early or late, or you may skip a month entirely before returning. You might have bleeding between periods or during the time when you usually menstruate (the luteal phase). This type of bleeding is called spotting.
Hormones That Affect Menopause
Hormones are chemical messengers that help your body function properly. They’re secreted by endocrine glands, which are located throughout your body.
When you’re going through menopause, your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. This can cause a lot of changes in your body and your mood. Some of these changes are temporary, but others may last for a long time after menopause is over.
Some of the hormones that affect menopause include:
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels by allowing glucose to enter cells in the body. Insulin also promotes the growth and development of the body.
Insulin levels fluctuate throughout our lives, but they are particularly important during menopause. During this time of life, women may experience a decline in ovarian hormones, which can lead to an increase in insulin resistance. This means that cells become less responsive to insulin, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk for diabetes.
The adrenal hormones are a group of hormones that play an important role in regulating the body’s response to stress. They are responsible for releasing hormones such as cortisol, which regulates blood sugar and helps the body respond to stress. They also help maintain homeostasis, or balance, in the body.
During menopause, the adrenal gland may become exhausted from producing high cortisol levels. This can decrease the production of other hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, which can cause negative symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Thyroid hormones are extremely important in the menopausal process. They control the way your body uses other hormones. So, they affect your overall health and well-being.
Thyroid hormone levels increase during menopause, which causes a lot of women to gain weight. This is because thyroid hormones control metabolism, so your body needs more energy to support them when they go up. The extra energy not used for this purpose gets stored as fat.
How To Manage Menopause Symptoms
It’s no secret that menopause can be a tough time for women. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, it’s hard to feel like yourself when so many body parts go haywire. But there are ways to manage your symptoms without resorting to synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
Fix Your Insulin
One of the most common culprits of menopause symptoms is insulin resistance. When you have insulin resistance, your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, which means it has to produce more of it. This increases the amount of sugar that builds up in your blood, which can trigger symptoms like hot flashes.
To manage your insulin resistance, you need to focus on eating a low-carb diet. Avoid processed foods and focus on whole, unprocessed foods high in fiber and protein. This will help keep your blood sugar under control.
Work On Your Adrenal Hormones
When you’re going through menopause, it’s important to keep your adrenal hormone levels in balance. When you’re stressed or anxious, your body will produce more cortisol than usual. This can lead to weight gain and increased belly fat, especially if you don’t exercise regularly. It can also cause mood swings and insomnia.
So if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately (a very common symptom of menopause), it might be time to take a break from your busy schedule and start working on getting your adrenal hormones back into balance.
Optimize Your Thyroid
If you’ve tried all the usual tricks—exercise, diet, supplements—and you’re still struggling with menopause symptoms, then it may be time to look into optimizing your thyroid function.
To do this, you’ll need to see a good functional medicine doctor who can run some tests, like functional thyroid antibodies, TSH, and free T3 levels. They’ll also check for nutrient deficiencies affecting your hormone levels.
Moreover, you’ll need to make sure you are getting enough selenium and iodine in your diet. These nutrients help regulate thyroid function and may help relieve some symptoms associated with low hormone levels, like fatigue and depression, as well as some mood swings caused by fluctuating estrogen levels during menopause (possible side effect).
Get Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is an area of medicine that has recently gained traction. While it was previously thought unnecessary or even dangerous, experts have found that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can help people with a wide range of conditions and symptoms.
Bioidentical hormones are made from plant-based chemicals similar to the hormones naturally produced by your body. This allows them to interact with your receptors in the same way as natural hormones, which helps treat the root cause of many conditions rather than simply treating their symptoms.
One common problem associated with aging is a loss of estrogen in women, leading to symptoms like vaginal dryness and thinning skin. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help women restore their estrogen levels and prevent these problems from occurring. The same treatment can also be used for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
While there are numerous benefits associated with BHRT, it’s important to note that this treatment isn’t right for everyone. If you’re considering getting bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, talk with your doctor first so they can determine whether this treatment is right for you.
While menopause can be uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be miserable. With the right support and information, you can manage your symptoms and get through this time in your life with minimal disruption.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to us. We’ll help you figure out the best way to manage them, so they don’t get in the way of living your life. Book an appointment here.