“The change of life.” Sounds so promising, but for most women, menopause can be hellish.
Your heath and habits can contribute to how easy or hard your transition is. It’s not out of your control, ladies. Here is how to get your life back.
Menopause is usually defined as one year with no period. But during this transition, estrogens are dropping, and fluctuations occur, causing symptoms to surface: night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, irritability. During menopause, the adrenals have to “take over” for the ovaries no longer producing hormones, so women with good adrenal health will not experience a lot of symptoms. 60 percent of estrogen is produced in adrenal glands, so there can be issues if the woman is adrenally exhausted. With those who do not have sufficient back-up adrenal reserves, the drop in estrogen can cause symptoms. Many hormonal problems will clear up with adrenal programs, so I always recommend women do an adrenal stress index spit test combined with female hormone testing, which can be assessed in one spit test. Then we design a program to repair the adrenal glands.
Women don’t need to take hormones unless they are experiencing symptoms. In the 70s, all women took synthetic hormones during the transition because they were supposedly good for the heart, brain, and bones, but this proved to be harmful, placing women at a higher risk for cancer. Many women still take synthetic hormones (known as HRT, or hormone replacement therapy), butthere are risks involved, so we recommend bio-identical hormones and/or herbs. Bio-identical hormones have an identical molecular structure to the hormones your body makes (unlike synthetic hormones); do not require conversion by the liver to usable forms; and do not create potentially dangerous metabolites.
I do not recommend progesterone creams, because if you use too much, it can build up in fatty tissues causing am excess over time (and more undesirable symptoms!) Using sublingual (under the tongue) bio-identical progesterone (usually wild yam) and the lowest possible dose of bio-identical estrogen will alleviate estrogen deficiency symptoms. Stop taking the hormones for 4-7 days a month to insure that no excess estrogen is delivered.
Most importantly, address your lifestyle. Eat a clean diet of whole foods, leafy greens, organic where possible to minimize toxins, and cut down on sugar and alcohol to support healthy blood sugar. Fluctuating blood sugar levels stress the adrenals and make symptoms worse. Get to bed by 11pm and try taking melatonin if you have trouble sleeping. A good adrenal repair program will help foster good sleep. Theanine and inositol are also great sleep aids. Get moderate exercise and take a multi, extra minerals, and fish oils. Stress relief is key here. Try some meditation or deep breathing.
Additionally, there are several herbs that you can take along with the bio-identical hormones to ease symptoms. Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, False Unicorn root, Red Clover, Licorice root, Tribulus, and Vitex are all good choices and you can often find them in a formula. These are phyto-estrogenic and phyto-progesterogenic herbs that can help boost hormone levels temporarily.
You can continue the program for up to a year, but no need to unless you are having symptoms. You can titrate down off the bio-identical hormones when your symptoms subside. Repairing the adrenals will help immensely. A good liver cleanse will help detoxify the body and the liver, which has to metabolize all hormones.
SO. Enjoy this transition in your life. No more periods! It’s a time of wisdom. A life-honoring ritual into a new phase.
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