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Menopausal Testing, Nutrition Support & BioIdentical Hormones
Literally, menopause means the cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle and signals the end of a woman's natural childbearing years.
Menopause is neither a disease nor an illness, it is a natural and usually gradual change in glandular function. It has its origins in the beginning of menses and culminates in a series of hormonal changes that result in the cessation of menstrual flow. This transition produces a variety of bodily manifestations and symptoms, and is due to changes in production of hormones and the timing of their release.
What is perimenopause?
Perimenopause, or menopause transition, is the stage of a woman's reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman's 40s, but can start in the 30s as well.
Perimenopause lasts up until menopause, the point when the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last one to two years of perimenopause, this decline in estrogen accelerates. At this stage, many women experience menopausal symptoms.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
- Irregular heart beat
- Mood swings, sudden tears
- Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
- Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
- Loss of libido
- Dry vagina
- Crashing fatigue
- Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
- Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom
- Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
- Disturbing memory lapses
- Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
- Itchy, crawly skin
- Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons
- Increased tension in muscles
- Breast tenderness
- Headache change: increase or decrease
- Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
- Sudden bouts of bloat
- Exacerbation of existing conditions
- Increase in allergies
- Weight gain
- Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
- Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
- Changes in body odor
- Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head
- Tingling in the extremities
- Gum problems, increased bleeding
- Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
- Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing,' buzzing etc.
How Long Does Perimenopause Last?
The average length of perimenopause is four years, but for some women this stage may last only a few months or continue for 10 years. Perimenopause ends the first year after menopause (when a woman has gone 12 months without having her period).
What Are the Signs of Perimenopause?
You will know you are transitioning into menopause when you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Worsening of premenstrual syndrome
- Decreased libido (sex drive)
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
- Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
- Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently)
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
Some advantages of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are; improves the look and feel of hair and skin, weight loss, improves sex drive, improves mental health, lowers cholesterol levels, decreases the risk of osteoporosis, decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke and more.
Various body parts undergo change and can produce one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding irregularities
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes / sweats
- Changes in sex drive
- Nervousness, irritability
- Mood Changes
- Skin aging / cosmetic changes
- Altered fat and carbohydrate metabolism
What can you do about it?
There are several therapeutic options which may minimize or even eliminate many of the symptoms:
- Treat symptoms using natural hormones and nutrients without any testing.
- Test for hormone levels and bone loss.
- Improve bone health with specifically formulated nutritional products
- Improve overall nutrition with Women's Twice Daily Essential Packs
Why should you Consider Testing?
Hormones are powerful substances that control multiple functions throughout the body. Hormone levels should be sufficient and balanced. Too much or too little of them is not conducive to long-term emotional, mental and bodily health.
By not measuring the hormones before and after treatment your hormone picture is, at best, an educated guess, since hormone levels from woman to woman can vary 200 - 1,500%. In fact many women need only one hormone, while others require 3 or 4 different kinds.
Just as you cannot balance your bank account without numbers on your bank statements, hormone testing provides both a basis for treatment and proximity to your goal.
One can then:
- Customize natural hormone dosing to meet individual needs.
- Optimize hormone levels for minimum dose to relieve symptoms. Avoid overdosing.
- Achieve appropriate and compatible physiologic levels of several hormones.
- Increase sense of "well being" by removing underlying hormone deficit and imbalances.
Not Certain What To Do Next?
If you are uncertain as to which products or programs to use or which tests to take; or, if you would like additional help:
- Contact us with a brief question.
- Arrange a phone consultation with Dr. Forrest.
Call ( 408) 354-4262