Menopause is when a woman’s menstrual cycles stop. Periods can become irregular leading up to that time so someone is only considered in menopause only after a full 12 months without a period.
The period leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. Typically estrogen and progesterone begin to decline overall, although not in slow decline, but rather full of ups and downs.
How you many feel in perimenopause
This transition is associated with symptoms. The decline in estrogen is associated with nightsweats, hot flashes, depression, memory loss, and dryness. The decline in progesterone is associated with PMS, insomnia and anxiety. In addition, many women experience weight gain due to the decline in metabolism.
How Naturopathic can help with menopause
Naturopathic medicine is ideal for helping you deal with symptoms of menopause. Our approach is to use a ladder of intervention. We try to use the least harmful interventions first, then work up the ladder as needed.
The lowest on the ladder of intervention in terms of safety, is acupuncture, homeopathy, exercise and diet. Using these subtle forms of energetic medicine and exercise, many women experience a relief from anxiety, hot flashes, depression and night sweats.
If the symptoms are not being adequately managed, we can then use herbal medicine. There are large number of herbs that can be used for different symptoms. Herbal medicine is still considered to be very safe and effective.
Bioidentical Hormone replacement can help
At the top of the ladder of intervention is bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT). Conventional hormone replacement uses hormones that are biologically not identical to the ones used by the human body. BHRT, while synthetically derived, is bioidentical to the molecules used by the human body. While still considered relatively safe, is not without risks.
There has been much research on the administration and dosing of BHRT. For example, the topical use of estrogen is much safer than swallowing pills. Progesterone on the other hand can be used topically or orally, but has different effects on symptoms. Furthermore, menopause is often also associated with changes in thyroid and adrenal functioning. Dr. Nari Pidutti has done many hours of training on BHRT to help guide you in your decision on hormone replacement.
Urine testing on hormone levels is also available to help guide the process. Metabolites of estrogen can be measured to assess future breast cancer risk. Replacement can be monitored to ensure the appropriate dosing for you.
Contact us to book a consultation on helping you during menopause and answer your health questions.