Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Perimenopause: What Can You Do About It?

Perimenopause is defined as the 2-3 years around the onset of menopause. Menopause generally affects women in their late 40s or early 50s although it can happen earlier or later. Perimenopausal women experience many changes within their bodies but that does not mean that a woman should be symptomatic. Hot flashes, brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, and general malaise are all very common in perimenopausal women but these symptoms are not natural.

When a woman is shifting into menopause, her ovaries are starting to wind down their production of estrogen and progesterone. Menopausal women still needs and produces these important hormones. Since the ovaries are no longer producing these hormones, the adrenal glands must now take up the responsibility. The adrenal glands are more commonly known for producing stress hormones but a menopausal woman’s adrenal glands now produce her progesterone. Estrogen is generally produced in the fat cells.

A woman who has stressed adrenal glands will most likely have a difficult transition to menopause. The hot flashes, brain fog, fatigue, and weight gain mentioned earlier are typical symptoms a woman will have if she has stressed adrenal glands.

But all is not lost. Even if a woman is experiencing these symptoms, they can be reversed through proper evaluation and treatment. I use saliva testing and/or hair analysis to help properly evaluate a woman’s female and stress hormones. This is a functional approach to a woman’s health. I am not looking for diseases, but rather for imbalances that prevent the body from healing. In addition to saliva testing, I use appropriate nutritional support, diet changes and stress modification to assist a woman into menopause. However, if a woman is already menopausal and having the same symptoms, this type of evaluation and treatment is appropriate for her as well. There’s no need to suffer through perimenopause or menopause.


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