Menopause – A Functional Medicine Approach
“Menopause” can be an ugly word for some women for a number of reasons. Menopause typically occurs around 50 years of age, a time when most women are confident and content with their life. Unfortunately, all too often, this change in a woman’s life can be very miserable.
Nowadays, menopause is accompanied by hot flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability, and much much more. For other women, menopause may come prematurely and unnaturally for a number of reasons, which may include surgery. Some women choose to go through this period with medication, hoping that it would decrease symptoms without realizing that the medication may increase the risk for diseases, such as heart disease or cancer. What are the other options? There are various natural ways such as creams and nutraceuticals that can be very helpful, when consulting a doctor such as myself who specializes in natural, non-toxic ways to balance the body.
What is rarely discussed with menopausal women is the state of the adrenal glands. How many women know what this gland is and what it does? Would it alarm you to know that the status of this gland is the single most determining factor in relation to the severity of your menopausal symptoms? This gland reaches maturity in women at or around the age of 50. One function of the adrenal glands is to dispense estrogen and progesterone into your body. When your ovaries shut down production, your adrenals will slowly wean you off your estrogen high. This occurs only IF you have healthy adrenal glands. The more unhealthy and dysfunctional the adrenal glands are the worse the symptoms. Most women and men do not have healthy adrenals. Without this production you suffer hormonal withdrawals, like a drug addict who goes cold turkey.
We have simple diagnostic tests we offer at the Functional Medicine Center to determine the functionality of your adrenals. Once you are diagnosed, we can begin to support and rebuild your adrenals naturally with high dose vitamin therapy, herbs, minerals, essential fatty acids, and even bioidentical hormones, if necessary. No matter what the reason for your menopause we can ease this transition without the negative side effects.