Posted on: 23.03.2023 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 14, 2004



What is Menopause?

If you’re between 46 and 53 years old, it’s

likely that your monthly periods occur less frequently and that

bleeding is becoming scantier and lighter (late perimenopause) or

has stopped altogether (menopause). Simply put, menopause is a change

in your hormone production.

By the time your periods have stopped, you

will have experienced a 75 to 90 percent drop in your estrogen production.

Estrogen is one of the two critical female hormones essential for

conception and pregnancy. But estrogen has many other functions,

as well, such as being a natural mood elevator, great skin conditioner,

and super protector against heart disease and osteoporosis.

Meanwhile, your progesterone production has

ceased almost entirely at menopause. Progesterone also has some

very critical tasks. It helps your body burn fat for energy, it’s

a natural diuretic, and it acts as a sedative, helping you sleep.

Knowing this, you can see why many women gain weight at menopause

even if they go on stringent diets and serious exercise regimens.

The huge decrease in progesterone is also one of the causes for

sleep disturbances at menopause.

There’s also a 50 percent decrease in androgen

production, the male hormones that stimulate your sex drive. They

used to be produced during the middle of your monthly menstrual

cycle, but when you stop ovulating, the amount of those important

hormones circulating in your body is also substantially diminished.

This normal drop in hormone production at

mid-life is because your ovaries and the follicles containing your

eggs are aging. It’s the end of your biological reproductive period,

but it does not signal the end of your creativity. For many women,

it’s just the beginning of a whole new adventure.

Although your ovaries and adrenal glands

continue to produce a lower potency estrogen (estrone) and some

estriol (an estrogen metabolite) is produced by your liver, the

amounts don’t support bone, breast, brain, heart, and vaginal tissues

the way your pre-menopause hormone production does.

The symptoms that come with this hormone

reduction—hot flashes, insomnia, painful intercourse, loss

of libido, vaginal infections, loss of muscle and skin tone, achy

joints and brittle bones, fatigue and mental confusion—are

unpleasant and distressing. Yet with the proper nutrition—including

herbs and nutrients—you can prevent or even reverse some of

the negative effects of the drop in hormone levels.

And while many doctors push supplemental estrogen

in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT),

I feel that you can get the same benefits of HRT without running

the risk of its side effects, including increased risk of breast

cancer. It can be difficult to decide

what to do. No matter which way you decide, you’ll still need

good nutritional basics.

Read More on Menopause:

Getting Started

What is Menopause?

Quiz: Is it Menopause?

Keep it SIMPLE Tip — Taking Herbs

Nutritional Therapies

Power Nutrients for Menopause


Making the HRT Decision

Who Benefits from HRT

If You Must Take HRT

JAMA Study on HRT

Weaning off HRT



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