Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Why do they call the menopause the "change"?
It often is referred to as the change of life and marks the transition between a woman's childbearing years and her nonchildbearing years. Menopause is a natural part of aging and occurs as result of the gradual loss of estrogen — a hormone produced in the ovaries.
Symptoms: No menstrual periods for a year
Usual onset: Between 49-52 years of age
Before you get to men-o-pause you must go through Peri-menopause
Peri-menopause is a long transition to menopause, As your body transitions to menopause, your hormone levels may change randomly, causing menopause symptoms unexpectedly. During this transition, your ovaries make different amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone than usual. The transition to menopause, usually starts in a woman's mid- to late 40s. On average, women are in perimenopause for four years before their periods stop.
Irregular periods happen during this time because you may not ovulate every month. Your periods may be longer or shorter than usual. You might skip a few months or have unusually long or short menstrual cycles. Your period may be heavier or lighter than before. Many women also have hot flashes and other menopause symptoms during this transition.
How hot flashes work
Normally, when your body gets too warm, it sends signals to your brain and the hypothalamus responds by sending signals that cause blood vessels throughout the body to dilate, thereby releasing heat and bringing your temperature back into homeostasis. However, during the menopausal transition, fluctuations in estrogen levels can trigger the hypothalamus to set off this reaction, even if the external environment and temperature haven’t suddenly changed. This leads to what we call hot flashes.
Hot flashes can result in a visible flushing of the skin or sudden sweating (menopausal “night sweats” are actually hot flashes that occur during the night). A woman may also experience rapid heart rate and feelings of anxiety or dread during a hot flash, and may experience a chill throughout her body once the hot flash is over.
Most common symptoms of Menopause
Irregular periods-During the onset of PRE-Menopause your cycle may become very heavy with clots for a while, then become very light, then become begin to skip months. In fact, it's the most frustrating thing to go for 6 months with NO period and just when you get excited that you're done, BAM here it comes again!
Hot flashes-Fluctuating hormone levels affects the body’s ability to control its temperature resulting in the the feeling of "overheating"
Night sweats-The same as day time hot flashes except these can cause major sleep disruption.
Fatigue-Extreme tiredness and fatigue can come about as a result of fluctuating hormonal changes.
Anxiety/irritability-This can be an emotionally challenging time, and with imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, along with blood sugar dips and raises, one can feel "keyed up"
Depression/Panic attacks- Menopausal changes to our bodies can lead to a low mood and can increase levels of a brain protein that is linked to depression. Hot flashes can cause panic attacks.
Headaches-Estrogen levels dip can be a trigger for migraines.
Digestive disorders-The perimenopause process can cause intense stress as well as fluctuating sex hormones that make can cause digestive pain.
Weight gain-Fluctuating hormones, feeling too tired to exercise, and lack of quality sleep can all lead to weight gain and excess fat around the middle.
Blood sugar fluctuations-Our blood sugar levels can become unbalanced, with our bodies responding differently to insulin. Fatigue, hot flashes and dehydration— all quintessential menopause symptoms — can all add to this issue.
Joint issues-This reason can be two-fold with less mobility and flexibility causing weight gain that places an increased strain on our joints AND decreasing estrogen levels causing a decrease in joint fluid.
Dizzy Spells-Caused by fluctuating hormone levels in the body
Muscle tightness/tension-Increased stress and anxiety during menopause can be reflected in the muscles.
Thinning hair-estrogen and progesterone declining can shrink hair follicles and cause hair loss.
Electric shocks/Pins and needles-Fluctuating estrogen levels impacts our nervous system leading nerves to misfire and can cause tingling, numbness in hands, feet, arms and legs
Memory lapses/lack of concentration-Hormonal changes and fluctuations can decrease blood flow to the brain and can cause concentration and memory to lapse
Itchy skin-As estrogen levels decline so does the skin's production of collagen and natural oils, as a result it's not uncommon to experience dry, itchy skin. Solution-A good natural moisturizer.
Brittle nails-With declining estrogen levels it's difficult for the body to regulate its water level which results in dehydration and brittle nails.
Poor sleep-Decreasing estrogen and progesterone levels AND night sweats can make getting a good night's rest a challenge during this time.
Incontinence-Weakened pelvic floor muscles causes stress incontinence and causes leakage during sneezing, coughing, laughing or even heavy lifting.
Body odor-Changing hormone levels can cause the body's personal temperature gauge to malfunction causing one to sweat more. a lack of estrogen stops the body from regulating its water level well resulting in dehydration. This can make the sweat more concentrated and smelly.
Supplements known to support hormones during the change
Vitamin B Complex (B2,B6,B12) Click here for B complex-to help maintain hormonal balance and to help reduce tiredness and fatigue
Omega 3 Click here for PLANT-BASED omega 3-eases psychological distress and depressive symptoms often suffered by menopausal and perimenopausal women, according to new research. The study presents the first evidence that omega-3 supplements are effective for treating common menopause-related mental health problems
Maca root Click here for Maca Root-Studies in menopausal women found that maca helped alleviate menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and interrupted sleep, irritability and mood swings.
Why is it so difficult to lose weight when you’re going through menopause?
If you’re finding yourself doing all the things to keep your weight at a healthy place and the scale is still creeping up, know that this is normal. During menopause, your body is doubling the rate at which it stores fat. This means that strategies that worked in the past won’t be as effective today as your estrogen levels plummet to 1% of what they were.
As a result, there is an acceleration of insulin resistance—meaning your liver pumps out increasing levels of insulin in response to eating simple carbohydrates (like sweets, cereals, bread, and pasta).
Increased insulin production during menopause converts sugar into fat that gets deposited into fat cells.
Studies show that intermittent fasting and restricting complex carbohydrates can have a profound effect on the way your body processes insulin during this change of life.
Which exercises can help
Strength training at least twice per week can help counteract the effect of declining hormone levels during perimenopause. This also helps to improve bone health thus helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Cardio at least three hours per week (brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking or dancing) can help speed the metabolism and help the body to metabolize insulin during this phase of life.
Yoga Because lack of sleep can have a negative impact on metabolism and lead to weight gain over time, practicing yoga may help prevent insomnia related weight gain.
Foods and herbs known to assist with menopause
Dark green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and kale.
Fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna.
Flax and chia seeds.
Broccoli and cauliflower.
Blueberries and other dark berries
Would you like to learn more ways to incorporate healing food into your diet daily? Would you like a free cell analysis to determine which cells in your body need rejuvenation and therapy?
Schedule an appointment today in our office for a consultation along with a free Bioscan analysis (simple test using your fingerprint).
We believe in getting to the ROOT cause of your ailments.
Written by Doreen Germany, Certified Natural Health Counselor
Tree of Health and Wellness