Menopause is generally understood as the time when a woman’s menstruation stops and her natural hormones decline. This decline affects not only oestrogen, but includes progesterone which is important to maintain hormonal balance.
Menopause can be natural meaning part of the normal ageing process or surgically induced when a woman’s ovaries are removed. Menopause occurs in most women around 50 years, but some women may have premature menopause e.g. before the age of 40. The years leading up to menopause are called the pre-menopause or climacteric. During this time women may experience huge hormonal fluctuations and support with BHRT can be very helpful.
Symptoms of the menopause and climacteric includes irritability, hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, breast tenderness, inability to sleep, irritable bowel, depression, migraines, paranoid thoughts, vaginal changes, weight gain, low libido and painful, heavy or irregular periods. These symptoms can differ in severity and composition from person to person. This is partly due to the shift in balance between oestrogen and progesterone and oestrogen becoming more dominant. Oestrogen dominance starts earlier when there is more stress, influencing quality of life in a negative way. By supporting the body with progesterone as well as oestrogen and correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies, these symptoms can be improved.
Healthy ways of increasing oestrogen:
- Dietary change to enhance weight loss when required.
- Increase of phyto-oestrogens in the diet e.g. soy, alfalfa, chickpeas, beans, peas, red clover tea.
- Intestinal and liver detoxification.
- Avoid xeno-oestrogens e.g. plastic wrap, pesticides, synthetic oestrogens.
- Balance omega 3/omega 6 ratios by encouraging oily fish consumption or taking omega 3 fish oils.
- Nutritional support by including flaxseeds, organic protein, onions and garlic into your diet.
- Bioidentical hormone therapy when appropriate.
- No smoking.
- Reduce alcohol.
- Reduce stress.
- Vitamins that help hormone balance include the B vitamins. Vitamin B6 influences the steroid signals and prevents vitamin E dominance. Zinc and magnesium are also important.
- Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg help the liver enzymes.
- Monoterpene limonase is found in lemons and oranges, and stimulates the correct oestrogen metabolism.
- Fructo oligo saccharides help to stimulate growth of bifido and lacto bacilli by up to tenfold – these are the good bacteria that live in the bowel.
For further advice and to arrange an appointment please call the Medical Clinic on 01243 771455.