Menopause & Peri-Menopause
Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for one year. It marks the end of the production of eggs for fertilization by the ovaries, and a decrease in estrogen and progesterone. Menopause is a natural process, not a disorder, however the various hormone changes can lead to severe symptoms that require intervention. Due to decreased levels of circulating estrogen, there is also a higher risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Peri-menopause is the time leading up to menopause, where several menopausal symptoms are experienced,
Symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- vaginal dryness
- night sweats
- changes in menstruation
- abnormal hair growth
- memory loss
- mood swings etc.
Naturopathic Treatment of Menopausal Symptoms
Majority of the symptoms experienced during peri-menopause and menopause are due to a marked decrease in hormone levels. Therefore, the main goal of treatment is to balance hormone levels to alleviate the symptoms. The individualized treatment plan will depend on hormone levels identified through testing, and will consist of botanicals and nutrition to bring the body back into a state of balance. Bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are also an option that can be discussed. Treatment will also focus on preventing osteoporosis and heart disease, with menopausal women having a higher risk of both of these conditions.
Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of menopause including hot flushes, mood changes and sleep disturbances, and may be included in your individualized treatment plan.
To learn more about how Naturopathic Medicine can help with Menopause, contact Dr. Lesley!