We treat the cause. . . not the symptom
The textbook definition of menopause is a cessation of menstrual cycles for 12 months. At its core, menopause is a hormone imbalance. However there are a host of symptoms that can appear while a women is still cycling. Menopausal symptoms may appear long before menopause happens although they typically appear around the age of 50. Early onset of menopause can occur through hysterectomy, ovary removal, chemotherapy, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), to name a few examples. Often a period of excess estrogen precedes early menopause. Hormone balance is key to a woman’s overall health. Menopause presents different challenges as hormone deficiencies in one area can appear as excesses elsewhere. Estrogen has over 400 crucial functions. Estrogen receptor sites are found throughout the body including the brain, muscle tissue, bone, bladder, gut, uterus, ovaries, vagina, breasts, eyes, heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Estrogen also regulates body temperature, is thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s, prevents muscle damage/maintains muscles, regulates blood pressure, enhances energy, and improves mood. Declining estrogen levels common to the menopausal years can dampen nerve impulses during sex, making a woman less sensitive to vibration and touch. And since estrogens increase blood flow to sexually sensitive areas, decreased levels can slow or diminish the arousal response. Testosterone and DHEA also have a major impact on sex drive. Levels gradually decline in the years leading to menopause and can drop dramatically with a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. If you have a low libido and have lost interest in sex, saliva testing to measure levels of estradiol, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA-s can establish probable cause and a rationale for correcting the imbalance. Progesterone works in concert with estrogen. It is important to achieve a balance between the two. Natural progesterone is the best sleep aid, builds bone, decreases anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. By increasing and gently balancing estrogen and progesterone levels many menopausal symptoms can be alleviated. Signs of low progesterone (same as excess estrogen) include: increased anxiety, decreased HDL (“good cholesterol”), decreased libido, excessive menstruation, insomnia, mood swings, and weight gain. Through saliva testing we can often get to the bottom of many of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.