Chinese Medicine Offers A Natural Solution To Menopause
Are you not feeling like yourself?
Do you feel like you have gone mad?
You don't understand your body anymore?
First off...you are not alone. It's estimated that over 2 million women struggle with menopause every year. It's just not really talked about and I hope we can break this barrier and be supportive as women go through this challenging time.
In this blog, you will what's happening hormonally, the long list of common symptoms that you might be experiencing, and why it's happening. At the end, I will share the good news that it doesn't have to be an intense and miserable journey. Help is here and I want to you know that there is support for you. I'm so glad you are here!
WHAT ARE THE TRANSITIONAL STAGES OF MENOPAUSE?
Going through menopause can be a long process that can be a hormonal breeze or horrible nightmare. When I say a process I mean you don't go from having normal periods to one day not having any. It takes a journey to get there and consists of 3 stages. In these 3 stages your sex hormones decline and eventually your ovaries stop producing eggs and your period ceases.
AND SO IT BEGINS WITH STAGE 1-PERMENOPAUSE
Women can start experiencing some hormonal changes happening in their body around the age of 35, but more commonly it starts in the early 40's.
The bad news? This process can be a long journey to finally reach menopause, which can take up to 10 years for some women. If symptoms are intense and bothersome, this will be a difficult journey.
During this stage, your periods will start to change. You may experience short or longer cycles. You blood flow can change to heavy or light. Once your periods have about 60 days between periods then you are getting very close to menopause.
IT'S FINALLY HERE, MENOPAUSE
Stage 2 is when you actually reach menopause, which means a woman hasn't had her period of 1 year. Hormonally all your levels have officially dropped and your ovaries have retired. Some women celebrate this retirement while other women may mourn the loss. The most common age is around 51 years old.
WAIT THERE'S MORE, POSTMENOPAUSE
Some women continue to experience a variety of symptoms once she has officially reached menopause. Common symptoms are hot flashes, weight gain and muffin top, and muscle atrophy. This isn't a complete list, but you get the point that theses hormonal changes can be devastating to women.
BACKUP PLAN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The good news is that your body has a backup plan to support you with sex hormones, which comes from your adrenals glands. These tiny glands secrets tons of different kinds of hormones and will take over once your ovaries have retired.
WHAT ARE THE HORMONAL CHANGES THAT HAPPENS DURING PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE?
What makes this transition so difficult are the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormonal balances. Think of it like the tipping of the scales. If all the hormones decline in equal amounts then the symptoms would be minimal. The problem is estrogen fluctuates from rising and falling at different times throughout your cycle while progesterone and testosterone continue to gradually decline. Overall your progesterone will drop down 70-90% while estrogen and testosterone will drop about 50%.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF IMBALANCE SEXED HORMONES
Excessive Estrogen-bloating, breast tenderness, heavy periods
Low levels of Estrogen-hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, vaginal dryness, loss of bone density
Low levels of Progesterone-irregular cycles, heavy periods, longer periods
Low levels of Testosterone-fatigue, low libido, lacking motivation, urination issues
THE SCARY SIDE OF MENOPAUSE, THE HEALTH RISKS
Another downside to these hormonal changes is that it increases women's risk for osteoporosis,
heart disease, stroke, and even cancer. This is why I recommend my patients get annual checkups from your doctor, annual blood work, and bone density testing. It is best to prevent or treat very early stages verses when you are in trouble and have reached a disease state. I know you are not like car and way better, but the car analogy works. Let me explain. So if you are past due for an oil change, well it's not going to be very damaging to your car or costly. But what if your check engine light is on and it's been on for a while? You know something is majorly wrong with your car and this is going to cost you. Proactive is the best action!
MONST COMMON MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS AT ALL 3 STAGES
Please keep in mind that have moderate to severe symptoms isn't normal. It should be a smooth transition like just like our periods. Healthy periods don't cause PMS, cramping, or bleeding issues. The same goes for menopause and is indicating imbalances happening in the body that require help.
Women can experience a long list of symptoms as the hormones fluctuate and keep in mind this list complete.
Irritability and anger
Mood changes like depression or anxiety
Hair loss or thinning
Bone loss (osteoporosis)
Low libido or excessive libido
Urination issues-high frequency, dribbling, night time urination
Spotting between periods
Atrophy of muscles
HOW IS MENOPAUSE DIAGNOSED?
Testing is not common practice and is your doctor will base on your menstrual history, symptoms, and age. Occasionally, your thyroid might be tested since it effects your hormones. Some alternative medical providers will conduct a thorough hormonal blood panel.
HOW DOES WESTERN MEDICINE TREAT MENOPAUSE?
Western Medicine approaches menopause with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatments like taking estrogen and progestins that can come in forms like patches, creams, or pills. Mood disorders are generally treated with Antidepressant medications. Gabapentin, anti-seizure medication is commonly prescribed for hot flashes. It is important that you if you choose this route that you learn about the side effects when taking these types of treatments. Always ask yourself do the benefits out weigh risks? Excessive amounts of estrogen and HRT are linked to cancer. So it is VERY important you do your own research and stay up to date on risks, side effects, and research.
WHAT IF THERE WAS ANOTHER WAY TO NATURALLY AND SAFELY TREAT MENOPAUSE?
CHINESE MEDICINE TO THE RESCUE!
If you are looking for safer and effective form of treatment without side effects and actually improve your health and naturally balance your hormones then you are in the right place.
Why not treat your ovaries and endocrine system to make all the hormones it needs?
When it comes to menopause, I treat your glands and endocrine system as a whole so your body can regulate its' hormones and optimize hormone production so you don't have all these horrible symptoms. Your body is always trying to be in balance and knows how to make the required hormones.
This is a different approach compared to Western Medicine where they focus on specific hormones instead of treating the glands and endocrine system.
Chinese Medicine views menopause as symptoms related to branch issues and not a disease. These symptoms are check engine lights that are on and flashing that there are imbalances that need to addressed. Menopause should be a smooth transitions if your body is healthy and organ systems are working optimally. As an Eastern Medical Practitioner, I uncover the root cause that is related to causing all the branch symptoms. This is why Chinese Medicine should be the first choice when it comes to treating menopause.
In Chinese Medicine, women have a 7 year reproductive cycle meaning that there are hormonal changes every 7 years. Hormones are viewed a fine balance between Yin and Yang.
Yang hormones are energizing and metabolic related to testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid
Yin hormones are the cooling and moistening hormones like progesterone, serotonin, and melatonin
HOW DOES CHINESE MEDICINE TREAT PERIMENOPAUSE AND MENOPAUSE?
In Chinese Medicine we offer a variety of tools that brings balance with your body, mind, and spirit.
Acupuncture can used to balance hormones, regulate hormone production, support liver to detoxify hormones, support adrenal glands, reduce symptoms, stimulate calming and happy hormones to stabilize your mood.
Chinese Herbal formulas are prescribed based your Chinese Medical diagnosis to support your body in regulating hormones and reducing symptoms.
Nutrition Therapy is important at this phase since your body is going to require different needs than say when you were in your 30's. We address the types of you are eating, customize foods that will optimize your health and hormones, and how you prepare your foods.
Lifestyle choices can positively or negatively impact how your hormones like stress, work life, physical activity, and wellbeing.
Ear Seed Therapy is a type of acupressure technique where seeds are placed on varies acupuncture points on the body to stimulate the nervous system.
The good news is that I help women all over the country using everything minus acupuncture and get them lasting relief. Telehealth is a virtual service where we have consultations and I customize recommendations using some of the about services.
In this blog, I hope you have a better grasp that it is your hormones that is causing you to not feel like yourself and that is normal. I also hope you understand that severe symptoms and suffering isn't normal and that help is here for you. Why not have a smooth transition as you approach a new chapter in your life.
If you would like to learn more how Chinese Medicine can help you have smooth menopause, I would like to offer you a FREE a Smooth Menopause Consultation. We discuss more about your needs and if Chinese Medicine is a right option for you. Please call me at 919.726.6540 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you a VIBRANT LIFE!
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Stacy Spence, LAc. MSOM
RESEARCH FOR YOU REGARDING CHINESE MEDICINE AND MENOPAUSE