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Category Archives: Menopause
Menopause&Your Menopause TypeMenopause is a time of transition and change in a womans life that results in permanent ending of reproductive fertility and the end of monthly menstrual cycles. This change typically occurs when a woman is in her late 40s to early 50s. By definition, menopause is recognized when a woman hasn't menstruated for 12 months. If a woman misses a few periods, then has a period, then menopause is not considered to have taken place until 12 months after that last period. The hormonal changes that occur with menopause can be different in each woman. In some women estrogen levels drop dramatically, in other women the estrogen drop is not as severe and may actually stay adequate enough to be beneficial for the rest of the womans life. The same can occur with progesterone, it may become quite low, or it may remain adequate enough to be of benefit to the woman even though she will no longer have the higher amounts of progesterone that happen in the second half of the month. Likewise, testosterone levels can become low. In some women the testosterone can actually become elevated. These different possibilities of hormone changes were first presented in my book Discover Your Menopause Type. Before discussing the different types, lets focus on the transition and change. Perimenopause is the time around menopause. It includes the 12 months that have to pass before we can say that menopause has taken place. In addition, it can also include those years leading up to menopause where symptoms related to menopause start to appear. During perimenopause a woman may start to experience hot flashes, night sweats, changes in sleep, mood changes or other symptoms for over a year or even years - before her menses even starts to change. During this time of transition, hormone production and hormone function is very variable. Months of severe symptoms may be followed by months that are symptom free. The menses can become quite irregular, with some cycles becoming shorter and some becoming longer. So during perimenopause a woman who has always had 28 day cycles may start to have shorter cycles and or longer cycles. Perimenopause can last from as little as the 12 months required to make the determination that menopause has actually taken place as long as five years of irregular cycles and fluctuating symptoms. A woman is in perimenopause until she has not menstruated for 12 months. The various possibilities of hormone changes typically become more evident during perimenopause. For instance, some women start to notice the increasing testosterone and will have acne and oily skin appear, while others experience a dramatic drop of testosterone and experience decreased motivation and a loss of libido. The perimenopause is when the uniqueness of hormonal changes becomes manifest. It is the time to start using the protocols based on each Menopause Type.
Postmenopause is 12 months after the last menstrual cycle. So, if it has been 12 months and one day since her last menses, then a woman is, by definition, postmenopause. Menopause is what happened 12 months ago. She can now say, I went through menopause a year ago. A postmenopause woman can still experience hot flashes, night sweats, changes in sleep, mood changes or other symptoms for many years after menopause has occurred. The intensity of symptoms will vary depending upon which hormones changed, and how much those hormones have changed. It is very important that a woman identify which hormone changes have taken place and what her new hormone pattern is. Does she still have enough progesterone, but low estrogen and low testosterone? Different hormone changes are associated with different symptoms and different risks for disease. The hormone patterns that occur will have an effect on a womans health and quality of life for the rest of her life. My book Discover Your Menopause Type was written to promote personalized and individualized care of women. A one-size-fits-all approach to menopause is never a good idea.
Personalized healthcare requires that every one-size-fits-all model be rejected. This is never truer than in menopause. By rejecting a one-size-fits-all model of menopause we are left with a new definition of menopause and a wider range of therapies. Even beyond hormones we realize that each woman has a need, and a right, to determine how she will manage her menopause. Her choices may include diet, other lifestyle choices, nutrition, herbs, etc. By recognizing that each woman has a different hormone needs, as well as different nutritional needs, we redefine menopause and the management of menopause as follows:
"Menopause is a transition that may show up in many different ways.There are actually 12 different Menopause Types.Treat each woman according to her own Menopause Type.Treatment choices must include diet, lifestyle, nutrition,herbs, hormone precursors and natural hormones." by Joseph J. Collins, RN, ND
How much can menopause vary from woman to woman?In menopause we now recognize that some women may have low estradiol, while others continue to always have adequate amounts of estradiol. We also recognize that while some women truly are deficient in progesterone, other women continue to always have adequate amounts of progesterone. We also realize that while some women have testosterone deficiency, and others have adequate amounts of testosterone, there are some women who have excessive testosterone levels. These various patterns are discussed in Discover Your Menopause Type. These patterns can persist into the seventh decade of life and beyond.
In menopause there are a number of possibilities:
Estradiol & progesterone are both adequate. Estradiol is deficient. Progesterone is deficient. Estradiol & progesterone are both deficient.
Add to those four possibilities the fact that:
Testosterone may be normal. Testosterone may be low. Testosterone may be high.
To Discover Your Menopause Type:Take the Menopause Type Questionnairenow (free).
By reviewing the chart below, you can see the twelve Menopause Typesas well as the Hormone Specific Formulations that are best for eachMenopause Type.Click on the chart below to go to the 12 Menopause Type Protocols.
The 12 Menopause Types
The management of menopause first required recognizing what Menopause Type a woman is experiencing. Treatment choices must include diet, lifestyle, nutrition, herbs, hormone precursors and natural hormones. For herbal therapies, specific hormone health formulations can address the primary hormone imbalances of each Menopause Type. Secondary hormone health imbalances such as poor thyroid function, and/or poor insulin/glucose function can be also be addressed by hormone health formulations designed for those dysfunctions.
For more information on natural approaches to menopause and on how to cutomize treatment choices please see: Protocols for each menopause type and the protocols for specific menopause symptoms.
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Menopause Types | Your Hormones
Mood swings, short-term memory loss, and difficulty thinking straight are common complaints from midlife women. However, while many of these symptoms are attributed to menopause, there are other contributing factors to consider as well.
Hormones:During reproductive years, most women become accustomed to their own hormonal rhythm. When this rhythm is disrupted during perimenopause, mood changes may result.
Timing:The timing of menopause may coincide with a multitude of midlife stresses like relationship issues, divorce or widowhood, care of young children, struggles with adolescents, return of grown children to the home, being childless, concerns about aging parents and caregiving responsibilities, as well as career and education issues...
Twenty-five years ago, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) was founded on the principle that women like youdeserve the most scientifically accurate and up-to-date information. We are so proud to have provided the best in womens health research and education to tens of thousands of women. Hopefully, we have helped you.
We have never asked for a donation, but providing this level of support is costly. I hope you will consider helping us in any way you can.Your contribution will allow us to continue theimportant work we do to make the lives of women healthier and better.Adonation of $100 or morewill getyou a free copy of our Menopause Guidebook.
Tara Allmen, MD, FACOG, NCMP President The North American Menopause Society Foundation
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Menopause Information, About Menopause | The North ...
Treatment may include lifestyle changes or hormone therapy. Treatment depends on many factors such as:
Hormone therapy may help if you have severe hot flashes, night sweats, mood issues, or vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy is treatment with estrogen and, sometimes, progesterone.
Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Your doctor should be aware of your entire medical and family history before prescribing hormone therapy (HT).
Several major studies have questioned the health benefits and risks of hormone therapy, including the risk of developing breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots.
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of hot flashes. Specific recommendations:
To reduce the risks of estrogen therapy, your doctor may recommend:
Women who still have a uterus (that is, have not had surgery to remove it for any reason) should take estrogen combined with progesterone to prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer).
ALTERNATIVES TO HORMONE THERAPY
There are other medicines that can help with mood swings, hot flashes, and other symptoms. These include:
DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Lifestyle steps you can take to reduce menopause symptoms include:
Exercise and relaxation techniques:
Menopause: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a normal condition that all women experience as they age. The term "menopause" can describe any of the changes a woman goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating, marking the end of her reproductive period.
A woman is born with a finite number of eggs, which are stored in the ovaries. The ovaries also make the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control menstruation and ovulation. Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops.
Menopause is considered a normal part of aging when it happens after the age of 40. But some women can go through menopause early, either as a result of surgery, such as hysterectomy, or damage to the ovaries, such as from chemotherapy. Menopause that happens before 40, regardless of the cause, is called premature menopause.
Natural menopause is not brought on by any type of medical or surgical treatment. The process is gradual and has three stages:
Premature menopause can be the result of genetics, autoimmune disorders, or medical procedures. Other conditions that may cause early menopause include:
See more here:
What Is Menopause? Causes, Symptoms, What Happens
According to theNational Institute on Aging, the average onset of menopause in the United States is age 51, but the normal range is between ages 45 and 55. Some women enter this stage of life before the age of 40. This is calledpremature menopause. Many different factors can cause premature menopause, such as:
Although menopause is a completely natural stage of a womans life cycle and not a disease, a series of uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms usually accompany it. Various forms of treatment can typically lessen these symptoms.
From the time a woman begins puberty until she enters menopause, she generally has a period around the same time every month. Of course, irregular periods happen from time to time. Pregnancy and other medical conditions interrupt your period.
During the first half of a womans normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries, two glands located on either side of the uterus, produce higher levels of the hormone estrogen. This causes the lining of the uterus to thicken to prepare for possible pregnancy. An egg in one of the ovaries also starts to mature during this time.
On day 14 of a womans menstrual cycle, the mature egg is released in a process known as ovulation. After the egg is released, the ovaries make more of the hormone progesterone. If the egg is not fertilized, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, leading the body to shed the lining of the uterus. This causes a period.
As a woman approaches menopause, her ovaries produce less estrogen, which can cause irregular periods. The term menopause is defined as a womans last menstrual cycle. After a womans final period, a year without further periods confirms the permanent cessation of fertility.
Menopause is defined by three stages. These stages happen over a series of months or even years.
Perimenopause begins several years before menopause, when a woman is still having periods. A womans hormone levels may rise and fall because the ovaries are gradually producing less estrogen. This change can cause hot flashes or other symptoms. Periods will become irregular and may be shorter, longer, lighter, or heavier. This stage can last four to five years or longer, until your period stops and menopause begins. Although its possible to get pregnant during this time, its unlikely.
A woman enters menopause when it has been 12 months since her last period. At this point, her ovaries have stopped releasing eggs. Production of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone significantly decreases. This stage indicates an end to fertility.
The years following menopausal changes in a womans body are called postmenopause. During this time, symptoms like night sweats and hot flashes ease for most women.
Most women go through menopause without complications. They may experience negative symptoms, but these are normal and to be expected. While some women have an easy menopause with few side effects, others have more difficult symptoms.
Conventional and alternative treatment methods are available to lessen these symptoms and ease the transition period. There are many avenues for relief: from hormone replacement therapy to herbs and stress reduction techniques. By talking with your doctor about menopause, you can decide what, if any, treatment is right for you.
Menopause - Healthline