Natural alternatives for the Menopause
As an experienced Acupuncturist and Functional Medicine Practitioner, I have found that combining acupuncture with nutritional, supplements and lifestyle advice may provide natural effective relief from some of the numerous symptoms from hormonal imbalance such as the menopause/perimenopause.
is it menopause or Perimenopause?
Perimenopause can start in your early 40s, Hot flushes, insomnia, mood swings and very heavy periods. This is not the menopause, this could still be another decade away, this is the Perimenopause. The word Menopause is often used instead of perimenopause. Menopause is a time of low ostrogen, were as perimenopause is a time of oestrogen roller coaster, a time when you can have more ostrogen than you have had before. It is actually a time of low progesterone.
Perimenopause can last between 2 and 12 years. Menopause is the life phase that begins 1 year after your last period, when most of these symptoms calm down.
What are the symptoms of perimenopause?
There are a number of symptoms attributed to perimenopause according to the Canadian endocrinologist Jerilynn Prior such as:
- Onset of heavy and/or longer periods
- shorter cycles (less than 25 days)
- New sore, swollen or lumpy breasts
- New mid-sleep waking
- increased menstrual cramps
- onset of night sweats particular just before periods
- new/increase migraines
- new/increase premenstrual mood swings
- weight gain without changes in exercise or eating patterns
- These changes can come on quite quickly
- All the above symptoms(especially brain fog/poor concentration) can look like Thyroid issues, it couldbe either or both, so please get your thyroid checked (26% of perimenopausal women have autoimmune thyroid disease) Get a comprehensive thyroid test here
Menopause- Life after periods
Menopause can be difficult for some, but often its the perimenopause/ transition period that’s troublesome. Often menopause can be easy and some women may not require treatment.
During this phase you have much less oestrogen and progesterone, but your body does produce small amounts from your ovaries, adrenal glands and from inside your cells from the precursor hormone DHEA.
In certain conditions such as Premature or surgical menopause HRT will be required.
Menopause symptoms due to low oestrogen:
- Hot flushes
- vaginal dryness
- reduce libido
- painful intercourse
- increased bladder infection/leaking urine
- pelvic prolaps
- weight gain
The types of treatment required depends at which phase you are in Perimenpause will focus on supporting progesterone and menopause may need oestrogen support.
Many women are offered Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to ease their symptoms by their doctors. Some women prefer a more natural approach or they may not be able to take HRT due to previous medical history. This can be very effective, but I would always recommend you request body-identical (Bio-identical) forms of HRT (less side affects)
Using acupuncture, supplements along with a changes in your diet and life style can help to relieve the symptoms of hormonal imbalance of the perimenopause/menopause.
If you interested to find out how I can help with Perimenopause/Menopause in Leigh on Sea, Essex or the London Area and want an appointment telephone 07949407336 or email me.