A woman’s transition to menopause can be one of the most difficult times in her life. Symptoms of this transition can be very vague for some women to paralyzing in others. The timing of the this transition varies from one woman to another as well. For many women the transition to menopause may be marked by symptoms for years beginning in her mid forties lasting until the menstruation stops. Other women report brief periods of symptoms beginning at age 50 or so.
Symptoms of this transition can include: mood swings, irritability, difficulty sleeping, night sweats, hot ﬂashes, weight gain, changes in libido, vaginal dryness, brain “fog”, food and sugar cravings, fatigue, muscle weakness, body aches, headaches, and more.
The human body is a perfectly orchestrated machine involving an extremely complex web of hormones that allows one system in our body to communicate with others. Sometimes, because of our lifestyle choices, diet, medications, stressors and environment these hormones become imbalanced. The sex hormones, meaning estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are just one set of hormones that may become imbalanced as we age. It is very important in establishing true balance in the body not to overlook this miraculous interconnectedness of all hormones. When assessing sex hormones we will also look at their effect on the other hormone systems in the body. It is unrealistic to think that we can replace one hormone at a time without tracking its effect on other systems.
With respect to the complexity of the hormone “web” in our bodies, a complete evaluation should include all of the following systems:
Balanced Well-Being Healthcare will look specifically at:
- Thyroid hormones: specific testing beyond the usual TSH, will include measures of FT3, FT4, thyroid antibodies, and RT3.
- Sex hormones: we will look at estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone level.
- Adrenal function: we will look “upstream” to make sure precursors to sex hormones are intact, and we will measure DHEA, pregnenolone and cortisol levels.
Once a baseline physical and laboratories are complete, we will formulate a treatment plan. It is very important to remember that not everyone needs “hormone replacement”. Hormonal balancing is not “one size ﬁts all” plan. Every women is uniquely different in her environmental and genetic makeup. Each woman has different symptoms and intensity of symptoms. Only a small percent of women will likely need sex hormone replacement. Let’s look ﬁrst at other systems, address nutritional and lifestyle factors and then journey forward to create a treatment plan speciﬁcally suited to you and your personal needs! Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation!