Peri-menopause means ‘around menopause’ – so if you are in your mid 40’s or even late 30’s and starting to have new hormonal symptoms… it’s probably peri-menopause. Naturopathic medicine can be extremely helpful when dealing with any of these hormonal symptoms, which typically last for 2-5 years.
Symptoms of Peri-Menopause:
Irregular cycles/Heavy menstrual bleeding
Hot flashes/ night sweats
Depression/ mood swings
Changes in sex drive
Changes in vaginal tissue and bladder
Natural Solutions for Peri-Meopause
Naturopathic Support. There are many ways naturopathic medicine can help with peri-menopause. A personalized nutrition and vitamin regime is typically recommended for every patients, with these additional considerations for hormone balancing:
A Good Lab Work-up: There are excellent tests available to assess all the hormone pathways, either through blood testing at the local lab or a comprehensive urine test. In peri-menopause there can be involvement with the female hormones, male hormones, adrenals, thyroid as well as blood sugar regulation, so it’s important to get a good baseline before starting treatment.
Progesterone Support: Progesterone is a wonderful balancing hormone that starts to decline in a woman’s late 30’s/ early 40’s, typically before the decline of estrogen. This can cause an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone, and is thought to be the cause of many peri-menopausal symptoms. Progesterone is calming, helps with sleep, increases metabolism, and can help with heavy periods. Herbs that support progesterone, as well as bio-identical progesterone, are two important therapies for peri-menopause.
Liver and Digestion: A healthy digestive system is one of the foundations of good hormonal health, by decreasing inflammation in the body and maximizing nutrient absorption. If there is the possibility of an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the gut it is important to address this with testing and treatment.
Adrenal Support: The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol and DHEA, often referred to as our stress hormones. After menopause, they also take over the job of producing the female hormones. If the adrenals have to make huge amounts of stress hormones, they may not be able to keep up with the demand for female hormones. Therapies to support the adrenals; including nutrition and herbal medicine, can be very helpful to not only deal with the stress response but to also decrease menopausal symptoms.