Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life which often passes without much notice, but which can cause some fairly uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, weight gain, dry skin, memory and cognitive difficulties, migraines, and night sweats. Many of these symptoms can be treated safely with natural, risk-free methods including bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). These hormones, which are usually dispensed as a cream applied to the skin once daily, are identical to the hormones our bodies produce. This means they act naturally and do not increase risk of heart disease, cancer, or dementia. In fact, science demonstrates that bio-identical hormones contribute to prevention of these diseases. Synthetic or unnatural hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does increase the risk of cancer and heart disease in post-menopausal women, and for this reason, has largely been discontinued. This has left a gap in treatment options for many women who are not offered effective relief for their menopausal symptoms. More importantly, natural hormone replacement has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the risk of dementia, heart disease, and cancer. Fortunately, we can now have natural hormones compounded by Pharmacists with advanced compounding training to help relieve these uncomfortable symptoms.
Menopause is defined as the cessation of menses for a 12-month period. It usually occurs between the ages of 50-55 but may occur earlier or later, with the mean age being 53.3 years. The “Climacteric” is the period leading up to menopause and may begin a decade prior to menopause. During the climacteric many women experience symptoms associated with changing hormone status, similar to the menopausal symptoms previously described. During these times in a woman’s life bio-identical hormones can provide great relief of symptoms.
Balancing hormones and improving health in general are also key to helping any woman at any age with menstrual issues including Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and painful or irregular cycles. Infertility which is an ever-increasing problem is often improved with these therapies as well.
Naturopathic Doctors treat the whole person and employ lifestyle medicine to ensure all aspects of health are addressed in a cohesive manner. Along with BHRT we address diet and nutrition, mental/emotional issues, stress management, sleep patterns, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that contribute to health. We focus on supporting wellness solutions and decreasing obstacles to optimal health. We recognize that each person is a unique individual with unique needs. By spending time with our patients and completing thorough workups including physical exams and extensive lab testing, we often can uncover hidden causes of distress that are otherwise missed.