Menopause occurs when women stop having periods. In the years before menopause officially occurs, women might have symptoms due to hormonal changes. Common symptoms associated with approaching menopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, and sleep problems. Some women also have mood swings, weight gain, vaginal dryness, dry skin, and night sweats. In some cases, these symptoms are mild and don’t interfere with daily activities. However, symptoms can become severe enough to affect a woman’s quality of life overall.
Menopause usually occurs as the body ages and the ovaries begin producing lower amounts of estrogen and progesterone. The chance of successfully conceiving also decreases as women get closer to menopause, which occurs when they’re in their 40s and 50s. Other causes of menopause include having a hysterectomy and undergoing radiation or chemotherapy.
Although menopause is a natural change, it can put women at risk of serious complications. After menopause occurs, women have a higher risk of developing medical conditions, such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Some women also experience urinary incontinence, weight gain due to a slower metabolism, and problems with sexual function due to vaginal dryness.
Since menopause occurs naturally, it can’t be stopped or prevented. Instead, treatment involves easing symptoms by increasing hormone levels and preventing complications from happening. Dr. Wilkie offers a few different types of treatments for menopause, including bioidentical hormones, supplements, and food elimination. Bioidentical hormones help restore healthy amounts of estrogen and progesterone, with a lower risk of experiencing adverse reactions or side effects. These hormones can help lower the risk of osteoporosis, reduce hot flashes and mood swings, improve sleep, and relieve vaginal dryness. Dr. Wilkie might also have patients take supplements that help support healthy bones and supplements that provide women who are menopausal with the right amount of nutrients to stay healthy. For some women, making dietary changes also helps relieve menopause symptoms. Dr. Wilkie helps patients create a food elimination diet to ease symptoms, which might involve eliminating foods that patients have been shown to be sensitive to, such as soy and sugar, among other things.
To learn more about naturopathic treatments for menopause, please contact Vanessa D. Wilkie, ND.
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