16 May 2013

OMG!!! Does Menopause Hell EVER End???

HotFlash300So. Your official menopause date has passed. (That’s a year after your last period, in case you’re unsure).

But Hilda Hot Flash and her evil stepsisters haven’t gotten the message. The fun rages on long after that date has come and gone.

What’s up with that??

The ability to cruise through menopause with nary a hot flash or mood swing relates to your balance of estrogen and progesterone. If the levels of these two hormones play nicely and drift down slowly, you’re likely to avoid hot flashes, night sweats and most of the other 34 symptoms of perimenopause.

Your experience can also depend on your body type. If you’re carrying extra weight, you’ll generally have fewer problems with hot flashes and night sweats because fat tissue makes estrogen. However, you may experience more problems with symptoms that relate to estrogen dominance such as mood swings, decreased sex drive, fatigue and insomnia.

There’s Good News and Bad

The good news is that many of these symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes and supplements. If your quality of life is being severely affected, hormone replacement is also an option.

Suffering is NOT required!

Now for the Bad News

Many of my readers ask if this will go on forever. For most women, hormone levels will even out and symptoms will go away…but it could take 5-10 years. For a small minority, symptoms CAN come and go well into old age, but this is not the norm. There’s no way to predict who gets what, although there is a genetic link between your experience and your mom’s. So, if you can, ask her about what she experienced.

Love up Your Lifestyle

The best place to start managing your symptoms is by making lifestyle changes. You don’t have to do them all at once. Take a baby step approach! Pick one to work on and move on to another as your new habits become part of what you do.

  • Exercise (manages cortisol which improves  estrogen/progesterone ratio)
  • Lose weight (improves estrogen dominance)
  • Avoid alcohol (alcohol increases estrogen production)
  • Manage stress (decreases cortisol; cortisol can block progesterone receptors)
  • Avoid xenoestrogens (improves estrogen dominance)
  • Eat fiber (removes estrogen and improves symptoms of dominance)

Although it is impossible to tell when your menopause symptoms will end, you can make your journey easier by making small changes. Supplements can also be helpful. Chasteberry and DIM are two that can help restore hormone balance, while herbs such as black cohosh act like estrogen in the body, thus helping with symptoms of low estrogen like hot flashes and night sweats. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying these if you have other medical conditions or a history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim parts of themselves they thought were gone forever.

Find out more about working with her at http://www.drannagarrett.com/work-with-me/.


Dr. Anna Garrett

Comments

  1. Great post, Anna. I really liked the simple explanation behind the hot flashes.

  2. […] an open line of communication and trust so that they can help steer you in the right direction. More than likely, you’ll be making some lifestyle changes. Adding healthy food choices, exercising and finding ways to manage your stress need to be […]

  3. Donna Musk Says: January 10, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Hi, I am so depressed with the menopause, I feel like hiding away, I have the flushes, feel tiered all the time, cant sleep sometimes, I have gained alot of weight, the docs wont give me hrt has this will pile more weight on me, some days I find it hard to walk with the joint pain in my body…. I feel like I am living in hell. Donna

    • Hi Donna,

      I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. HRT doesn’t always pile weight on…especially if it’s done carefully and slowly. Joint pain can be symptom of hormone imbalance as can weight gain, insomnia and hot flashes. There are plenty of things you can do on your own to help. What have you tried?

  4. kristine Says: April 12, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    hi Iam 47 years old going through primenopausal. feel like hell not sleeping,bad aniety at night night sweats no more hot flashes during the day. tired all the time.can’t take it any more. is there anything natural I can take that works. they put me on a low dose birth control. Kristine

  5. Well I’m tired of being tired 24/7 hot flashes , I’m 59 ye. And no it doesn’t go away in a year after your period. I wasn’t bad until about two yes ago. Trust me it hell in a hand basket and none of the above work. I don’t have enough energy are breath to excerise . This is very hard . Make you want to stay inside never leave home cause you can’t do anything but sit are go to bed

  6. Ps I haven’t had a cycle since 2005

  7. I feel just like you Delia…3 years post meno…horrible anxiety.

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