Known for its life-changing symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain and sleep problems, Menopause is a naturally-occurring mid-life transition out of a woman’s childbearing years.
Menopause is something every woman must confront eventually, but no woman should have to face it alone. We are here to help! Call Water’s Edge Natural Medicine in Seattle, WA at (206) 966-4522 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.
Technically, a woman is considered to be in Menopause when she has not menstruated for 12 months in a row. Menopause normally occurs around age 50 on average, but its onset can range from 40 to 60. It is defined as the stage of life when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and menstruation ceases.
Hormone changes – particularly a reduction in estrogen production – prompt a gradual or abrupt cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycles, marking the end of her reproductive phase. These hormonal changes can be the source of troublesome symptoms that diminish a woman’s quality of life – and can profoundly impact a woman’s health.
As women age into midlife, they naturally transition from their fertile, childbearing years into the stage of Menopause. Sexual hormones are the chemical messengers that play a key role in this transition. Estrogen—a hormone made in the ovaries—is thought to be one hormone especially reduced by menopause. As estrogen levels fall, many of the telltale symptoms of Menopause begin to emerge. Other hormones that may decline include progesterone and testosterone.
Menopause can result from other causes – from damage to or removal of the ovaries, as well as hysterectomy that includes removal of the ovaries, certain medical conditions like cancer, especially if it involves radiation and chemotherapy, or specific types of injury. Primary ovarian insufficiency – with its low levels of hormone production – can also lead to premature Menopause.
While this change is for many women a bittersweet milestone, it can also deliver an onslaught of unpleasant symptoms. There are a wide range of symptoms that could signal Menopause, and each individual may experience a different array or combination of symptoms. Symptoms of Menopause
In perimenopause - the period leading up to menopause - common symptoms can include:
As a woman’s body settles into full Menopause, there are certain health concerns that may arise because of these changes that are occurring, especially reduced estrogen. Post-menopausal women are at high risk, for example, of developing osteoporosis and heart disease. Evidence of bone loss (e.g., loss of height, low bone mineral density, or bone fractures) or emerging cardiovascular issues should be watched closely. Balancing your hormones can play a crucial role in preventing these diseases.
There are also problematic cosmetic concerns that arise from collagen loss, hair loss or dry, brittle skin. The health concerns of post-menopausal women require a precise balancing of the hormones as they shift. It is a very specialized type of expertise and care that is required to address all of the issues that arise from Menopause.
At Water’s Edge Natural Medicine, we take your physical as well as emotional symptoms into consideration in order to create a treatment plan designed for you. We recommend you compile a complete list of your symptoms, medical conditions and medications before your first consultation. We will review your medical history, lifestyle factors, current medications and other health concerns. The course of treating Menopause and its symptoms will vary with each individual patient.
Generally, a first-line approach to treating Menopause and its symptoms involves hormone testing to optimize your hormone levels. With Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), we can rebalance any hormonal deficiency you may be experiencing. BHRT estrogen can be delivered as transdermal cream on the arms or thighs, or in the case of vaginal dryness, intravaginal bioidentical estrogen. BHRT progesterone can be delivered as a cream or capsule. We will discuss your individualized BHRT protocol in detail, including treatment duration, possible side effects, dosing, and a timeline for when you can expect to see effects.
There are a myriad of other approaches to counteract the changes in your body the onset of Menopause may trigger. Certain lifestyle modifications may be helpful, as well as a medical nutrition plan to optimize female hormonal balance, targeted vitamins, supplements or IV vitamin therapy, identifying and addressing food allergies and sensitivities, as well as environmental allergies that may be contributing to hormonal imbalance. Herbal remedies and acupuncture may also be good choices for you.
A medical weight loss plan, together with a customized movement regimen that is appropriate for your physical condition could help counter the weight gain that is commonly experienced during Menopause. PRP facial rejuvenation and Endymed skin tightening and body contouring treatments could combat the breakdown of collagen and sagging skin and wrinkles that come with Menopause.
If you are struggling with Menopause, working with a doctor who understands the complexity of female reproductive health and changing hormones is essential. At Water’s Edge Natural Medicine, we offer the most up-to-date and comprehensive testing and treatment to bring renewed health and freedom from the troubling symptoms of Menopause.
If you are struggling with the symptoms of Menopause and have questions, we invite you to reach out to us. We’re here for you, every step of the way, and happy to answer any questions you may have about your symptoms and our methods to restore balance and bring you back to your best self.
Water's Edge Natural Medicine
1000 2nd Ave, Suite 2920
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 966-4522
Fax: (206) 283-1924
Serving patients in Seattle, WA and the surrounding King and Snohomish County communities including: Queen Anne, Mercer Island, Medina, Bellevue, Redmond, Snohomish, Kirkland, Edmonds.
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