I’m estrogen deficient – Now what?
The final post on the series of blogs focusing on estrogen, explores the process of menopause in a woman’s body.
Menopause can be defined as permanent cessation of ovarian function and menses for 12 consecutive months.
The changes that occur at this time stem mostly from the decreased production of estrogen by the ovaries. The ovaries however, still continue to produce small amounts of the male hormone testosterone, which can be converted to estrogen (estradiol) in body fat. The adrenal glands, which prior to menopause are largely responsible for making stress hormones, continue to produce androstenedione (a male hormone), which is converted to estrone and estradiol in the body fat.
The adrenal glands as we know function to produce our stress hormones (more on stress check out this post) so often if you are under stress in other aspects of your life, menopausal symptoms will be aggrevated.
The typical symptoms that can be associated with menopause and the years leading up are are menstrual irregularities, hot flashes, night sweats, and symptoms relating to vaginal atrophy. Additional symptoms may include urinary problems, sleep disturbances, thinning of scalp hair, and psychological symptoms.
Well documented changes that occur at menopause is changes to bone density. Estrogen, particularly estridiol is responsible for activating enzymes the prevent the break down of bone.
After menopause a women’s risk for cardiovascular disease parallels that of men. Estrogen prior to menopause is protective due to the benefits it provides including:
- Increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind)
- Decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
- Relaxes, smooths and dilates blood vessels so blood flow increases
Looking at all this information, may seem overwhelming, but this time of change is an excellent time to reassess, put the focus on you, your health, and what your next stage of life will bring.
Naturopathic Medicine provides a holistic focus on health. Supportive therapies range from acupuncture for hormone balancing, supplementation to ensure bone mineral balance, to botanicals for hot flashes.
Contact me for your FREE 15 minute consult, to find out how Naturopathic Medicine can work for you. Contact CLICK HERE.The information provided is not to replace a visit with a health care provider, but for educational purposes only.