Did you know that in the US, the average age of menopause is 51 BUT peri-menopause can last 10 years! Symptoms range from the usual things most of us associate with menopause like, hot flashes, night sweats and being more emotional to the more obscure things like increased belly fat, brain fog and anxiety with disrupted sleep patterns.
Women often get shuffled from specialist to specialist when they start to feel these symptoms coming on. It usually starts with a visit to your primary care doc, who will check your thyroid levels and then tell you “everything is fine” and refer you to your OB/GYN. Often the answer you get there is that you are getting older and here is an antidepressant.
As a naturopathic physician who thinks holistically, this is very sad because all of this is, thyroid and hormones, are part of the endocrine system and it all works together!
The naturopathic approach is to get bloodwork so we can see how the hormones and thyroid are functioning and then treat appropriately. Treatment approaches vary from bioidentical hormones to supplements and botanical medicine. Some women aren’t candidates for hormone therapy due to history of breast cancer or simply personal preference but there are still great options to optimize your health and alleviate your symptoms without hormones.