What is Menopause? It is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as happening 12 months after your last menstrual period.
In Peri-menopause it is the mirror image of puberty with hormonal shifts and can take 6-10 years.
There are several hormones involved at this time.
In natural menopause, the first hormonal changes that occur is a gradual decline in levels of progesterone- while oestrogen levels stay the same or even increase.
These hormones are meant to counterbalance each other throughout the menstrual cycle, with one falling while the other one rises, an overall decline in progesterone allows oestrogen levels to go unopposed that is without the usual counterbalance.
The result is excess of oestrogen a condition called oestrogen dominance.
If you have experienced uncomfortable symptoms at this time it is because your body can sense and tries to adjust to that of oestrogen excess.
Oestrogen excess is also made worse by high insulin and stress hormones, as you move through menopause your progesterone continues to decline and then your oestrogen levels start to go haywire, these oestrogen highs happen because the ovaries have let entire groups of follicles to grow and mature during successive menstrual cycles instead of one at a time as though attempting to spend the remaining eggs.
Your progesterone decline occurs as fewer of the maturing eggs actually complete the entire ovulation process.
Levels of FSH follicle stimulating hormone and LH luteinizing hormone which the pituitary gland in the brain normally releases in the correct amounts to stimulate controlled follicular growth and ovulation become erratic as your ovaries start to skip ovulation.
Closer we get to menopause, hormonal levels start to stabilize, and FSH and LH levels smooth out and climb up where they stay for rest of your life.
Symptoms of decreased progesterone and oestrogen dominance are
• Decreased sex drive
• Irregular or otherwise abnormal periods most likely excessive bleeding
• Bloating and water retention
• Breast swelling and tenderness
• Mood swings , irritability, and depression
• Weight gain especially around the middle
• Cold hands and feet
Our bodies are well equipped to deal with hormonal changes but if you are under a lot of stress, overworked,
if your diet is not giving you the right nutrition to meet your body’s needs, and eat a highly processed type diet,
If you do little or no exercise
if you are physically ill or you smoke or drink too much.
If you avoid spiritual needs like time out for meditation or some yoga
if you are in a relationship that you put more into but get less out of, then your demands on your endocrine system will be diminished and will remain so until you address some of these issues.
If you do not make efforts to address these the result may be a highly stressed midlife transition, giving you symptoms
• Hot flashes
• Fading libido
• Mood swings inability to cope
• Sleep problems
• Serious illness
A healthy body is made in a way to produce all the hormones you need throughout your life, you have to make sure you do your best to look after it.
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