Introduction to Menopause and Fatigue
The onset of menopause signals the ending of a woman’s reproductive cycle. Menopause actually begins after the women’s last period. This event marks the culmination of several years of peri-menopausal changes during which hormones secreted by the ovaries (estrogen and progesterone) gradually decline. Peri- and menopausal symptoms vary considerably from person to person. Asians are known to have few to no symptoms other than irregular menses. Western women, however, have much higher incidences of body changes such as hot flashes, night sweats, reduced libido, forgetfulness, heart palpitations, loss of bladder control, frequent urination, and joint pains, to name a few. For some, these symptoms are like a “living hell.” All women go through menopause. There is no escape for anyone from menopause and fatigue. What can you do to pass through this life stage in the most comfortable and protective manner?
Effects of Menopause and Fatigue
Once menopause arrives, the body’s internal production of estrogen and progesterone stops. Women can no longer depend on their own body to produce these two hormones to protect themselves against osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The result of their health can be devastating.
Symptoms of Menopause and Fatigue
Symptoms: fatigue, night sweats, mood swings, depression, hot flashes, sagging breast, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, fibrocystic lumps, night sweats, painful intercourse, memory problems.
This hormone imbalance is most common in menopausal women; especially if you are petite and/or slim.
Solution: Progesterone is a biochemical precursor to estrogen. Progesterone cream alone is sufficient to restore estrogen balance and relief many of the symptoms. If after 3 months of progesterone cream, proper diet, nutritional supplementation of magnesium and B6 do not relieve the symptoms, then low-dose natural estrogen may be considered. 2.5 mg of natural tri-estrogen cream (10% estrone, 10% estradiol, and 80% estriol) provides the equivalent action of 0.625 conjugated estrogen such as Premarin. Herbs like black cohosh have a weak estrogenic effect and may be considered as well.
Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density, leading to fractures. Post-menopausal women low in estrogen have a 25% chance of serious bone loss and fracture. The lifetime risk of hip fracture approaches 30% for those afflicted with osteoporosis, resulting in the loss of independent living. Many will die from their injuries.
Estrogen increases pliability of blood vessels, lowers “bad” LDL-cholesterol, increases “good” HDL-cholesterol, and decreases platelet aggregation that leads to blood clots. These protective properties of estrogen result in pre-menopausal women having a lower risk of heart disease than either man or post-menopausal women. Post-menopausal women are just as vulnerable to heart disease as men of the same age. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women over 45 years of age.
HRT – Gambling with Cancer
The solution for overcoming menopausal symptoms appears simple – Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This has been a widely accepted practice for the past 40 years.
Studies and clinical experience have repeatedly shown that HRT using the widely prescribed estrogen Premarin® and progesterone Provera® does alleviate the symptoms of menopause and fatigue while protecting against heart disease and osteoporosis. The bad news is that they also increase the risk of some forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian, and uterine.
Simply put, the millions of women worldwide who have chosen to say “yes” to HRT in the past 40 years are gambling on feeling better immediately from menopause and fatigue, having an increased risk of cancer at age 60, a reduced risk of heart attack at 70, and a reduced chance of hip fracture at age 80.
Alternatives to HRT for Menopause and Fatigue
What if you want HRT but not the associated increased risk of cancer that comes along with it? Are there other options?
Some doctors are proposing Natural treatment alternatives, using a different form of replacement hormone for menopause and fatigue. These doctors theorize that the increased cancer risk associated with conventional HRT arises from its failure to use the natural form of the hormones, estrogen, and progesterone.
Specifically, these doctors postulate that the hormones currently used in HRT have mismatched molecules. The commonly used estrogen preparation Premarin® is made from horse urine (equine based), so the molecular structure is slightly different from the natural form found in women’s bodies. Furthermore, the hormones in Premarin® are “unbalanced” in that the ratio of the estrogen combination, estrone/estradiol/estriol is different from the ratio found in humans. click here to investigate