Typically there are no simple answers for the underlying causes of some women’s menopausal symptoms but women should know that there is absolutely no requirement for hormone replacement therapy regardless of signs or symptoms, if they do not wish to use these therapies. Unfortunately, life is often the complicating factor and the truth is that symptoms and conditions associated with hormonal imbalance in menopause are a clear indication of a stress imbalance in life. Now don’t get me wrong. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy are a wonderful and likely safe choice for short-term treatment. I prescribe these therapies everyday in my practice, but along with the prescription comes a discussion around the long-term risks associated with these therapies.
The true focus of treatment in women experiencing hormonal imbalance needs to centre around stress reduction and adrenal support. The adrenal glands (or stress glands) take over hormone production at menopause. The simple fact is that the more stress you are under the more difficult of a time your adrenal glands have producing all of the required hormones that the body needs. In essence, you produce what you need first and unfortunately the sex hormones are not at the top of the list anymore. This doesn’t mean you cannot move those sex hormones back into top priority. It just takes time and patience, along with stress reduction, lifestyle education, dietary changes and possibly adrenal support.
I often encourage people to have a salivary hormone panel, including multiple day evaluations of estradiol, estriol and estrone levels, along with progesterone, DHEAS and a morning and afternoon cortisol. Depending on the results of this testing, it may very well be that a hormone imbalance may require a short course of bioidentical hormone replacement. The transition of sex hormone production from the ovarian glands to the adrenal glands during menopause can be difficult, which is why reducing your levels of stress are very important. A simple regime of caffeine, spicy food, and alcohol avoidance, along with two tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds per day in GMO free soy milk can be a very helpful to start.