Think you might be experiencing early menopause, or just want to be prepared for when the first hot flash strikes you? We're here with Jolene Brighten, N. D. to talk about symptoms, prevention, and treatment for menopause.
When is menopause supposed to start?
Menopause begins when your menstrual cycle has been absent for at least a year. Your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone - two hormones needed for fertility.
Typically, this stage launches itself for most women when they're in their mid to late 40s. The average age is 51.
Although menopause usually begins in the late 40s, it can start much earlier. The first red flag of early menopause includes irregular periods, followed by low energy levels and difficulty sleeping. Symptoms can be vast and early menopause can make them feel even more intense. Women report experiencing
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Having to urinate often
- Sexual dysfunction
- Joint pain
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood swings
What causes early menopause?
According to Jolene, "anything that compromises your estrogen production or damages your ovaries could result in early menopause." Her list of potential triggers includes
- Autoimmune disorders
- Adrenal Insufficiency
- Infections including mumps and tuberculosis
- Enzyme deficiencies
- Metabolic syndromes
- Early menarche (getting your first period before you turn 11)
- Genetics (if your mom had early menopause, you probably will too)
- Radiation and chemotherapy (these can be reversible and your ovary may resume ovulation and menstruation after one year of amenorrhea)
What can be done about early menopause?
If you believe you are going through menopause, visit your doctor! Find a specialist and work on creating a protocol together that's right for you.
You may undergo a variety of different treatments to restore hormonal balance and reduce the miserable symptoms of menopause. However, your plan can be as simple as eliminating processed foods from your diet.
Jolene created a hormone reset program to help women kick-start their journeys to breaking free from unwanted symptoms. She also found these strategies to be effective in reducing or eliminating symptoms.
- Find a healthy weight and stick to it
- Consume a healthy diet
- Eat estrogen-replenishing foods
- Find an exercise plan and stick to it
- Manage stress
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine
- Drink plenty of water
- Keep your brain active
Along with following these methods, Jolene suggests visiting a therapist may also be helpful in working through the physical and mental changes menopause can cause.
Menopause can be scary, but you don't have to suffer through hot flashes and other uncomfortable symptoms. Consult with a specialist to get yourself the care you deserve!