By definition, women are said to be in menopause when they have gone one full year without a menstrual cycle. In women, the ovaries produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone which control different processes in a woman’s body including her menses. As a woman approaches menopause, she makes less and less of these hormones.
Due to these changes in hormones, women can experience irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, depression, mood disturbance, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease as they go through this change in life. These physical, emotional and hormonal changes usually take place between the ages of 45 and 55 years.
Women will also experience these physical and emotional symptoms during other periods of hormonal shifts; starting at puberty, with each monthly cycle, through changes of season, postpartum and finally into menopause. Symptoms are a signal to us from our bodies that something needs to be addressed. Hints our bodies are giving us regarding unresolved issues and deeper needs within us that are not being met.
Heeding our body’s inner wisdom and listening to these issues as they arise can prevent symptoms from escalating as we get older.
QUESTIONS TO ASK TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE IN BALANCE
Are we doing things that give us joy in our lives? Do we know what our purpose is and are we pursuing that? Are we finding true, authentic connection? To ourselves? To nature? To others?
Naturopathic medicine allows people to maximize health, minimize reliance on prescription drugs, and take active steps toward longer, healthier lives.