Menopause is a natural function of aging, one that can be approached with an appreciation for life and anticipation of its next stage. Many healthy women view it as an age of self-discovery and a time of renewal.
However, aging well requires attention, prevention, and proper care. Of particular concern to women in menopause or perimenopause is estrogen dominance, a condition that can have serious consequences for one’s health but that is also treatable.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main sex hormones. Although they both exist in both men and women, they are normally present in different proportions in the two sexes. Even in healthy individuals, these proportions change at different stages of life. Change outside of certain parameters, however, can cause health problems.
Estrogen dominance occurs when the body produces too much estrogen or not enough progesterone to balance it. It is often associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a treatment to mitigate some of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. But it can also be caused by environmental factors, such as eating meat that has been injected with hormones, or exposure to chemicals that the body confuses with estrogen.
In order to avoid serious health problems that it can trigger, an awareness of the symptoms of estrogen dominance is imperative. These include bloating, hair loss, trouble sleeping, decreased sex drive, and irregular periods.
Weight gain is common during menopause, and especially when a woman is struggling with estrogen dominance. But estrogen dominance is associated with many other serious problems including allergies, memory loss, mood swings, gall bladder disease, headaches, fatigue, osteoporosis, fibrocystic breasts and ovaries, heart disease, and diabetes.
It is not only older women who should be concerned. Men can experience estrogen dominance, the causes of which are increasingly responsible. It can also affect younger women, in whom it can lead to infertility.
The symptoms of estrogen dominance are real and can be uncomfortable, and the condition can lead to serious conditions with dangerous consequences. However, it can be detected with simple blood that helps your doctor make a diagnosis. If you notice symptoms of estrogen dominance, it is essential to talk to a health professional and to obtain a diagnosis.
There are medications to treat the imbalance, as well as lifestyle changes that can ameliorate the effects. A diet that’s appropriate for an aging adult is important. Increasing fiber in your diet (like adding a handful of flax seeds to your morning smoothie) and choosing organic foods whenever possible are simple things you can do right now.
With offices in San Mateo, Lafayette, Santa Cruz and Monterey, Evolved Medical specializes in achieving and maintaining patients’ optimum health through hormone balancing therapies. Contact us for a consultation, and make menopause one of the most fulfilling, productive, and energetic periods of your life.