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Menopause

A Natural Change

Today and every day, 3,500 baby boomers are pouring into the menopausal range. This is a perfect time for the writing of this self-health article because I am one of the baby boomers that is experiencing a natural internal change.  Ladies we have between one-third and one-half of our adult life ahead of us. There is no reason you have to look and feel old just because the calendar says your age has changed.  In fact, you can maintain your good looks, sharp mind and high energy well into your 40’s, 50’s 60’s and beyond.  Let’s make this time of our lives first-rate.  You are never too young or too old to protect your health.

What’s happening to my body? 

If you have already begun to experience nervousness, mood swings, heart palpitations, unusual periods and uncontrollable hot flashes, it’s time to take control.  The age of menopause has remained somewhat constant. It hovers around 51 years of age, on average.  However, menopause can occur anytime during a 10-year span called the climacteric, which is usually between 45 and 55.  Some women experience natural menopause in their 30’s, and some are known not to experience menopause and remain fertile until their 60’s, however, this is the exception to the rule.

Menopause can be a nuisance because it happens when so many other things in life are happening, it is easy to be confused about symptoms and what can be done to manage menopause.  I do not want to focus solely on menopause, but on women’s health in general and how it relates to PMS, PMDD, per-menopause and menopause.

Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) & Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)…

…are both common hormone related conditions, which typically commences ten days prior to menses and resolves with the start of menstruation.  It is most prevalent between the ages of 30 and 45 who may experience a variety of recurrent symptoms: lethargy, depression, mood swings, cramping, breast tenderness and bloating.  The major cause of this condition is poor dietary habits, lack of proper nutrition and insufficient exercise.  Essentially, it is a lifestyle-related ailment. 

Peri-Menopause…

…is the transition period from regular ovulatory cycles to menopause that usually begins around thc age of 43 approximately five to seven years before a woman’s final menses.  As estrogen levels begin to decrease in anticipation of menopause, many women experience weight gain.  Collagen production also drops with subsequent decrease in skin elasticity and dryness of mucosal surfaces.  These conditions are normal occurrences until hormonal balance has been achieved following peri-menopause.

Menopause…

…the cessation of menses, is defined as the absence of menstrual bleeding due to loss of ovarian function. The physical changes of menopause arise from hormonal changes, which may produce symptoms of vasomotor instability such as hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations and headaches until hormone levels stabilize.  It is a natural stage of life, perhaps complicated by poor lifestyle choices.



                                            Hormone Replacement Myths

Osteoporosis is an estrogen deficiency disease

NO!  Osteoporosis begins a decade or more before estrogen levels fall and accelerates for a few years at menopause. While taking estrogen can slow bone loss, its effects wear off within a few years following menopause.  It is excess protein in the form of meat and dairy products that contribute to bone loss; a pH (acid/alkaline) imbalance is created in the blood causing the body to pull calcium from the bones in an attempt to neutralize it. The current high protein diet fad that many are on will exacerbate this problem!

Estrogen prevents female cancers

Progesterone protects against female cancers in those cases where women are taking estrogen. Phytoestrogens have been used for thousands of years in other countries and do not seem to be linked to increased rates of breast or endometrial cancer, which are widely known risks of estrogen replacement therapy, states nutritional scientist Dr Shari Lieberman.

Estrogen prevents cardiovascular disease.

Ample evidence exists showing that the opposite is true!  Research reveals that high doses of estrogens are likely to cause blood clotting, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Estrogen further compromises the integrity and function of cell membranes by allowing the loss of potassium and magnesium. 

The Madness of Hormone Replacement

The current fad of prescribing synthetic estrogens and progestins to menopausal women may prove to be one of the biggest medical blunders of the 20th century. Synthetic estrogen side effects include abnormal vaginal bleeding, weight gain, edema and increased risk of uterine and breast cancers. Adverse effects of progestin (synthetic progesterone) include acne, decreased sex drive, chronic fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, and menstrual bleeding.

Undergoing HRT has been compared to taking an addictive drug.  Clinical studies show that severe withdrawal symptoms often accompany women who have stopped HRT after having received long-term treatment. Pharmaceutical misinformation may be making estrogen addicts out of women.

The Hormone Foundation, a Washington, DC based nonprofit health organization, released a consensus statement supporting a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy at the 80th annual Endocrine society Meeting in New Orleans (1998).

The Good News

The natural design of a woman’s body is to produce the two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, in very sensitive and precise balance so reproductive ability is maximized. Estrogen fulfills its role of preparing the endometrium for pregnancy while progesterone is necessary for survival of the fertilized ovum, the resulting embryo and the fetus. Once a woman is past her childbearing years, her need for both of these hormones is minimal.

The good news is there is a natural alternative to HRT and it is Factor Ten: Femtrac which is synergistically balanced to supply the phytoestrogens and other dietary nutrients that complement the three rhythmic patterns of change that a woman’s reproductive system follow throughout her adult life.  This natural alternative provides PMS, PMDD relief and the amelioration of symptoms that arise during peri-menopause (transition) and menopause cessation of menses.

The Factor Ten: Femtrac formulation includes the herbal extract Centella asiatica that is known to increase the formation of chondroitin sulfate in bone tissue. It also supplies the necessary dosage of the twin minerals, potassium and magnesium necessary for smooth heart function. 

The good news is Factor Ten: Femtrac was specifically formulated for those women who cherish the daily rejuvenation of the body’s vital substances throughout the hormonal changes that a woman’s body follows during her adult life.

“It is never to late to be what you might have been.”

George Eliot

References: 

 - Beckman, N. Menopause: A positive Approach using Natural Therapies. Australia: Penguin Books, 1995.
 - British Medical bulletin, V 48, pp 458-68, 1992.
 - Lawrence, J.C., Investigative Dermatol, V, 49, pp 95-6, 1967.
 - Herbs Help Treat Menopausal Symptoms, conference on Women’s Health, Washington D.C., 1998).

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