Menopause Essay, Research Paper

“THE CHANGE OF LIFE” has always sounded like an unpleasant ending. Not something I ever wanted to be a part of! The fact is ladies, this is the BEGINNING, not the end. All the passages in life should be celebrated….especially this one. My mother and her mother were cheated out of this healthy attitude; don’t let that happen to you. Seize the opportunity of menopause to be better than you have ever been. You are now old enough to be “in charge” of your life and do what is best for you! Being a woman, you have had to heal and take care of everything around you, now it’s your turn. This doesn’t mean you stop caring about others—it means if something makes you smile or feel good inside, it is the right thing to do.

It is during this new beginning called menopause that your body makes some changes that can feel uncomfortable and unnatural. Your body stops ovulating and producing estrogen, and the menstrual cycle gradually diminishes and stops. Some changes begin during the postmenopausal period (sometimes called perimenopause). Osteoporosis actually begins several years before menopause. Most women have plenty of estrogen as they approach menopause—-then why the bone loss?? It is usually an imbalance and the lack of progesterone. (Not progestogens–this is not what your body needs.) You see estrogen slows the bone loss and progesterone helps the body replace it. We will talk more about this later and recommend books for more information.

When estrogen levels begin to drop off, and the ovaries produce less estrogen, other organs take over. Organs called the endocrine glands secrete hormones to help your bodily functions. The healthier the adrenal glands the less you will experience common menopausal complaints.

Remember that every woman is different and the symptoms listed are general. There are also those “fortunate women” who seem to breeze through menopause. The problem I find with that is that they don’t have the obvious signposts to show them the “way.” The “way” is to prevent premature aging and improve mental and physical health.

General symptoms for menopause are hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, heart palpitations, mood swings, and depression. After menopause, and sometimes during, skin seems dry, vaginal dryness occurs and hair thins. If you have a chronic physical problem, it often is amplified after menopause.

What to do? You do need estrogen, preferably with progesterone. In fact, progesterone is as important as estrogen. Remember you want natural progesterone manufactured from the Wild Yam. The herb Sarsaparilla also helps. Black Cohosh and Licorice roots provide the natural estrogen.

Many women can alleviate the difficult symptoms of menopause with the use of just natural progesterone. There is some controversy about topical use of progesterone or oral use. Some authorities suggest that it does little good when ingested. I disagree. I use it in my New Life Formula and I use the 10% cream. Using that strength cream allows me to “slather” it all over my body. I’m not telling you the stronger creams are bad—just what I find works for me.

Another fact, most women are estrogen dominant. (Take a look at the suggested reading list at the end of this section.) There is less chance of uterine cancer with the combination of these two hormones. Man-made estrogen is harsh and has side effects like depression, headaches, water retention, vaginal discharge and mood swings. If you try prescription hormonal replacement, and you feel fine—good. Most women find the patch most agreeable. Remember this, you do not have to use a full dose in most cases. Instead of using 2 patches a week, try one. Everyone is different—ask your doctor. When I say ask your doctor, I do not mean you should allow the doctor to over-ride your intuition or your common sense. Gather as much information as you can…keep a notebook or file folder on “feeling’ good.” Remember, when you enter menopause, you are entering the “wisdom” years. You know your body better then anyone!!!

There are some conditions and ailments that seem to be directly affected by the lack of estrogen and progesterone. Take time to look up osteoporosis, alzheimer’s, heart health, incontinence, and asthma. Decreased sex drive is also connected to hormonal health for men and women. This will be addressed in recommendations.

Whether you are approaching menopause or in the throes of it, you have another choice, natural hormonal replacement therapy. Plants do contain plant hormones that help with the production of human hormones in the body. You can safely use herbs for hormonal replacement therapy or use in combination with man-made hormonal help. The safest path is the use of herbs and nutrition. Remember, it is your choice. Gather information and choose. The recommendations listed below will include my New Life Formula because that is what I use. Check the “Herbal Formulas” sheet for more information on this. The ingredients will be listed in order of importance and quantity. For more understanding look up each herb in the “Individual Herbs” section.

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