Aging is not supposed to be degenerative, it should be a time of wisdom. When done right, it can be the best part of life.
For women, the aging process includes menopause, defined as the absence of menstrual flow for at least 12 straight months.
Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on how you look at things — menopause does not happen overnight. Peri-menopause, the precursor to menopause, can last up to 10 years.
The average age menopause takes place is 51 years, but it can occur as early as the mid-30s up into the 60. Unfortunately there is no predictive lab test to determine when this will occur, so most of us are left to guess when the irregularity and sometimes uncomfortable symptoms will end.
Why do some women seem to pull it off without a sweat, while others are doomed to insomnia, hot flashes, weight gain and mood swings that have their family fearing for their dear lives?
Hormone balance is directly related to stress levels, nutrition and environmental exposure to toxins. Obesity is a hormone imbalance. What many health care professionals fail to realize is that most women are suffering from symptoms of low progesterone. This is difficult to assess with blood testing, as it fails to look at the ratio between estrogens and progesterone. Typically all that is looked at is an estradiol, FSH and LH level.
A woman feels defeated when she is told everything is normal and yet she feels as if she is losing her mind. Saliva and urine testing are much more revealing, but most insurance companies will not cover the cost.
What we need to remember is that menopause is not a disease, but basically a transition between one’s childbearing years and the larger segment of life where there is no longer monthly flow or the concern of becoming pregnant.