Menopause

Menopause is defined as the absence of a menstrual period for 1 year after 40 years of age or the permanent cessation of ovulation following lost ovarian activity.

 

Perimenopause begins in when a woman is in her mid- to late-40s and the average age of menopause is 51 years of age.  However the age at which menopause occurs is genetically determined but smokers experience menopause an average of 1½ years earlier than non-smokers.

 

The cause of menopause is most commonly physiological but it can sometimes be due to surgery.

 

The signs and symptoms associated with menopause are:

  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes and/or night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Complete cessation of menses or a period of irregular cycles and diminished or heavier bleeding
  • Atropic vaginitis that causes burning, itching, bleeding and/or pain during sexual intercourse
  • Sexual changes
  • Decreased libido
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Urinary incontinence

 

Be aware that the following complications may arise:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Osteoporosis

 

The diagnostic assessment tools and tests used to diagnose menopause include:

  • History of symptoms
  • Progesterone challenge test
  • Resolution of symptoms after use of estrogen prescription

 

From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case.

 

References

  • Ferri FF.  2007.  Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment.  Mosby Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.
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