I see it every day in the lives of my clients. Whether "creeping" or well on it's way, menopause brings about the many emotional facts of being exhausted, impatient and – in short, frazzled!
The article below is a guest post from Candace Burch with ZRT Labs after being inspired by reading Dr. John R. Lee’s life changing go-to book on the subject, "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause", and got smart.
Key Hormone Players Achieve Balance Through Synchrony
And so it goes with us. When our hormones are out of sync, we are out of sync– physically, mentally, and emotionally. And because hormones are so mutually dependant (a deficiency of one creates a surplus of another), there are countless opportunities for imbalance.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a hidden hormone imbalance during menopause is your first big clue. Testing your hormone levels is the next necessary step. But before we go any further, let me explain what a hormonal imbalance is. It’s what happens when one or more of the key hormone players: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and/or cortisol, fall out of balance and proportion to each other. These unwelcome but inevitable shifts in hormonal milieu can be handled, but until we learn how to make the necessary adjustments (including but not limited to: dietary, exercise, sleep and supplements), they can seriously disrupt our moods, memory, mojo, and zest for living.
Estrogen dominance (flabby, crabby and fed-up) – this mother of all hormone imbalances – an excess of estrogen relative to inadequate progesterone – is all too common during menopause, after a total hysterectomy (particularly if estrogen alone is prescribed post-surgery), and with exposure to environmental toxins, the so-called “xenoestrogens” that disrupt hormone operating systems. It typically begins at Perimenopause in our mid-40s, when hormones wax and wane, and ends with menopause usually in our early 50's when cycles cease and the ovaries stop making hormones for good. A state of estrogen dominance feels like mood swings, unwanted weight gain, low thyroid symptoms, lost libido, lost pizzazz, lost YOU.
Estrogen Deficiency (hot, sweaty, weepy) – Declining estrogen levels at menopause can trigger that hot flash in the middle of an important meeting, or night sweats in the middle of the night, as well as other annoying issues like vaginal dryness, thinning skin, brittle nails and bones, heart palpitations, fragile emotions, muddled mind....Imbalances of Testosterone/DHEA and Cortisol (no longer lean, just mean) are a bad combination that can lead to depleted energy, strength, metabolism, mental clarity and lower libido. When for instance, the stress hormone cortisol goes up and stays up, testosterone and DHEA go down, along with our stamina, drive, and positive mindset.
Adrenal Imbalances (tired, wired, burned out and bummed out) - Lows or highs of cortisol resulting from unresolved stress, junk food, sleep deprivation, and inactivity, can cause rapid aging and belly fat big time – not to mention allergies, insomnia, and chronic fatigue. This under-recognized imbalance tends to manifest in mid-life when the adrenal glands have to pick up the slack in ovarian hormone production. The once and future energizer bunny no longer hops but plops, her sunny mood submerged under a black cloud.
Fluctuating hormones at Perimenopause when ovulation becomes erratic, are usually behind the hair-raising symptoms most women know as the “emotional roller coaster.”
That’s when all hell breaks loose and we’ll do anything for relief! No one likes being out of balance, especially when the hot flashes, foggy thinking, and mood swings of menopause leave us feeling like a pale reflection of our former selves. During this hormonally challenged time it’s important to realize that the extent to which we suffer from troublesome symptoms has much do with the extent to which our lives – and our hormones – are out of balance.