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Menopause

What to Expect

I think its an understatement to say that Menopause can be challenging, symptoms can be so severe that you can feel totally debilitated. In general you can expect to experience: disrupted sleep, low mood, lack of concentration, weight gain, lack of energy, loss of libido, hair loss, water retention, accelerated ageing, excessive sweating, increased risk of: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and depression.

The menopause is influenced by a change in hormones on many levels, hormones are the messengers in the body that travel through the blood stream to start, stop, speed up or slow down your physical and chemical functions and processes across all body systems.

On a basic level here are the roles and affects of the inevitable fluctuations to some of the key hormones of menopause and ageing.

Oestrogen: Is actually a group name for three types : oestrogen (E1), oestradioal (E2) and estriol (E3). They have many functions around, cognitive functions, skin and bone health.

Progesterone: Low levels of the hormone can cause water retention or bloating, affect our sleep and mood.

Testosterone: Levels of this hormone decrease during menopause causing the loss of muscle mass and hence result in lower metabolism which results in weight gain.

DHEA: Commonly referred to as the youth hormone, it is abundant in our youth but declines rapidly as we age. It helps to regulate insulin, improve mood, sex drive, supports the immune system.

Gherlain: Raises appetite in order to initiate eating, when this is uncontrolled we can feel hungry all the time and this can lead to weight gain.

Leptin: Regulates appetite and satiety, when this is out of sync we don’t recognise when we are full which can result in consuming more calories than we need, leading to weight gain.

Melatonin: Regulates sleep/wake cycle.  When we don’t have adequate sleep this can affect our mood and energy levels, making it difficult to have the energy for exercise.  It also slows down our ability to recover and replenish which is linked to ageing skin and impaired immune system. it can also affect the hormones that regulate anger and appetite (see above).

Other Causes: Insulin resistance and stress are also responsible for a woman’s difficulty or inability to experience weight loss during menopause. Insulin resistance occurs when a woman’s body incorrectly converts every calorie into fat; this is an extreme case of estrogen correction. Overtime, your body resists the insulin produced in your blood stream and you therefore experience weight gain.

Stress is also a contributing factor to menopause weight gain. High stress puts your body into panic mode, preventing weight loss. Basically, your body begins to store food since stress hormones, namely high levels of cortisol, are telling your body that you will not be eating again for a long time. These stored calories result in weight gain. Stress hormones and weight gain are a common problem among women.

You don’t have to feel exhausted, unsexy, stressed and angry, get in touch today to book your appointment.

You can access our Hormone Questionnaire here. You can either fill it in online, save to your tablet or laptop and then email to pamela@integrativehealhclinic.co.uk or print, fill in and then post to us. The address is on the form. Thank you.

Making a Start

Starting the journey to better health is a simple, three step process.
Step 1
Access our Hormone Questionnaire. It will open in a new tab or window in your browser. Complete the questionnaire (most items are tick boxes so it’s very straightforward). Save the completed questionnaire to your laptop.
Step 2
Email us on pamela@integrativehealthclinic.co.uk, with the completed questionnaire attached to your email.
Step 3
Make a booking for a Consultation / Blood Test
We will contact you as soon as we can to confirm receipt of your questionnaire and your booking.

Peri-Menopause

This can be even more unpredictable than the actual menopause, starting at around 35 years to around 51 years when typically we have our final period. It is during this time that we begin to experience fluctuations in our hormone levels. It begins with dropping progesterone levels (the mood balancing hormone that also helps us to sleep!) and ends with oestrogen reduction which causes hot flushes, excessive sweating, less focus and concentration, less flexibility and a general state of low mental state. With Oestrogen being the more dominant hormone now this is also generally the time when we experience weight gain, bloating, changes to skin, wavering libido (and you thought your partner was just annoying!), unpredictable moods and energy levels. It can be gradual or it can come in waves around our now unpredictable menstrual cycle. If this wasn’t bad enough the methods we could rely on before to: lose weight, cope with moods or ge to sleep don’t seem to work well, if at all. Our metabolism is less forgiving, we feel more stressed out and so we may experience more cravings for sugar, carbs or alcohol which only adds to the problems!

Getting ahead of the game can make this inevitable stage much more manageable, Bio Identical Hormones, Supplements and changes to diet and lifestyle can revive a sluggish Thyroid, reduce Cortisol levels, balance Oestrogen and Prosestrogen and support the hormones of the ovaries that are now semi retired FSH & LH.

Menopause Treatment Protocol

Our protocol includes a number of treatment options which is dependent on your budget or health preferences. We will refer you onto you own GP if you feel that is the best option for you, they can prescribe Body Identical Hormones, but they will come in standardised doses and will only prescribe two hormones. A private Doctor can prescribe compounded bio identical hormones and will be able to prescribe different doses depending on your blood results. (You may work with both a private doctor and your own GP.) With both options you’ll work alongside our Nutritionist/Naturopath who will prescribe an eating plan and supplements where appropriate to keep your treatment as natural as possible. If you prefer to manage your menopause or peri-menopause symptoms completely naturally with diet and supplements alone this can also be arranged. You’ll still follow the timings as laid out below without the doctor interventions.

• Contact us on pamela@integrativehealthclinic.co.uk OR
• Fill in a contact form and request a callback in the comment box
• Complete our questionnaire which you can find here: Hormone Questionnaire
• Please save and email the completed questionnaire or print and post to us.

• Initial Consultation with Nutritionist/Naturopath
• Test results explained and diet plan devised (in person, Zoom, telephone)
• Blood Tests Ordered
• Receive Blood Tests Results (emailed)
• Referral to GP, Private Dr or Nutritionist/Naturopath (in person, Skype, telephone)
• Treatment plan devised
• Medication and/or Supplements delivered to your door

• Follow up Nutritionist/Naturopath and Repeat Blood test
• Second Follow-up Consultation with GP or private Doctor
• Review progress and treatment with test results

• Third Follow up Nutritionist who will arrange blood tests (ongoing 6/12 monthly)
• Ongoing Follow-up consultations
• Review progress and treatment with test results
• GP or Doctor will decide on when ongoing reviews should take place (six or 12 months)

• Ongoing Follow up Nutritionist who will arrange blood tests (ongoing 6/12 monthly)
• Ongoing Follow-up consultations
• Review progress and treatment with test results
• GP or Doctor will decide on when ongoing reviews should take place (six or 12 months)