Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her period ceases. It’s fraught with hormonal changes that can result in enormous changes in your body. Dr. Maura Scanlan, a naturopath practicing in Issaquah, Washington, offers natural treatments to make this transition as smooth and symptom-free as possible. Call her office, A Path to Natural Health, to learn more about naturopathic menopause treatments, or use the convenient online booking tool to make your appointment.
When a woman hasn’t had her period for 12 straight months -- and there’s no reason to suspect pregnancy or illness -- she’s reached menopause. The average age of menopause is 52, but you can experience menopause before or after this age.
Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause when you feel many of the tell-tale symptoms, including hot flashes and menstrual irregularity. You may also experience surgical menopause if you have a hysterectomy or cancer treatment.
Symptoms of menopause vary widely among women. Some have mild experiences while others may have overt, daily symptoms that disrupt their lives. Symptoms may last just a few months, or go on for several years in advance of full menopause.
The symptoms include:
Hormone imbalance is one of the primary reasons you experience distinct symptoms during menopause. Dr. Scanlan can prescribe hormones to bring your body back into balance and ease the severity of your menopausal experience. Hormone therapy can be especially helpful in reducing vaginal dryness and night sweats. It can help invigorate your libido and ease emotional symptoms.
Hormone replacement isn’t the only therapy available to ease menopause though. Dr. Scanlan can also help you make lifestyle adjustments to make menopause go more smoothly. These include dietary recommendations, exercise guidance, and stress reduction to improve your quality of life. Acupuncture and relaxation techniques offer relief during perimenopause and menopause, too.
Nutritional recommendations may include avoiding processed foods and increasing intake of plant estrogens, such as soy, lentils, chick peas, and seeds. You may also consider increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D to boost bone health. She may also recommend specific nutritional and herbal supplements to help ease your symptoms.
No two women experience perimenopause and menopause the same way. As a result, exactly which therapies Dr. Scanlan prescribes depend on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.