13 April
Menopause and Naturopathic Medicine
Dr. Celeste Vail, ND

Menopause is a time in women’s life where many struggle through, and little
to no care is given to them from a medical point of view. “It’s a normal part
of aging, you’ll get through it, just give it a few years” is what I’ve heard time
and time again from patients going through menopause. Why is it that
something that has such a profound impact on a women’s health have so
little attention taken to it?
This is where naturopathic medicine comes in. Because we have a patient
centred approach to your health care, we are able to provide the most
individualized treatment plans depending on your own personal health
journey. Some things we are able to help with include but are not limited to:
hot flashes, weight gain, mood changes, sexual dysfunction, pain, and
migraines, all of which are associated with menopause as well as
perimenopause. Perimenopause is the time prior to menopause when the
ovaries are beginning to fail. The most common sign of perimenopause is
menstrual irregularities. The average duration is three to four years,
although it can vary greatly. Once a woman has gone sixty days between
their menstrual periods, this typically signals that they are in the late
menopause transition phase and will have their last menstrual period in the
next three years. There are significant hormonal changes happening during
the transition and it’s not simply involving estrogen. Those in the menopause
transition will experience changes in testosterone, FSH, and progesterone, to
name a few. These hormonal changes are what contribute to the majority of
symptoms experienced during menopause. The most obvious symptoms are
from the changes in estrogen. Typically, prior to entering menopause,
estrogen levels with fluctuate greatly, and roughly a year after a women’s
final menstrual period (FMP) estrogen levels will drop significantly. This is the
time where most women will experience the brunt of the symptoms of
menopause. This time in a women’s life (one year after their LMP) is technically deemed postmenopausal and will last four to five years on
average. Symptoms on the other hand will last for an average of seven
years. This is a large period in a woman’s life and more treatments options
need to be available for women, period. As a doctor, I want to help women
during this significant albeit difficult time in their lives. Some ways in which
naturopathic doctors can help include dietary intervention, supplementation,
lifestyle interventions, botanical medicine, and acupuncture. So, if you’re
ready to feel better during your menopause transition, come see me and we
will get you on the right track!

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