Ladies – have your periods become irregular? Is stress getting harder to cope with? Would you rather take a nap than engage in sexual intimacy? If so, chances are you’ve entered a new passage in life known as perimenopause – the transition period between the fertility of youth and the end of fertility that is known as menopause.
As early as the age of 30, a woman can find herself entering perimenopause. This is the time when the loss of major steroid hormones begins. It is also the most dangerous passage women experience in their lives, because it is not taken seriously by most conventional doctors. Perimenopause is the time when women begin to run on empty, and the seeds for breast cancer are sown.
It is during this passage that estrogen dominance begins, a condition that means there is no longer enough of two other major steroid hormones, progesterone and testosterone, to keep things in balance. It is a precursor to all sorts of metabolic problems, including Type 2 diabetes.
As the time goes by, more and more symptoms of hormone depletion and imbalance show up. By the time a woman hits 40, the person she once was has begun to disappear.
Why are Hormones Such a Big Deal?
Think about what it would be like to lose the ability to speak, watch TV, read a book, or interact with your smartphone and have no means of communication. Life would probably become almost total chaos, and your stress level would soar, wouldn’t it? Hormones play the same role in the body as your ability to speak and use devices. They are the communicators of the body, in the form of chemical messengers that transfer signals and instructions from one set of cells to another.
When hormone levels are optimal, a woman functions at her supreme best and life hums with sweetness. But when hormones become depleted and unbalanced as they do during the perimenopause passage and after, most of the body’s communication no longer exists, and what there is seems to be speaking a foreign language. If nothing is done to restore optimal hormone levels and balance, the result is almost inevitably degenerative disease.
Do you know that the dominant hormone in women is testosterone, just as it is in men? Young healthy women actually produce at least 12 times more testosterone than they do estrogen. Testosterone is what keeps muscles strong, and the heart is an important muscle in the body. The loss of much of a woman’s testosterone during the time of perimenopause is why middle aged women become as susceptible to heart attack and the need for by pass as men do when their testosterone fades.
Estrogen can be a very aggressive hormone, and progesterone and testosterone are its balancing forces. But when perimenopause gets going, these hormones become so diminished that estrogen starts running the show all by itself. This can over-stimulate breast tissue, a situation that is highly correlated with breast cancer.
The average age for a diagnosis of breast cancer is 60. Breast tumors can take up to 20 years to become detectable, suggesting that the average age for their initiation is between 40 and 50, just when perimenopause is in full swing.
As hormone levels drop and become unbalanced, cognition and mood deteriorate as the communication from hormones is no longer there. Memory takes a big hit, and so does motivation, energy, and the life force. Indecisiveness and inability to focus become the rule, along with forgetfulness. Life starts seeming harder to cope with and little tasks that were once done easily become monumental chores.
Women lose their libido during perimenopause, and sex becomes more of an irritation than something wonderful. This is because the steroid hormones are also the sex hormones. Without them there is no longer any interest in sex.
Why Your Doctor is Not Telling You about Perimenopause
Most doctors are well-meaning people who want to do the best for their patients, but they have been taught to practice medicine in schools supported by the medical establishment, and the education they get once in practice comes primarily from pharmaceutical sales people. The object of this establishment appears to be the perpetuation of disease to boost the sale of drugs. Educating people about the importance of hormones does not fit into this paradigm, because optimal balanced hormones lead to good health.
Symptoms that say Perimenopause
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular or jumpy heart beat
- Storing up grudges
- Sleep disturbance
- Deadening fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mental confusion
- Itchy skin
- Painful, turgid breasts in the second two weeks of the menstrual cycle
- Digestive distress
- Bloating and constipation
- Weight gain
- Thinning of the hair on the head and body
- Dizziness, vertigo
- Tinnitus, ringing in the ears
- Changes in fingernails
- Bad breath and burning sensation in the mouth
- Electric shock sensations under the skin and in the head
It is common these days to assume that every health issue can be taken care of by a eating a good diet, and if one only ate enough organic fruits and vegetables, all would be well. Though while diet certainly plays a big role in health, the best of all diets cannot stop the perimenopause passage. Trying to do that would be like trying to mend a broken leg with a good diet. A person who has a broken leg will probably heal better and quicker with a good diet, but other interventions are clearly needed.
Some Potential Solutions for Perimenopause
For women in the early stages of perimenopause there are natural compounds that can give support to remaining hormones and lessen symptoms. They come from plants, and their actions are mild. They are not associated with breast cancer or any other bad outcome.
One of the best is Vitex agnus-castus , also known as Chaste Berry. This plant is able to support estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone balance. Formulations of a group of such plants is another option. Both of these are available at most healthy image stores and online without prescription.
As time passes and these interventions no longer work, the remaining option to restore the woman who was once you is with bioidentical hormone replacement. Bioidentical hormones are made from plants too, but they exactly replicate the hormones made in the young healthy body, and that makes them much more effective.
They are indistinguishable from the body’s own hormones, even under a microscope. Bioidentical estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are identical to the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone made in the human body.
Bioidentical hormones are prescribed by a new breed of doctors who specialize in anti-aging medicine. They have repeatedly been shown to be safe and protective of health, because they restore communication to the body. Research has shown that when they are given at the levels a woman had in her prime, bioidentical hormones protect against breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, and cognitive decline.
Perimenopause leads to full-blown menopause and finally the end of life. It appears to be nature’s plan to usher in a new group that is reproductive. The choice for anyone passing through perimenopause seems to be either accepting aging and degeneration as just a part of life, or really trying to live to the fullest until you die. Supplementing hormones is really just like supplementing anything else in which you have a deficiency.