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Which Menopause Symptoms Do You Suffer From?

Before menopause officially debuts, you spend up to five years in perimenopause, the prequel to this milestone in your life’s story. Menopause marks the moment you’ve stopped having a period for a full year, then everything beyond that is considered your postmenopausal years. 

From beginning to end, the transition can last 10 years or more, which can seem like a lifetime if you’re experiencing any or all of the classic symptoms related to this phase of womanhood.

At SourceMD: Integrated Wellness Solutions in Encinitas, California, Dr. David Larson can help alleviate the negative symptoms associated with menopause. These symptoms are your body’s reaction to decreased estrogen and progesterone production, two vital hormones involved in multiple functions, including bone and skin health, mental acuity, and emotional control.

Here are the symptoms you may experience before, during, and after menopause, and how we can help. 

Hot flashes and night sweats

About 80% of all menopausal women experience the classic symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats. Hormone fluctuation affects your body’s ability to regulate temperature, so you may feel suddenly flushed and even become red in the face from time to time for no apparent reason. 

When it occurs while you’re sleeping, your once-comfortable blanket traps in the body heat and makes you sweat — sometimes soaking your pajamas. Hot flashes and night sweats are often followed by chills. 

Keep the thermostat down and make sure you have layers of sheets or blankets that you can easily pull up or toss aside as your temperature fluctuates.

Insomnia

Although night sweats often disrupt your sleep, you may have trouble catching enough z’s even if you don’t have night sweats. Progesterone helps induce sleep, so a lack of it may cause bouts of wakefulness, which plagues about 61% of women going through menopause. 

Make sure to eat well, get plenty of exercise, and avoid caffeine to help protect your valuable sleep.

Mood swings

Just as hormone fluctuations related to menstruation may have temporarily changed your temperament, the quick drop in estrogen and progesterone during menopause may have the same effect, including irritability, depression, and anxiety. 

Not all women go through this emotional upheaval, but if you do, it can be hard on you and those you live with. Try various forms of relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation to keep you calm during stressful times.

Fatigue

If you’ve noticed your energy level waning as you transition into menopause, that’s because low estrogen zaps your vim and vigor. To counteract the sluggishness, make sure you get plenty of exercise, eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big ones, and prioritize quality sleep. 

Low libido and painful sex

Almost all women (about 80%) report losing interest in sex as they enter their menopausal years. Again, you can blame your plummeting supply of estrogen for this. The problem is twofold: low estrogen affects your ability to become sexually aroused, and it also causes your vaginal skin to thin and dry out, making sex painful rather than pleasureable.

With a few adjustments and a little effort, you may be able to right the ship. Mental exercises and visualization throughout the day can help get you mentally ready for sex. Creams and gels sold over the counter can also give you the lubrication you’ve lost to make sex more enjoyable again. 

Urinary tract infections

When you were younger, sex may have been the cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) if the bacteria in your vagina entered your urethra. But during menopause, the culprit may be the dry environment caused by low estrogen. Frequent UTIs may also be the result of bladder problems such incontinence or failure to empty your bladder completely.

How to alleviate the symptoms of menopause 

When self-help techniques aren’t enough to decrease your symptoms, Dr. Larson offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Derived from plants instead of animal products, BHRT hormones are an exact match for the molecular structure of your own hormones. 

The tiny, rice-sized pellet implanted under your skin releases the hormones gradually, so you won’t experience the roller-coaster effect that some oral hormone therapies cause.

To learn more about BHRT and how it can relieve your menopause symptoms, contact us at 760-230-1317 to schedule an appointment. 

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