One thing is certain–menopause is not a disease. It’s a perfectly natural process that affects every woman once they reach a certain age.
However, sometimes it can feel like a disease. This is because menopause is the proverbial last straw; things add up unnoticed for years until menopause comes along and tips the balance over.
Symptoms of menopause are a collection of all these factors coming together at once. If a lot of factors have collected over time, menopause is going to be a rough ride.
Typical examples of these factors include eating processed foods, not sleeping enough, being stressed out, or not exercising. Some less obvious factors include exposure to toxins (the modern world is a toxic place and many of those toxins affect hormones), and radiation from electronic devices such as computers and cell phones.
All these factors accumulate over an individual’s lifetime. Things are usually fine until a precipitating event comes along; for many women, menopause is the spark that causes everything to fall apart.
As a practicing gynecologist of over 15 years, I can usually predict which of my patients are going to have a rough ride just by knowing their health habits.
Relieving menopause symptoms for a patient who smokes, has a stressful job, and eats fast food on the run is going to be a real challenge.
That patient is going to require high doses of estrogen and probably other drug therapy. A person with good health habits, however, can often be managed with herbal therapy alone.
If estrogen is chosen as part of the therapy, only low doses of bio-identical estrogen and progesterone therapy are usually required.
The good news: regardless of whether you are approaching perimenopause or menopause, you can start improving your health habits today and make up for lost time.
You’ve worked hard in life; perhaps it’s time to start pampering yourself and giving your body the things it needs. Make a commitment to let processed foods go. Treat yourself to fresh organic vegetables, fruit and other wholesome foods. Take time to prepare something delicious (visit the Vital Plan blog for some tasty, healthy recipes).
Relax, and get a massage. Start exercising regularly; try joining a group fitness class with a friend. Purify your body by minimizing the toxins in your life and changing your air filters. If you want some additional support in resetting your health, weight, and habits, I’ve designed a 10-day Cleanse that will be available for the new year. By cleaning up your health habits, not only will menopause become less of an issue–your whole life will be changed for the better!
Dr. Rawls graduated from medical school at Bowman Gray School of Medicine (Wake Forest University) in 1985 and maintains a medical license in North Carolina.
He has extensive training in alternative and holistic medicine and is also the medical director and co-founder of the wellness company Vital Plan. For more information, see his book (The Vital Plan), or visit the Facebook page.