Hormonal imbalances can be the culprit for many women's health concerns and tend to intensify around the age of menopause. One of the main hormones that can trigger some of the most intense experiences is estrogen. Estrogen, also referred to as a sex hormone, is the hormone responsible for the uterine lining growth during menstruation and pregnancy, helps with bone and cholesterol metabolism, and regulates key functions like food intake, body weight, glucose metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. The body produces estrogen in various forms, including estradiol and estrone. Once a woman begins to hit her midlife transition and eases into perimenopause, estrogen production begins to lower. This triggers a hormonal imbalance, which in turn produces a variety of symptoms.
If you're experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and are at least 35 years of age, be sure to see your healthcare provider. They can conduct a blood test to determine if you are indeed in the midst of your menopausal evolution. Keep in mind that hormonal imbalances aren't always a signal of menopause. It can also be a sign of an issue with the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland. If you're curious about what you can expect as your hormone levels shift, be sure to learn more about your family history as that can be an indicator of what is to come for you. Read on to learn more about the ten biggest symptoms of low estrogen levels.
Vaginal dryness is a major signal of the menopausal transition and is a sign of a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen is responsible for vaginal lubrication. Vaginal dryness can become more common with low estrogen levels. Not only is this an uncomfortable experience, it also can impact your sex drive since sexual function suffers severely without vaginal lubrication and often results in painful sex. Our Daily Vaginal Lotion helps provide relief within just one day of use and our applicator delivers nourishing hydration where you need it most. Plus, with daily use, vaginal dryness is shown to decrease over time.
Weight gain can be a tricky issue when it comes to hormones and your midlife evolution. As hormones begin to shift during the midlife years, weight gain can set in. For those who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal issue that leads to ovarian cysts, weight gain can also be a side effect. An imbalance of the thyroid hormone can also lead to gaining weight. Birth control can also lead to weight gain, due to the hormonal shifts it triggers. Any of these factors coupled with a less active lifestyle due to mood changes or stress can contribute to a significant weight gain. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help ease midlife weight gain. Be sure to see your health care provider to see exactly what is the culprit for the unexplained weight gain.
Irregular periods are yet another signal of a hormonal imbalance. An irregular period may be particularly heavy and painful or it could be extremely short. The average menstrual cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days and an irregular period is considered to fall outside of this range. Ovarian cysts and fibroids can be a cause of irregular periods and are also linked to hormonal imbalance. An irregular period can be a sign of entering perimenopause, as well. While women typically enter perimenopause around age 47, those who experience early menopause may begin experiencing period irregularity between age 40 and 45. Those who are experiencing premature menopause will begin experiencing period irregularity before age 40. Since there are a few different causes behind irregular periods, be sure to see your women's health expert for support.
Estrogen impacts neurotransmitters in the brain and influences the production of serotonin. Fluctuations in your hormonal balance can trigger mood swings or even depression. These mood swings take place during premenstrual syndrome and during the menopausal era, specifically during perimenopause. Our Core Dietary Supplement addresses the major symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, brain fog, and mood swings. If mood changes are significantly impacting your day-to-day, psychotherapy may be of support. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown clinical success in treating menopause-induced mood swings.
Hot flashes are a major sign of a hormonal imbalance. When your estrogen levels begin to drop, your hypothalamus becomes extremely sensitive to any slight change in your body temperature. If your body temperature raises even slightly, your hypothalamus triggers your body to get into overdrive expelling the excess heat. What ensues is a hot flash, an experience that results in sweating, red blotchy skin, and heat spreading throughout your head and neck.
Night sweats are hot flashes that occur while you're sleeping. Your body's temperature fluctuates quite a bit when you're sleeping. Your body will then attempt to release excess heat through a hot flash. Since the initial onset of the hot flash can occur while you're sleeping, you may find that you wake up soaked in sweat. Try keeping a cool compress bedside and sleeping in light, breathable fabrics for optimal comfort.
The rising and falling of hormone levels can affect breast tissue, leading to breast tenderness. If you're in the menopausal era and are on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), you may also be subject to these breast changes. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor if sore breasts are a part of your HRT experience - a link between breast cancer and breast soreness during hormone therapy has been found and seeking support from a doctor can help you avoid further health issues.
Lowered levels of estrogen can lead to lowered bone density and commonly occurs during perimenopause. Many women do not realize they're suffering from bone loss until they break a bone. It is essential to adopt a healthy regimen as you move towards your menopausal transition. Tennis, running, and dancing are all excellent exercises for strengthening your bones and empowering your cardiovascular system. A healthy diet filled with calcium and vitamin D helps prevent bone loss and decreases risk of osteoporosis.
Fatigue is triggered by high levels of progesterone. Low thyroid hormone levels, or hyperthyroidism, can also trigger fatigue. A common symptom of the menopausal era, many women experience exhaustion throughout their midlife evolution. If you find fatigue is impacting your daily life, get in touch with your women's health expert to troubleshoot the best solution for you.
Hormonal imbalance is a key culprit for hair loss in both men and women. The hormone responsible for hair loss is dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT. This is a byproduct of testosterone. Fun fact: both men and women need stable testosterone levels, despite the common misconception that testosterone is a male hormone.
Our Promise to You
You don’t have to go it alone. At Kindra, we don’t believe this evolution should be an isolated journey. We started a Facebook group for kindred spirits to connect and chat all things related to menopause, from intimacy to wellness. Join us!
If you've landed on this article, chances are you have some curiosity around the menopausal transition . Perhaps you've noticed irregular periods or maybe you're approaching your midlife years and are wondering when the change will happen for you. Whatever it may be, you've come to the right place to learn more. The menopausal transition isn't a mere fragment of time - rather, we regard it as an era of life. This is because there are three phases of menopause. The first phase is perimenopause, the mid phase is menopause and the last phase is postmenopause. The age you'll begin to feel the effects of perimenopause varies - keep reading to learn more.
What Age Will You Experience Perimenopause?
What age will I experience perimenopause? This is a common question that comes from folks who are curious when their menopausal journey will begin. According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age of perimenopausal onset is about 4 years before the final menstrual cycle. Most women tend to stop menstruating around 51 years of age, so that means many begin to experience perimenopause at age 47. However, some women see changes in their bodies even soon and can stop menstruating around age 45, meaning they enter the perimenopausal phase around age 41. Premature menopause is considered to be when a woman experiences her final menstrual period before age 40, thus entering perimenopause in her mid 30s. A gentle reminder: it is possible to get pregnant during perimenopause, so be sure to have a chat with your gynecologist about the best birth control options for you.
Everybody is different, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the expected age of perimenopause. However, the menopausal journey tends to remain somewhat the same amongst family members. Speaking to the women in your family can help provide clarity around when you can expect to begin your evolution. If you're starting to feel like you're entering the perimenopausal phase (read on to understand key symptoms), give your women's health expert a call. They can administer a blood test to measure your follicle-stimulating hormone levels also known as FSH. It is typically understood that when the follicle-stimulating hormone levels are measured at 30 mL or higher plus she hasn't had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, she has reached the menopause phase. Remember, the menopause phase is regarded as the 12 month period without a menstrual cycle. This means that once you haven't bled for 12 months, you have another 12-24 months (expert opinions vary on this length of time) before you can consider yourself in the postmenopausal phase.
If you've undergone a hysterectomy, meaning you've had your ovaries removed, you're likely to enter the menopausal era earlier. The same applies if you've received certain cancer treatments, including breast cancer treatment. If that is your case, make sure to chat with your healthcare expert for the most realistic menopausal timeline.
Symptoms of Perimenopause
As we dig into the symptoms of perimenopause, let's start with a quick science lesson around the cause of menopause. Menopause occurs when the body begins to experience changes in its sex hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone. This is due to the ovaries producing less key hormones and ceasing to release eggs. This is a gradual process, thus explaining the necessity of three separate phases of menopause. These decreased estrogen levels during perimenopause will trigger hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes or mood swings, and irregular periods. Fun stuff, huh? Luckily, there are solutions for each of these menopausal transition symptoms.
Our Core Dietary Supplement tackles the seven most common symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, disrupted sleep, mood swings, brain fog, and fatigue. If you find that vaginal dryness is particularly bothersome for you, we have a Daily Vaginal Lotion that immediately tackles discomfort. Folks report feeling relief after just two applications. Vaginal dryness is yet another side effect of those fluctuating estrogen levels. Our vaginal lotion is hormone-free and is filled with nourishing plant humectants and Vitamin E plus it comes with an applicator that delivers the product straight to pain receptors.
If you find that mood changes are beginning to significantly impact your life, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and antidepressants are all options on the table as effective treatment for overwhelming menopausal mood changes.
Your healthcare provider may bring up hormone therapy as an option for managing symptoms related to the menopausal transition. While hormone replacement therapy is an option for some, it isn't for everyone. It is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, so we suggest trying out natural methods for relief first. A natural method that is often suggested is black cohosh. Black cohosh can have pretty uncomfortable side effects like stomach upset, cramping, headache, rash, vaginal bleeding, and weight gain - so some opt to avoid this supplement.
Navigating Hot Flashes
Ah, hot flashes. They get their own section. Hot flashes and night sweats are two common signals of the menopausal transition women experience that often get the worst rap. They're joked about in popular culture and can often feel like one of the more uncontrollable symptoms of menopause. Yet, they can be managed naturally.
First, let's understand the cause of hot flashes. When your estrogen levels lower in your body, your hypothalamus becomes more sensitive. The hypothalamus regulates your body's temperature, so when it becomes hypersensitive, it also becomes overactive. So if you experience body temperature fluctuations of just one or two degrees, your hypothalamus will go into overdrive in an attempt to regulate your body heat. This, in turn, triggers a hot flash. A night sweat is the same concept, but when you're sleeping. As you can imagine, our body's temperature varies quite a bit while we're sleeping, thanks to cozy blankets and chilly air conditioner units. Thus, a night sweat is a hot flash so strong it jolts you from your sleep.
We recommend tackling menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats both with lifestyle changes and natural supplements. Our Core Dietary Supplement minimizes the occurrence of hot flashes thanks to its key ingredient Pycnogenol, which promotes healthy blood circulation. Our Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement also has the nourishing Pycnogenol plus melatonin, to lull you back to sleep when night sweats strike.
Light and breathable fabrics can help keep your body cool. Look for natural fibers like silk, cotton, and linen. The same goes for your face masks - after all, staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is key. Consider keeping a damp washcloth on your bedside to press on your forehead and neck during a night sweat. You can even drop a touch of eucalyptus essential oil for further cooling effects.
Women's Health Matters: A Menopause-Friendly Lifestyle
As you look towards your midlife years, lifestyle matters. This isn't solely due to your menopausal transition, but certainly is partially because of it. As you evolve into your midlife years, many postmenopausal women report that osteoporosis, heart disease, high cholesterol, and weight gain can all become concerns. Decreased estrogen levels can lead to bone loss, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis. Calcium can help offset this natural bone less. As for heart disease, high cholesterol, and weight gain? Regular exercise and a healthy diet full of vegetables and lean meats can help keep these ailments at bay! Keep in mind that ovarian cancer is typically found in postmenopausal women, so be sure to keep up with your annual gynecologist visits.
Our Promise to You
Perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause and all the side effects in between can add some challenges to your midlife evolution. Social support is a great way to lift your spirits throughout menopause and beyond. We created a Facebook group for like-minded women to connect about life during the menopausal era. Join us!
NOTICE: KINDRA DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL OR HEALTH CARE ADVICE. OUR EMPLOYEES AND OTHER REPRESENTATIVES ARE NOT PHYSICIANS OR HEALTH CARE CLINICIANS. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN FOR ANY MEDICAL AND/OR OTHER HEALTH CARE ADVICE BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED BY KINDRA OR ANY OTHER SOURCE
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