What To Do About Menopause? – The Endocrine System

What To Do About Menopause? - The Endocrine System

Chiropractic Beaver Dam WI What To Do About Menopause The Endocrine System

The endocrine system is all about hormones. Do you know how many hormones are in the body? There are over 50 hormones in the human body. That is a lot of hormones to regulate. Now when most people hear the word hormones, they think of reproductive hormones. These hormones are in charge of processes such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. This article is going to focus on menopause and the 4 most often associated hormones, but don’t miss the opportunity to learn about some of the other hormones in the body at our wellness class.

There are different stages to menopause. You first have perimenopause. This is when your menstrual cycles become less frequent and you start to develop those irritating menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings, but only occasionally. Next is menopause. In order to be considered in the menopause stage, you must not have had your menstrual cycle for a full year. After that year, you transition into the post-menopausal stage. Typically your menopause symptoms should start to subside. However, many women still struggle with menopause symptoms way past the time their menstrual cycle has ended. Let’s dive deeper into the hormones that cause menopause and ways to handle menopause symptoms.

Estrogen and Progesterone are the two most commonly known hormones when it comes to discussing menopause. It is the drop in these two hormones that cause the symptoms of menopause. First, Progesterone: The main purpose of progesterone is to prepare the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. During Menopause, Progesterone levels will decrease but typically stabilizes in the post-menopause stage. Next, Estrogen: It is mainly estrogen that is the problem. Estrogen has more duties. In addition to regulating the menstrual cycle, it affects the reproductive tract, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain. Our estrogen continues to decrease throughout a woman's life cycle and puts us at risk for developing other disorders such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and breast cancer.

Another hormone we don’t think of for women is Testosterone. In women, testosterone is responsible for various health aspects, like reproduction, mood and cognition, and physical development. All women have testosterone in the body which should be balanced out with estrogen and progesterone. When estrogen and progesterone levels start to drop in menopause, testosterone levels can increase due to this imbalance.

Many of us are familiar with the symptoms of menopause. They are frustrating and can be difficult to control. Therefore, women talk about them. We have all heard about hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, sleep problems, weight gain, and slowed metabolism. They can seem like they control us, but while we can’t eliminate the symptoms there are things we can do to try to reduce their effects.

Hot flashes are a sudden rise in body temperature that can cause a woman to sweat or feel like she took a prompt tropical vacation. While hot flashes seem random, they often have triggers. Triggers for hot flashes include sugary foods, sweet fruit such as bananas and grapes, caffeine, alcohol, spicy hot foods, stress, and hot places such as hot tubs and saunas. Avoiding these triggers can minimize symptoms, but if they continue to be a problem, don’t ignore them or assume that they are a normal part of aging. Hot flashes can also be a symptom of thyroid dysfunction. If you are experiencing hot flashes, it is good to get your thyroid levels checked.

The fourth hormone we are discussing is Cortisol. As your estrogen levels start to decline in menopause, this can allow cortisol levels to rise in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in your adrenal glands. It is the primary stress hormone and increases sugars in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose, and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Adrenal fatigue can occur when the body can no longer secrete levels of cortisol that the body needs, and the Adrenal glands, essentially get tired. Hot Flashes can also come from the imbalance in Cortisol, your “stress hormone”.

So now that we know a little more about the hormones involved, I want to talk about what each woman can do to help reduce symptoms, naturally. Good fat plays a key role in our hormones. Our hormones are made from fat. If we don’t have enough good fat in our diet, our body struggles to produce all the hormones we need. Good fat includes food such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados. These fats contain either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. When reading a label it is important to look for those kinds of fat since they’re the healthy kind. Try avoiding saturated fat since that is considered bad fat.

Stress management can help to decrease the amount of hot flashes you experience. Doing breathing exercises or taking a yoga class can help you manage your stress. Yes, exercise can trigger hot flashes, but it can help decrease them too. Exercise decreases the stress in your body. As mentioned before, stress is also a hot flash trigger, so if stress is making the hot flashes worse, exercise can help.

Certain supplements can also help to decrease the amount of hot flashes you experience. Black cohosh is the most popular supplement for decreasing menopausal symptoms. However, if your hot flashes are due to a thyroid condition or adrenal fatigue you will need different supplements. If the black cohosh doesn’t work, you should probably dig deeper into what is the true cause of your hot flashes.

Once again, we have only scratched the surface of the endocrine system. Don’t worry! Our wellness class will continue this discussion and dive even deeper into other hormones in the body that help to regulate sleep or affect our energy, just to name a few. This free wellness class is Tuesday, May 18th at 5:30pm at our Beaver Dam location. If you have been struggling with hormones, don’t miss a chance to learn what the root cause may be and how to address it.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Stephanie Tyjeski

Dr. Stephanie graduated in December 2016 with her Doctorate in Chiropractic at Logan University. She continued on at Logan University to receive her Masters in Nutrition and Human Performance. She is also certified as a Digestive Health Professional through the Loomis Enzyme Institute. She currently works at Tyjeski Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center, and is a 2023 recipient of the “5 under 40” award from the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce, celebrating individuals who are rising stars, showing leadership, and making a positive impact in their work and where they live