Menopause: More Than Just Symptoms
Symptoms or No Symptoms – Why Your Menopause Must Be Treated
The biggest challenge I face in educating both women and doctors about menopause is getting everyone to look beyond the classic symptoms it causes like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleep disruption, hair loss, and “brain fog.” Everybody thinks that menopause is only about symptoms. If you have them, you treat them. If you don’t have them, then menopause is a non-issue. You can ignore it. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth!
If You Have Symptoms
I’m not saying that the symptoms aren’t important. They are. If you have symptoms, they should be addressed. Correctly and safely. But, in the process, don’t lose sight of why those symptoms are occuring. Something caused those symptoms. And, don’t be fooled into thinking that by treating the symptoms you are treating the cause, any more than aspirin treats the cause of a migraine or an antacid treats the cause of acid reflux. The underlying problems still exist.
If You Don’t Have Symptoms
But what if you have no classic symptoms? Does it mean that, for you, menopause is a non-event? No. Menopause is the permanent loss of your sex hormones. Depending on a variety of factors, as you lose your sex hormones, you may or may not have classic symptoms. In any case, you have still lost your sex hormones. Permanently.
Either Way, You Have to Address the Loss of Your Sex Hormones
This point is so important to understand. Many women believe that the sex hormones are only needed for reproduction or that, even in menopause, their ovaries can still produce estradiol and progesterone. Neither belief is true. Again, menopause is the permanent loss of your sex hormones. You never get them back. Never. And there is never a time when your body does not need them. Here’s why:
- All of the hormone systems of your body interact – they depend on each other.
- The absence of any hormone, including the sex hormones, causes an imbalance of your other hormone systems.
- Your hormones regulate your metabolism. Hormone system imbalances cause metabolic imbalance.
- Metabolic imbalance accelerates aging, causes inumerable health problems, and promotes the degenerative diseases of aging.
- Therefore, you have to treat your menopause; you have to restore the missing sex hormones and rebalance all of the other hormone systems of your body.
I realize this is different from what you have been told, and it may not immediately make sense. After all menopause is a natural occurrence. How is it that something that happens naturally to every woman has to be treated, even if you don’t have the typical symptoms?
The fact is, aging is also a natural occurrence, one that leads, ultimately and inevitably, to death. Aging is the process of gradually losing the ability to maintain a balanced, healthy metabolism – the loss of the ability to rebuild or replace, on a daily basis, the various energy and cellular chemicals and bone and muscle tissues that we “use up” every day to sustain life.
As aging progresses, as we lose the ability to replace what we use, or to repair ourselves from ongoing oxidation, we break down. We call this metabolic imbalance. When we are in metabolic imbalance, we become increasingly susceptible to the degenerative diseases of aging, including:
- Heart disease (the number one killer of women)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s dementia
Otherwise, Menopause Accelerates Aging and Death
So, yes, menopause is a natural occurrence. As are aging and dying. The loss of the sex hormones due to menopause accelerates aging and death because it results in metabolic imbalance. We more quickly lose our ability to rebuild. Our immune system becomes compromised. We can’t fight off free radicals as well. In short, we break down and age more quickly.
This is why, symptoms or no symptoms, to stay fit and feeling well and live a long and healthy life, you have to treat your menopause. you have to restore hormone system and metabolic balance and make sure to keep it in balance for as long as you can. Make sense? If so, become informed about how to treat your menopaue safely and effectively. Everything you need to know is in the Menopause Power Course and Take Charge Guide.
To your health and happiness,
Diana Schwarzbein, MD