by Dr. Bill Rawls
Last Updated 10/31/16
One thing is certain–menopause is not a disease. It’s a perfectly natural process that affects every woman when they reach a certain age. Sometimes, however, it feels like a disease. That’s because menopause is the proverbial last straw. Things add up unnoticed for years and then menopause comes along and tips the balance. Symptoms of menopause are a collection of all those factors coming together at once. If lots of things have been collecting over time, menopause is going to be a rough ride.
Typical examples of those factors include eating processed food, not sleeping enough, being stressed, 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. It all adds up over an individual’s lifetime. Things are fine until a precipitating event like menopause comes along–then everything falls 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/progesterone therapy are usually required.
The good news is, regardless of whether you are approaching perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause, you can start improving your health habits today to 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 (try visiting our recipe section).
Relax, and get a massage. Start exercising regularly; try joining a group fitness class with a friend. Detoxify your body by minimizing the toxins in your life and changing your air filters. By cleaning up your health habits, not only will menopause become less of an issue–your whole life will be changed for the better!