Are you looking for a Menopause Treatment in Tampa, FL? Here at BioDesign Wellness Center, we often hear from women of a certain age who say they’re having a difficult time thinking clearly, are affected by mood swings, and even experience what they refer to as short-term memory loss.
Never having experienced any of this before and knowing these symptoms correlate with menopause, they’re interested in a diagnosis and treatment plan that helps them make sense of what’s occurring and returns them to the life they once enjoyed.
One of the first things that come to mind, especially for women of that certain age, is menopause. That’s the time in a woman’s life during which she stops having monthly periods. This cessation of menstruation is primarily associated with changes to the female reproductive system.
Unfortunately, as most women in their 40s and 50s and beyond will attest, symptoms of menopause are not constrained solely to the reproductive system. The hormonal changes that lead to menopause often result in a range of symptoms, including night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue, and irritability.
And those are just the common symptoms that everyone knows about. Some symptoms of menopause women undergo during this part of life often go unnoticed, and the underlying hormonal imbalances go untreated. As a result, many women don’t receive proper treatment, often suffering unnecessarily for years.
In this post, we highlight seven (7) symptoms of menopause that are often overlooked by both patients and the medical community. And if you’re in or near Tampa, FL, and want to manage these symptoms: try our Hormone Therapy for Women.
Seven Symptoms of Menopause
Estrogen plays an important role in collagen production, joint lubrication, bone health, and the health and function of ligaments and tendons. Menopause is characterized by a reduction in estrogen, resulting in a deterioration of all joints, including the jaw.
This deterioration can cause pain and contribute to the development of arthritis. Recent research reveals a connection between menopause and new jaw pain and the worsening of existing TMJ symptoms.
Restoring healthy hormone levels and balance is key to slowing and perhaps even reversing damage to bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Increasing your consumption of healthy proteins can also help but are only as beneficial as your ability to digest them.
Several factors can impair your ability to digest proteins, including the following:
- Use of stomach acid reducers to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Aging and reduced production of digestive juices
- Gallbladder dysfunction or removal
Several treatments are available to improve the digestion of proteins, including the following:
- Increasing stomach acid with Betaine and HCL
- Consuming bile salts or digestive enzymes with meals
Here at BioDesign Wellness in Tampa, Florida, we use the GI Map stool test to look for functional signs of digestive problems and then come up with a plan of action to improve protein digestion.
For more about our functional medicine approach to diagnosing and treating digestive disorders, please see “What Are Digestive Issues?”
Hair Loss or Thinning Hair
Healthy hair requires well-balanced hormones — estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
When estrogen levels decline during menopause, testosterone plays a larger role, shortening the growth phase of hair and resulting in noticeable hair loss and changes to its texture (drier, more brittle hair).
As a result, women in menopause are at an increased risk of androgenic alopecia or female-pattern hair loss (FPHL). Rebalancing your hormones can help slow hormone-related hair loss and, in some cases, reverse it, all while improving its texture.
Learn more here: The Best Menopause Treatment Provider in Tampa FL
Glands that produce tears and the components of tears have receptors for estrogen and testosterone. When levels of these hormones decline, as they do during menopause and the natural aging process, tear quantity and quality can suffer, resulting in inadequate lubrication for the eyes.
- Symptoms of dry eyes include the following:
- Stinging, burning, itchy, or tired eyes
- Eye redness
- Mucus in or around the eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
Left untreated, inadequate eye lubrication can lead to inflammation and damage to the surface of the eyes.
Heart palpitations are a form of irregular heartbeat commonly described as a racing, fluttering, or pounding heart. They’re usually not serious but can progress to a more serious condition called atrial fibrillation.
Heart palpitations can be traced to several different causes, so it’s important to identify the root cause before starting any treatment. Causes may include one or more of the following:
Low estrogen. About 25 percent of women in menopause develop heart palpitations. Estrogen helps to regulate heart rate and rhythm through the body’s autonomic nervous system.
Reduced estrogen can cause overstimulation of the sympathetic nerves to the heart resulting in heart palpitations.
Cortisol and adrenaline imbalances. The body releases these hormones as part of its fight-or-flight response.
Chronic stress, dietary insufficiency of protein and minerals, or a combination of these factors can lead to cortisol and adrenaline imbalances that negatively impact normal heart rhythm.
Treatment may require a variety of interventions, including the following:
Adrenal support protocols
Other functional medicine and integrative wellness approach for eliminating or reducing anxiety and chronic stress
Changes in Body Odor
Menopause can cause unpleasant changes in body odor in two ways. First, it can increase sweating overall, and the more you sweat, the more difficult it is to control body odor. Bacteria that naturally live on the skin thrive in warm, sweaty conditions.
Second, menopause is often associated with increased anxiety, and anxiety sweat is different — it’s a fatty sweat produced by the apocrine glands in your armpits and groin area. It can be more malodorous than the sweat your body produces in response to heat and exercise.
In addition to a change in body odor, you may discover that the deodorant or antiperspirant you’ve used for years is no longer working. Restoring and rebalancing hormones often resolves the issue. Changes in hygiene may also help, such as:
- Taking more frequent showers or baths
- Using a gentle body wash
- Using a natural skin moisturizer or aromatic essential oils
- Addressing menopausal anxiety using natural compounds, including GABA and Theanine
Dry Mouth or Dental Problems
As estrogen levels decline with age, many women start experiencing more dental problems, including dry mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis, more cavities, and burning mouth syndrome. Smoking, sweets, stress, poor nutrition, and certain medications can exacerbate these problems.
Your dentist may offer solutions, but if you’re approaching menopause and are experiencing dry mouth or noticing an increase in dental problems, consider having your hormone levels tested. Restoring and balancing hormones may be the key to resolving these issues.
Estrogen receptors are found in every region of the brain, and they play a key role in mood maintenance. Specifically, reduced estrogen is associated with a decrease in two important mood-regulating chemical compounds:
- Serotonin is a neurotransmitter largely responsible for helping to maintain a calm and happy mood.
- Oxytocin is a hormone that promotes expressions, bonding, and even feelings that mirror love. It also manages key aspects of the female and male reproductive systems, including labor, delivery, and lactation.
Here at the BioDesign Wellness Center, we offer multiple treatment options to help stabilize mood and boost serotonin and oxytocin levels naturally, including:
- Estrogen and progesterone therapy
- Natural anti-depressant medications
- Functional wellness techniques such as massage, meditation, and regular exercise
Keep in mind that menopause affects each woman differently and that any symptoms you’re experiencing may or may not be related to menopause. Other factors need to be considered, such as high stress, sleep problems, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to environmental toxins, and more.
If you are experiencing unexplained symptoms, we encourage you to consult a functional medicine practitioner who can perform a full workup with targeted testing to identify the root cause(s) of whatever is ailing you.
If the symptoms you’re experiencing are the result of menopause, hormone therapy may be the right solution for you. For more about our approach to restoring and balancing hormones, visit our Hormone Therapy page.
Our hormone therapy patients share their experiences here!
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post about menopause is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect current medical thinking or practices. No information contained in this post should be construed as medical advice from the medical staff at BioDesign Wellness Center, Inc., nor is this post intended to be a substitute for medical counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate medical advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed medical professional in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.