Menopause / Peri-menopause
Millions of women in the United States are suffering from hormonal imbalance, whether it is early menopause, peri-menopause symptoms, peri-menopausal weight gain, adrenal fatigue, menopause, or premenstrual symptoms (PMS). In many cases, bioidentical hormone therapy can be part of the solution.
It’s like hitting a brick wall in life. That is how some women describe menopause. Sleepless and sweaty nights. Weight gain. Mood swings and irritability. Loss of sex drive. Depression. Menopause can be debilitating both physically and emotionally. In her book “The Sexy Years”, Suzanne Somers best described the onset of menopause as being invaded by the seven dwarfs: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and All-Dried-Up. Most women can completely relate to these symptoms. As the body ages, hormones diminish and the signs of aging creep in.
I have women coming to my office desperately seeking solutions to eliminate the suffering caused by hormonal imbalance. Besides the physical and emotional benefits, balanced hormone levels protect against obesity and disease, including cancer and Alzheimer’s. But because of today’s stressful lifestyle, women are losing hormones long before their golden years. Peri-menopause can begin as early as 35.
“The thought of living with the symptoms of menopause and suffering for the next few years was overwhelming,” said one of our menopause patients. “Within one month of being on bioidentical hormone therapy, my symptoms vanished. I feel like my old self again and would not consider going through this stage of my life without it. My husband is much happier too – he may need to come see you next!”
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of sex drive
- Urinary incontinence
Hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping and weight gain are the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance as a woman ages. Peri-menopause weight gain is often times misdiagnosed and is one of the first signs of hormonal imbalance. These signs of menopause or early menopause and related conditions are also connected to your stress levels, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and the environmental toxins your body is exposed to on a daily basis.
Dr. Rohde’s supervised program uses only bioidentical hormones, which are identical to the body’s natural chemistry, integrated with nutrition and fitness. This is a natural treatment that helps women suffering from the symptoms of peri-menopause and signs of menopause by using bioidentical hormones or natural hormones to live the best life possible.
Testing is a critical factor for success
To determine your hormonal needs, Dr. Rohde will thoroughly evaluate your early menopause symptoms using state-of-the-art diagnostic tests, such as, saliva, urine and/or blood tests to determine your hormone levels and your unique bioidentical hormonal needs. After starting bioidentical hormone therapy he monitors and reevaluates your hormone levels to insure that they are maintained at their optimum balance.
Which Hormones Do We Test?
Ovarian Hormones – What makes you a woman
- Estrogens, Progesterone and Testosterone
Adrenal Hormones – Your immune system, your energy level, and your ability to handle stress
- Cortisol – the stress hormone measured four times in a day
- DHEA – the “mother of all hormones”
Thyroid Hormones – Your metabolism
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Free T4
- Free T3
- Reverse T3
- Thyroid Antibodies
Your Body’s System
- Complete Blood Count, Complete Metabolic Profile, Hemoglobin A1C, Insulin and Lipid Panel
- Vitamin D, B12, Folate, Iron
Other Hormone Tests – Dr. Rohde may suggest other tests for you based on your symptoms.
Along with your lab tests, you’ll complete a thorough personal, medical and family history questionnaire. At your initial consultation, Dr. Rohde will review your history and lab results to determine with you the next steps together.
Menopause and the Signs of Menopause
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when the ovarian production of estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone declines. The average age of menopause onset is 51, plus or minus several years. Menopause is medically defined as the time in which a woman ceases to menstruate for the duration of 12 months. Although the definition properly describes the event, the process can begin up to 10 years earlier (called perimenopause).
Long before a woman’s menstruation stops, she will have already noticed a change. Her periods become shorter in length and she notices a loss of energy, a decrease in strength, and a loss of libido. Her mood is altered and she may be more agitated, depressed, apathetic, and forgetful. While these are all symptoms of menopause, it is important to know that there is a bigger picture during this time your hormones are changing – you are experiencing the loss of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Perimenopause is the length of time before and one year after the final menstrual period, during which ovarian hormonal patterns change. The average age at which irregular cycles develop is approximately age 47 but in many cases can start as early as 30 years old. Like the signs of menopause, this is a normal part of a woman’s life cycle. Women can experience many of the same signs of menopause and can find relief with bioidentical hormone therapy.
Balancing Hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
In treating a woman with signs of menopause, symptoms of perimenopause and hormonal imbalance, Dr. Rohde will only replace exactly what is low or missing with the body’s appropriate bioidentical hormones. He will prescribe the bioidentical hormones in a fashion that matches each woman’s prior hormonal needs. We follow up with every patient closely, evaluating symptoms and using laboratory tests to determine each patient’s customized dose. We use only the finest and most reputable compounding pharmacies to obtain the exact combination of hormones required to achieve hormonal balance.
Alternative to Potentially Unnecessary Hysterectomies or Post Hysterectomy Treatments
The Center for Disease Control found that two thirds of the approximate 600,000 hysterectomies done in the United States every year are unnecessary. A large percent of our female patients have had multiple gynecologic tests that are expensive, invasive, and can potentially have complications and my ultimately lead to a hysterectomy – all due to hormone imbalance.
Treating the Signs of Menopause and Perimenopause Symptoms
There is no way to stop menopause, it’s a natural cycle of life. Every woman will go through menopause at some point in her life. However, the difference is how you treat it. Natural bioidentical hormone therapy will help you overcome the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause that occur with this stage in life.
Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried up – the seven dwarfs, one-by-one, begin to leave. There are many short-term benefits to natural bioidentical hormone therapy. The hot flashes, the night sweats, the irritability, and the loss of energy and strength begin to subside. Your libido is restored and you begin to feel more control over your emotions.
- Implantable pellets
- Topical Creams, Patches, or Gels
- Vaginal Creams
- Oral Troches
Treatment using bioidentical hormones for women are most common using topical creams and pellets. Oral forms are less utilized as they suffer from loss of effectiveness as they pass first through the liver for detoxification. This also places a detoxification load on the liver. However, in some cases oral troches may be used due to patient preference.