Hormones shape us into the women we ultimately become. They signal our bodies to develop breasts, add curves to our figure, begin menstruation and for many provide the ability to have children.
Imbalances in key hormones leads to Pre-Menstrual Symptoms (PMS) or Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and perimenopause. Absence of these hormones leads to menopause.
What causes PMS, perimenopause and Menopause?
From the onset of menstruation, our bodies are ruled by hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is responsible for building the lining of the uterus, while progesterone is responsible to keeping the lining from shedding until it is time to have a period. We are estrogen-dominant during the first half of our cycle and progesterone-dominant during the second half of our cycle.
After each pregnancy, our bodies reset our hormone production resulting in lower progesterone levels. After the age of 35, we begin to experience a steady decline in progesterone. To add to this hormonal shift, in our 40s we will begin to have more fluctuations in our estrogen levels. These hormonal shifts affect every woman differently. While some seem to be unaffected experiencing minimal to no symptoms, others may find their symptoms to debilitating at times. Hormone shifts or imbalances can also be influenced by stress, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and gut health.
What are the symptoms of PMS, perimenopause and menopause?
The symptoms of PMS, perimenopause and menopause are all very similar. These include…
- Severe irritability
- Social withdraw
- Weight gain
- Body temperature instability
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased sexual desire
- Lack of arousal
- Inability or diminished ability to climax
- Simply “not feeling like myself.”
What are the differences between PMS, perimenopause and menopause?
The timing of the symptoms is what distinguishes them from one another.
- PMS can occur from the onset of menstruation through menopause usually lasting between 2 to 7 days before the period and usually resolves after the period starts.
- As we age, the symptoms of PMS may lengthen in duration or intensify in severity.
- All women are perimenopausal from about age 35 when the progesterone levels began to decline and lasts until menopause.
- Menopause is only defined as the natural cessation of menstruation, which occurs for most American women around age 51.
- After the natural cessation of menstruation, women are postmenopausal for the remainder of their lives.
Should I seek treatment for PMS, perimenopause or menopause?
Whether or not to seek treatment for the symptoms of PMS, perimenopause or menopause is a personal choice. Traditional treatments include anti-depressants for mood changes, sleep aids for insomnia, hormonal birth control to regulate the timing and amount of flow from periods, and the common “eat less, exercise more” to help with weight gain.
What does Embrace Wellness do differently?
You may have been told that hormones levels don’t tell us anything or they can’t be evaluated. Or worse yet, your hormones levels have been evaluated and you have been told that they are “normal.” Tammy Hadfield has been trained in advanced hormone therapy by some the world’s leading experts, and she knows firsthand what it means to be going through hormonal changes. At Embrace Wellness, she will evaluate your symptoms and discuss which hormonal tests may be needed to evaluate your symptoms.
Total Hormone Evaluation
Typically, if you are still having a menstrual cycle, she will have your hormone levels evaluated approximately 7 days before your next period. If you are currently taking a birth control pill, a full hormone laboratory panel will not be possible as synthetic hormones override your body’s normal hormonal fluctuations. However, there are evaluations and treatment options she will discuss this further with you at your initial consultation.
If you are experiencing very irregular menstrual cycles or are no longer having a cycle, Tammy will evaluate your hormones at your initial consultation. Usually, a hormone evaluation does not require you to be fasting, but sometimes Tammy will determine that other medical conditions may need to be evaluated through fasting labs.
A Thorough, Personalized Consultation and Follow-Up
Once a hormone consultation and lab evaluation are completed, you will have another appointment with Tammy to discuss where your lab results compare to ideal hormone levels. She’ll discuss treatment options including bio-identical hormone therapies (hormones that match the human body’s own chemical structure), nutritional recommendations, supplements, and healthy lifestyle changes.
Bio-identical hormone therapies provided by Embrace Wellness include standard pharmaceutical medications available at any pharmacy as well as compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) through a specialized compounding pharmacy. We have numerous compounding pharmacies in the local area to meet your needs.
Menopausal management options also include peptide therapies and pellet therapy. Pellet therapy provides a sustained, consistent release of bio-identical hormones over time. Pellets are inserted into the hip area just under the skin 3-4 times per year during an in-office, 15-minute procedure. Estradiol, progesterone and testosterone are all available as pellets.
Start living your best life today.
The hormonal roller coaster can be frustrating. Tammy is happy to discuss the risks and benefits of BHRT for the treatment of PMS, perimenopause or menopause. Together, we can tailor your treatment plan to best meet your needs. Call to schedule your consultation today. Tammy is here to listen and to help you embrace your best self.