Hormones

In honor of National Nurses Week, I would like to introduce you to a Nurse Practitioner I’ve recently met who specialty is hormone replacement therapy!

Please welcome Nancy Onyett, Family Nurse Practitioner, and enjoy her guest post!

Why Women Need Hormones

by Nancy Onyett, FNP-C

Nancy Onyett, FNP-CAfter the age of 35 women’s hormones start to decline and the roller coaster affect sets in. A woman’s body does not feel right, periods are changing, moods more labile, and sleeping is affected. This may last 5 years or more before menopause.

In the perimenopausal period, women can be safely treated with micronized progesterone which helps with moods, headaches, sleeping, and PMS. Also, progesterone helps with bloating, breakouts, bleeding, and water retention.

Women who are menopausal need to start hormone therapy early for benefits in protection against disease states. Studies show that women who start hormone therapy in early menopause avoided the diseases of aging such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, colon cancer, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, heart attacks, and cataracts. Also, estradiol protects against skin wrinkling breast sagging, vaginal dryness, and urinary incontinence. In women who have not had a hysterectomy estradiol has to be balanced with micronized progesterone. The balance gives women a feeling to live younger in combination with exercise and nutrition.

Hormone therapy must be prescribed by a Nurse Practitioner or Physician who has been trained in the practice of age management medicine. It requires a consultation, history and physical with blood work. It is an ongoing medical relationship for health and longevity.

Please stop by Nancy’s website and blog to learn more about her practice!!

Are YOU Going Through Menopause?

The Menopause Makeover:  The Ultimate Guide To Taking Control of Your Health and Body During Menopause, by Staness Jonekos

The dictionary defines menopause as the “time in a woman’s life when menstruation diminishes and ceases, usually between the ages of 45 and 50.”  It is identified as not having a period for one year.  Perimenopause (peri is Latin for “around or near”) is the time prior to the cessation of menstruation when you experience hormonal changes and you are still having your periods.  Many doctors now refer to perimenopause as the menopause transition.  So I will also refer to it as the same.  Postmenopause is the time after menopause when the symptoms of estrogen absence appear.

Going through the menopause transition is the reverse of puberty.  Puberty was the transition in your life when your hormones were gearing up for your reproductive years to come.  Remember your first period?  Emotional outbursts, swollen breasts, restless nights, and feeling bloated?  Now, at the menopausal transition, you may experience many of the same symptoms, but for different reasons.  Instead of “turning on” your hormones, your body is now “turning off” your hormones.  Many women who had difficult puberties have challenging menopause.  Women who got through adolescence easily often have the same experience with menopause.  We are all different and menopause is no exception.

So how do you know you are going through menopause?

Let’s identify your symptoms.  You may have one, some or all at different stages of menopause.  Sixty to eighty percent of women experience mild to moderate symptoms, 10-20 percent suffer severe symptoms, and 10-20 percent have no symptoms. Your symptoms can be a guide to what is happening in your body. These clues are the hard evidence you will need when deciding what course of action you may wish to exercise.

Do you experience any of these symptoms?

  • Hair and skin changes
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Night Sweats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Changes in your period
  • Migraine headaches
  • Bladder changes
  • Vision changes
  • Joint aches
  • Nail and tooth problems
  • Breast tenderness
  • Memory loss
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of libido
  • Vagina dryness

These are all messages from your body.

If  you are experiencing one or many of these “changes” you may be perimenopausal, menopausal, postmenopausal, or having symptoms from surgical menopause (hysterectomy).

You are not alone; over 44 million women are going through similar transitions with 6,000 a day joining the club.

If you suspect that you are going through one of the stages of menopause, call your doctor and request a FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) blood test.  The results of this test will allow you and your doctor to determine how best to treat your symptoms.

While waiting for test results, start an exercise program.  Regular exercise can improve the symptoms of menopause.  It helps regulate weight, benefits your heart and bones, and contributes to a sense of overall well-being and improvement in mood.

*Document your symptoms, develop a strong relationship with your health care provider, and discuss your treatment options.*

For more information and FREE Health Calculators, go to: MenopauseMakeover.com

Follow Staness on twitter at @Staness

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