Hormone health is important at any age (and for any gender). But for women older than 40, out of whack hormones can really make life miserable. I should know. I’m 48 and have been trying to piece together the puzzle that is my hormonal health for the past decade. I changed my diet, tried harder to manage stress, and took supplements. And I definitely saw some improvements.
But despite my efforts, last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis. This painful condition isn’t limited to women older than 40, but for me it coincided with a number of other symptoms indicating things were deteriorating in the hormonal realm. My cycles started getting shorter and shorter, and I began spotting for up to 15 days per month – meaning that I was bleeding for at least 20 days – every single month. I also had what’s called a “friable cervix,” meaning that my cervix bled profusely on contact. The gynecologist who did my PAP smear even went so far as to say that her examination room looked like a “crime scene” after she had completed her exam!
This same gynecologist offered me synthetic progesterone, saying that it would significantly improve most if not all of my symptoms.
But I’ve never been a fan of synthetic anything. I was worried about the possible side effects of the medication. And I was aware that even if I took it, the underlying causes of my hormonal distress would still be there – even if I was blessedly free of the symptoms.
So that’s when I really began to dig in and do my own research.
Of course it helped that I’ve studied Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM offered a holistic way of understanding the underlying imbalances that were giving rise to the disturbing symptoms I was experiencing. And it provided supportive, effective treatment options.
But I found that reaching out to other disciplines such as integrative nutrition, pelvic health physiotherapy, and even biological dentistry brought my understanding to a new level.
- I learned about the connection between gut health and hormones.
- I learned about the thyroid-perimenopause connection.
- I learned how estrogen dominance could be responsible for many of my symptoms.
- I discovered that uterine position can affect menstrual pain, and about the importance of flexible, resilient and strong pelvic floor muscles.
- I found out that the mercury fillings I’ve had since I was a child might be impacting my ability to metabolize and eliminate hormonal waste, particularly toxic forms of estrogen.
But the most important thing I discovered is that suffering with fatigue, chronic headaches, brain fog, painful and erratic periods, insomnia and many other issues just because you are a 40+ woman is not normal. And it is not inevitable. There is help!
If you too have concerns about your hormonal health – whether or not you’re over 40 – you’re welcome to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me to discuss your concerns and treatment options. I use an integrative and functional approach involving traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, yoga and holistic nutrition. And I can refer you to other practitioners, too, if that’s appropriate for your healing.
I’m happy to share with you all I’ve learned about easing my own hormonal challenges. But if you’d like to learn first-hand, many of the practitioners I encountered in my search for hormonal help are featured in the free Hormones Balance After 40 event, which runs from June 5-11, 2017 (starts today!). Register here.
Yours in good health,