Menopause

Menopause is a significant life stage where a woman’s menstruation and reproductive potential come to an end, encompassing various stages:

  • Premature Menopause (Under 40 Years): This happens when periods stop early, either on their own or because of a medical reason like surgery.

  • Early Menopause (Ages 40‒45): This stage is characterised by the cessation of ovarian function without an identifiable secondary cause, affecting 5‒12% of women.

  • Perimenopause (Around Ages 45‒50): This transitional phase begins with irregular menstrual cycles and continues until one year after the final menstrual period.

  • Menopause (Ages 50‒55): This is the official stage when a woman hasn’t had a period for 12 months (amenorrhea).

  • Post-menopause (Age 55 and Beyond): At this stage, menstrual periods have stopped completely, and most hormonal symptoms typically subside.

In functional/medicine, managing menopause is about more than just symptom relief; it’s a holistic approach that aims to understand and balance the hormonal shifts during this phase of life. Personalised treatment plans may include dietary changes and supplements to balance hormones, reduce fracture risk, optimise intestinal microbiome and mitigate symptoms, strategies to manage stress and regular physical activity are emphasised to improve sleep quality and emotional well-being.

 
 

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Case study

Susan*, female, 51-year-old, school teacher, Geneva, Switzerland

Address Menopause with Functional/Medicine

Severe Hot Flashes: Significantly disturbed her sleep and disrupted her daily routines. Mood Swings: Leading to stress and affecting work performance. Fatigue and Lack of Focus: Making it difficult to manage her teaching responsibilities.

*The case study uses “Susan” as a pseudonym to ensure confidentiality and privacy.

Some recommendations

Susan’s Personalised Plan

Dietary Changes: Susan switched to a diet rich in phytoestrogens, antioxidants, fibre, and omega-3s.

Supplement Regimen: Introduced herbal medicines to support overall hormonal balance.

Lifestyle Adjustments: Adopted yoga and breathing exercises for stress reduction, and improved her sleep hygiene.

The Results

After six months, her hot flashes became less frequent and severe, her mood stabilised, and her energy levels increased, leading to enhanced focus and performance at work.

“My hot flashes are now manageable, I feel emotionally balanced, and I’m full of energy. I highly recommend this approach to anyone struggling with menopause.”

Susan