Sleepless nights of sweat-soaked sheets and cranky days! What is happening?! Forgetfulness, desert-dry vagina, arguing about the littlest of things…this is not how you used to be. Am I going nuts?! No, you are just going through new stages of life – perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Your physician may tell you all your new miserable symptoms are “just menopause”. “Just Menopause?” What is that supposed to mean? We are here to live vibrant lives even during and after menopause!
This blog will go over a few ways to naturally manage menopause and aging. However, no way is it comprehensive or customized to you. Menopause marks the last hormonal phase of your life. It involves both the transition and everything that follows it. Setting your mind and body for the future is critical during this time, and working with a private coach can help you create a tailored plan to live the happy and healthy life you want and deserve.
Before we dive in, let’s go over the 4 stages of menopause:
- Perimenopause – This is the “before” stage. It is a 3-5 year period when your estrogen and hormone levels begin to drop. It usually starts in your late 40s. Signs of it could be irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, and so forth. There is still a chance you could get pregnant.
- Early menopause – This could be caused by events such as a hysterectomy (uterus removed) or an oophorectomy (ovaries removed).
- Menopause – While every woman is unique, most start menopause in their late 40s/early 50s and stay in it for 1-3 years.
- Postmenopause – This stage begins once you officially reach menopause – 12 months after your last period. Unless you intervene, your hormones will forever stay at the same constant low. The good news is that you no longer experience some of the unbearable side effects of periods such as PMS or cramps. The bad news is you are at a much higher risk for certain illnesses caused by the decrease in hormones.
Estrogen is essential. But like everything in life, it is all about balance. When your hormones are in balance, you feel balanced as well. Your inflammation levels are stabilized, you decrease your risk for a wide range of illnesses, your mind is clear, your menstrual cycles are regular and not a source of pain if you are still menstruating. Most importantly, you have the vital energy to do everything you need and want to do in life.
Estrogen dominance is common in perimenopausal and menopausal women. It means you have too much estrogen in comparison to your progesterone levels. Progesterone is a protective hormone that helps slow tissue growth. When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, breast tissue is likely to be healthy. Estrogen dominance can lead to health challenges such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hair loss, endometriosis, ovarian and breast cysts, miscarriage, and premature aging.
Long-term estrogen dominance is also a significant risk factor for breast cancer, which is why testing is so important. After diving into my research, I realized that estrogen dominance was one of the root causes of my breast cancer. To learn more about overcoming estrogen dominance, listen to this podcast episode with Magdalena Wszelaki, the founder of Hormone Balance.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
If you are postmenopausal, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may benefit you. However, do not take pharmaceutical HRT because they are synthetic, and studies have linked them to heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer. Plant-Based Bioidentical hormones are entirely different because they share the exact same molecular structure as those you produce in your body. Therefore, when you drastically decrease your estrogen during menopause, bioidentical hormones can help you replace them.
Remember our mantra – when your hormones are balanced – so are you! Sadly, there is tremendous ignorance in the traditional medical community regarding bioidentical hormones. Depending on your test results, additional hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA may need to be added to the formulation. Therefore you will need to find a doctor who understands the gentle balance for bioidentical hormone therapy. Please note: Do NOT attempt to take hormones without consulting your doctor.
HRT and Breast Cancer
I often get asked, “Are plant-based bioidentical hormones safe to take if I have breast cancer?” The answer has proven to be “yes!” A large study by Dr. Agnes Fournier followed tens of thousands of women and found no increase in breast cancer related to bioidentical hormone therapy, including taking natural progesterone. In fact, women using bioidentical hormones had a 10% decrease in breast cancer risk!
The European Menopause Journal published an article about the differences between synthetic and bioidentical hormones. The authors concluded: Compelling indications also exist that differences might also be present for the risk of developing breast cancer, with recent trials indicating that the association of natural progesterone with estrogens confers less or even no risk of breast cancer as opposed to the use of other synthetic progesterone. Another study found that it may prevent breast cancer.
During my second healing journey, I consulted with Dr. Lindsey Berkson. She is, in my opinion, THE expert when it comes to balancing hormones and breast cancer. You can learn more about her protocols here.
Prevent Other Dis-eases With Natural Health
Heart/Cardiovascular System: According to the American Heart Association, a decline in estrogen after menopause may be a factor in the increase in heart disease among postmenopausal women. This is because estrogen has a positive effect on the inner layer of the artery wall, helping to regulate blood flow.
Bone/Skeletal System: Several studies have proven the direct correlation between the lack of estrogen after menopause and bone loss. This leads to developing osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and weak.
Urinary System: Low levels of estrogen can cause the urethra lining to thin which can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, bladder leakage (incontinence), and other urogynecology problems.
These are just a few health issues that could result in unbalanced hormones. To learn more about the importance of balancing your hormones, check out this blog post.
Utilize Natural Health to Manage Menopause Symptoms
As you all know, I am not shy about helping women live full and vibrantly healthy lives! Vaginal dryness (vaginal atrophy) is very common in peri and postmenopausal women, but it CAN be treated naturally and successfully. Vaginal atrophy isn’t just uncomfortable; it can be detrimental to your overall health. Chronic vaginal dryness can lead to other issues and diseases like UTIs and stop women from having sex altogether.
You are never too old to have sex. In fact, the older you are, the more significant sex is to help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life. During sexual intercourse and orgasm, specific “happy” hormones such as Oxytocin and DHEA are released. These hormones may help boost your immune system and keep breasts cancer-free.
I recently had Dr. Sherrill on my podcast to talk about vaginal dryness and her vaginal suppository called Hygeena. It is one of the most effective non-hormonal vaginal rejuvenation products that I have personally tested.
Another wonderful product that I have enjoyed for improved vaginal health is Julva. Dr. Anna Cabecca is a forward-thinking Triple Board Certified OBGYN who has worked with thousands of women and supported their hormonal healing. Julva supports vaginal health and helps prevent bladder leakage.
No matter the stage of your life, hormones, and sleep are directly related. During puberty, teenagers can sleep in until noon because their sex hormones are on the rise. It is also why many pregnant women cannot get consistent sleep patterns because their hormones are in flux. This also explains why during the perimenopause stage, sleeping is difficult and full of interruptions since our sex hormones are on the decline. However, sleep should be a top priority in all phases of menopause and every day in your life as it is essential to a strong immune system, managing menopause, and healing cancer.
Luckily, when hormones are properly balanced, you can sleep stronger and generally feel better.
”Stress and a lack of sleep can silence cancer-protecting genes.” – Dr. Stan Burzynski.
Insomnia can initiate mood swings, irritability, weight gain, fatigue, and many other common symptoms of menopause and aging. However, it doesn’t have to be this way – you just may need a little help from some extra melatonin, a cytotoxic hormone produced by the pineal gland to help you sleep.
Did you know that melatonin just isn’t for sleep? Melatonin regulates levels of estrogen and has epigenetic (cancer-correcting) properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system. Dozens of studies have confirmed that maintaining adequate melatonin levels can directly inhibit breast cancer development and growth. So my dear cancer conqueror and menopause maverick, it’s time to prioritize your melatonin and sleep!
Your body’s natural production of melatonin can be negatively affected by aging, all stages of menopause, poor gut health, alcohol and drugs, stress, exposure to blue light, and EMFs. While a lot of factors such as alcohol and stress are in your control, many are not, so enhancing your levels of melatonin is important for healing and cancer prevention. Many integrative doctors are using High Dose Melatonin, as high as 180 mg. per day, to help weaken cancer and boost the Immune System. You can order high-dose melatonin here.
To learn more about the benefits of high-dose melatonin read this blog and watch the YouTube video.
Exercise and Meditation
In addition to high-dose melatonin, regular exercise can work wonders to enhance sleep and feeling better overall. Exercise tires your body and relaxes your mind – it gives you more energy in the day and better sleep at night. The relaxation that comes from meditation practice can also help you catch restorative Zzzz’s. One Minute To Calm is specifically designed for cancer patients and their caregivers to dramatically reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and discomfort through their medical ordeal. Listen to my podcast episode with the founders of Loving Meditation and start sleeping better tonight!
Aging and Natural Skin Care
Just as your hormonal, teenage puberty days did funky stuff to your skin, so can aging and menopause. However, this time around, you are wiser and can do better. Back then, you simply couldn’t listen to a podcast to learn about naturally caring for your skin, but today you can! This is why I just interviewed Dr. Stacey Shillington to talk with the Breast Cancer Conqueror divas about how to age beautifully. Check out this episode where Dr. Stacey explains the foods and lifestyle factors that contribute most to premature aging. Additionally, she shares the best foods to eat and the best skin care products to use to ensure we have beautiful, youthful-looking skin. Enjoy this coupon for 60% off Dr. Stacey’s 8-Week Aging Beautifully Program as a gift to our listeners.
Test – don’t guess and stress! I can’t recommend testing your hormones and genetics enough! Healing and feeling great is for you – at all stages of your life! Your body is no longer a mystery. Finding out precisely what your genes and hormones tell you can take away unnecessary stress, as well as lead to practical ways to optimize your specific health problem areas, manage menopause, and put you in the driver’s seat of your aging. Here are some of the tests I suggest. What do you do with the results? Join our community and our coaches can help you decipher the results.
- SelfDecode DNA Test covers all of your hormones and genetic markers with a scale that shows you low, normal, and optimal ranges. The Self Decode team of doctors and scientists never stop researching and providing personalized suggestions on how to optimize your lab results. Be the master of your health and take control today with my special Self Decode DNA Test code.
- The Female/Male Saliva Profile III from ZRT Labs is a panel that I highly recommend. Be sure to specify that you would like to have the estrogen quotient ratio and the E1 and E3 (estrone and estriol) added to the panel.
- My Health Confirm is another quality lab that has a saliva test called the My Health Confirm Hormone Vitality Complete. This panel tests estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and a full day’s worth of cortisol levels. For less than a hundred dollars extra, you can also add Estrone (E1) and Estriol (E3) to the Hormone Vitality Complete panel.
- A final top-of-the-line lab is Precision Analytical Inc, which administers the popular Dutch Test. Dutch stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. There are many kinds of panels to choose from and you can learn more about them via this video and buy the tests here.
Estrogen (E1, E2, and E2) and Progesterone
Whether you decide to go with one of the labs mentioned above or with your doctor to get your saliva hormone panel, make sure to ask specifically for the three kinds of estrogen (E1, E2, and E2) and progesterone. In addition, I always prefer to do either a urine or saliva test as opposed to a blood sample. Saliva and urine are collected throughout the day which gives a more accurate picture of the flow of hormones throughout your day. The hormones in the saliva are more bio-available compared to the protein-bound hormones found in the blood at that particular time of day when the blood is drawn.
If you need help interpreting your results, be sure to work with a professional. You can talk to one of our Breast Cancer Conqueror coaches, who can help you read your results and guide you with a plan going forward.
Menopause and aging are inevitable, but how you feel during menopause and for the rest of your life is up to you. You live in a time with cutting-edge research and products at your figure tips. Use it to live the vibrant life you want and deserve! Take charge!