Struggling with Depression & Menopause? What Every Women Should Learn Now.

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Struggling with Depression & Menopause? What Every Women Should Learn Now.

Depression and Menopause

You are not alone. Your symptoms are real.

Struggling with Depression & Menopause?

If you’re a woman who has struggled with hormonal balance, chances are you’re used to hearing comments like…

“Oh, my mom didn’t experience that.”

“Really, I’ve never had PMS.”

“How’s your diet? You should try essential oils.”

“My period just stopped one day. That’s all. I was fine.”

If you are struggling with menopause symptoms, please know that you are not alone. Your symptoms are real. Try to see these changes as a wake-up call to put your mental and physical health first. Menopause transition is a wonderful time to make lasting changes to ensure the best possible health as you age.

Menopause is the transition that signals the end to your reproductive years. For many women, it has three stages including perimenopause, menopause and post menopause. The transition period can last 4 – 10 years. Many women report symptoms are the most disruptive as hormones drop and the body begins to adjust to the decrease in hormone levels. This shift creates a ripple of symptoms. As women, we should be aware of our hormonal patterns and discuss options for optimizing health.

The list of yucky, annoying and downright scary symptoms is enough to make a strong woman cry. Many times, women tend to seek help during the six month period when hormonal shifts and symptoms can be the worst.

Depression is a common symptom, but usually one of many, including:

Mental Health

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Insecurity and emotional vulnerability
  • Changes in cognitive processing
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Rage
  • Sleep problems
  • Lower sex drive or loss of interest in sex with your partner
  • Mild to extreme fatigue

Physical Changes

  • Weight changes
  • Low energy and changes in metabolism
  • Joint pain and aches
  • Changes in skin
  • Vaginal changes
  • Hair loss
  • Teeth and gum problems
  • Vision changes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bladder changes, urine leakage or incontinence

Additional Symptoms 

  • Dizziness
  • Ears ringing
  • New sensitivity to foods
  • Insomnia
  • Hot flashes
  • Desire to reassess or make significant changes, shifting priorities
  • Increase risk for medical concerns

Often, medical providers fail to provide education to patients. You may not receive enough information to make an informed decision about your health. You will benefit from doing your own research on menopause, hormone therapy and aging-related medicine.

It’s important that women communicate with each other and share information.  If you are looking for resources and want to learn more about how to help yourself or a woman you love, please check out the following:

Online Support Group

Menopause Chitchat

Menopause Chitchat offers written information, videos, and an online support forum. The support forum is simple, monitored well, and full of supportive women.

Register at http://forum.menopausechitchat.com

Recommended Reading

1. The Estrogen Window by Mache Seibel (2016) (Also release by the title “Estrogen Fix”)

The book is a must read if you’re considering hormone therapy options.

2. Goddesses Never Age by Dr. Christiane Northrup (Video Link)

Women either love or don’t appreciate Ms. Northrup’s approach to menopause. She has a large following and is a recognized expert in female health.

 

Websites

Ellen Dolgen

Ms. Dolgen has made menopause education her mission. Like so many women, she struggled with symptoms and finding helpful guidance. For over a decade, she’s helped other women find their way. She is not a medical provider, but she offers good sources.  She has great information about lifestyle changes and a really great symptom tracking chart so you can track your symptoms and share with your doctor.  Her website is pretty and has a fun vibe.

 

Local Resource

In Health Pharmacy, Fargo

www.inhealthcompounding.com

In Health Pharmacy offers educational classes on hormone therapy and provides bioidentical hormone therapy. They are well respected in the medical community and willing to help. The pharmacy works with many medical providers in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

 

Also, please discuss any medical decisions with your physician.  We do not recommend purchasing hormones at a store and starting on your own. Hormone treatment requires a very sensitive balance and going it alone can send your hormonal symphony into a chaotic mess.

For the latest research on the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy, read the Estrogen Window book or visit:

North American Menopause Society

Register & Read Updated Articles on Medscape

 

Well, this should get you started.  If you’re having symptoms, mild or severe, know that you are not alone. 

Every woman goes through the transition and comes out on the other side. 

 

 

 



 

How Qualified is Your Provider?  Ask the following questions?  Or test your Menopause IQ!

  1. What’s needed to maintain vaginal tissue in order to have an active sex life? What does the research say about sexual changes 2 years after menopause? How does it differ from the research 7 years after menopause?
  2. When is a pelvic ultrasound needed for post-menopause care?
  3. If I take EPT or ET how can I decrease the risks of stroke or blood clots?
  4. What’s the latest research on heart health and menopause? How is this impacted by the estrogen window?
  5. How does estrogen impact the brain?  What’s needed to improve and maintain cognitive health?
  6. What’s important for bone health? Can you help me understand the research on calcium supplements?
  7. Why does urine leakage happen for women? Can I do anything to prevent or fix this concern? What % of women struggle with this concern?
  8. What impact does a lower level of estrogen have on inflammation?  Will I experience greater aches and pains? What are my options?
  9. I will now lose collagen (up to 30% in the first 5 years). How can I take care of my skin and prevent skin cancer as I age?
  10. If the average weight gain is 1 pound a year after menopause, what can I do to maintain my weight?
  11. Why do women lose curves after menopause? What are the health risks related to these changes?
  12. What is the connection between menopause and diabetes?
  13. How can I reduce Sarcopenia (guess what- we lose muscle as we age)?  Considering that women lose about 1% of strength per year after menopause and significantly more after age 70- what role should weight lifting play in my exercise routine? What resources would you recommend?
  14. Why is a “healthy gut” so important now?  What do you recommend to increase nutritional absorption and optimize gut bacteria?
  15. Why do experts recommend changing exercise routine after menopause? Why does high intensity backfire for women? How should I exercise now?
  16. What does the research say about maintaining happiness and depression prevention. What should I be focusing on to improve my mental health and sense of wellbeing as I age?

Final word…

It is time to step up your self-care!  If you are not managing stress well, eating well, exercising often, consuming too much caffeine, neglecting your sleep habits, or your happiness needs – you are in for a very uncomfortable experience.

Good news! Lots you can do to balance your hormones and begin to feel better! You can take this time to improve your quality of life, health and relationships.  It is a period of wisdom and growth.

Let us know if you need help.

Like your provider?  Let us know his or her name and we can share with other women.  Thank you!