As if we didn’t have enough to cope with in our lives while trying to be well women, like PMT, pregnancy, self esteem issues, aging, Thyroid problems, Autoimmune diseases, Scoliosis or whatever illness or stress we are living with, then sure enough there is something else. Bring it on!!
Some of us go through it sooner than others but the average age is 50-52.
Early or premature menopause is defined as before the age of 40.
So what is it exactly?
"Peri" is the chapter where oestrogen (estrogen) and progesterone begin to diminish and fertility is on the decline. This can start as early as age 35 in some women and can go on for months or several years.
The final chapter is the time when it can be clearly stated that women have had no periods at all for a clear 12 months.
List of symptoms
Weight gain and surplus body fat-Water retention and bloating -Depression and an increase in anxiety - Insomnia - Hot flushes -Excessive sweating and night sweats - Low thyroid -
Reduced libido (sex drive) - Osteoporosis - Migraines
Mood changes - Irritability - Aggressive behaviour -
Exaggerated PMT symptoms -
And many more.
I personally had night sweats and hot flushes on and off from the age of about 36, gradually becoming more frequent. The other symptoms appeared gradually, until last year, (around the same time as I started thyroid medication) I decided to research the subject due to something I read in Mary Shomons book, “Living well with Hypothyroidism” regarding thyroid and the menopause.
By then, I was literally drenching the bed at night and having hot flushes during the day too. My sleep pattern was shot to pieces and my periods were so heavy and unpredictable I could not leave the house, not to mention the deterioration of my mattress!!
I discovered a cream called “Natural Progesterone Cream” and did my research before deciding to purchase it. I have now been using it for 8 months with very good results. 99% of my night sweats have gone. I no longer have hot flushes during the day. My mood is very much better and self esteem has increased. My breasts are rarely tender and a variety of aches and pains have reduced, in other words most of the menopause symptoms are either gone altogether of very much reduced.
My periods are now every 6-8 weeks instead of every two weeks and the flow is reduced.
The pioneer of this “natural medication” is Dr John R. Lee who researched the effects of hormones on patients over a 20 year period. Dr Lee was actually a Californian family doctor and much of his life has been dedicated to a new syndrome called “Oestrogen dominance” and proving the importance of progesterone in preventing the above symptoms of the menpause and other problems associated with oestrogen dominance. Dr Lee died at the age of 74 after accomplishing his mission
John D Lee
Here you can also subscribe to a free newsletter about developments resulting from his work. Information on the subject of menopause is paramount in providing solutions to helping yourself to be well. John Lee's work provides those solutions and the way forward with menopause.
Please seeThe Natural Progesterone Information Service
This is an information site supporting his work and the use of Natural Progesterone and all the symptoms associated with menopause and they provide a free booklet which is full of information.
So what is Oestrogen Dominance? Why is it so relevent in the menopause?
Doctor Lee spent many years observing his patients and testing both their hormone levels and bone density levels. This coupled with paying real attention to what his patients were saying, helped him recognise a new syndrome which he called oestrogen dominance.
Doctor Lee is the writer of many books on the subjects of both Natural Progesterone and the Menopause and co wrote the under noted books with science writer Virginia Hopkins (See my books and resources to buy and links below)
“What your doctor may not tell you about menopause”
“What your doctor may not tell you about pre menopause”
“What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer”
His final book, again co written with and completed by Virginia after his death is: “Hormone Balance Made Simple”
These books have been read by millions of women, doctors and researchers.
Doctor Lee has saved many lives with his research and spared thousands of women from breast cancer, not to mention the thousands who have been able to lead better lives whilst in the menopause.
His findings have helped thousands suffering from PMT and clinical trials on a grand scale are now well under way. .
Doctor Lee was basically concerned about the prescribing of synthetic HRT to women in menopause and the effects both this and the synthetic birth control pill have on women and the risks to those women. He also discussed environmental issues regarding chemicals which disrupt the system and cause symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
He states that synthetic hormones should be replaced with bio identical hormones.
He was concerned with pharmaceutical companies’ preference for synthetic hormones which can be patented, whereas a natural product obviously can not. This is more of a concern as patented drugs are more profitable and, as sex hormone prescription sales make more money than any other for these pharmaceutical conglomerates, women’s health is being sacrificed. Women in the menopause naturally want to reduce the symptoms that menopause brings. If it means synthetic HRT, then they will be quite happy to take it. However, if they could get the same results from a natural bio identical product, then their health would not be sacrificed and menopause would be a smooth and un noticable process. Why won't doctors listen? Because the product can't be patented because it is natural and therefore won't make money for the pharmaceutical conglomerates.
I can vouch for this. I told 2 doctors about Natural progesterone cream recently, also explaining the benefits I had seen, and neither of them showed any interest, even when I produced the booklets for their perusal. I also explained that my symptoms of menopause had been reduced by using the cream and that the night sweats and hot flushes had gone. I would have thought they would have been very interested
These were the symptoms I found the worst and longed for night free of sweats and wet bedding. It seemed that they always came on around 4am, therefore disrupting my sleep. I would have to throw off the bedding to get cool, then become freezing cold and have to have the bedding on again and it became a vicious circle of throwing off the bedding and putting it back on, countless times. I also felt overcome by the hot flushes during the day, especially when they came on in a shop or at a social occasion.
It is critical to make sure that your symtoms are due to menopause and not another illness remembering again that some symptoms of menopause are identical to thyroid and autoimmune conditions.
Surely, not another thing that doctors don’t care about? Unlucky me having both thyroid and menstrual problems, both of which are probably connected to each other in some way. Thinking about all the symptoms of both, and having no medical training, even I can see a pattern. I know that Hashimoto's can bring on an early menopause too.
Saliva testing is an important way of determining whether you have a hormone balance that needs correcting and these can be purchased by women to test at home and return to the lab for analysis.
Research has shown that natural progesterone is nature’s answer to HRT and is ideal for women suffering from PMT and menopause symptoms. It can be used as early as teenage and Doctor Lee states that it can even be used by women in their 90's!! My mother is 76 and still has symptoms of oestrogen dominance and regularly has night sweats.
Natural progesterone protects against breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis, and can increase
and metabolism. It is a natural anti-depressant, can reduce bloating due to it’s diuretic effect and can also reduce hot flushes.
Also, please take note that synthetic progesterone is vastly different to natural progesterone and is dangerous and toxic, as indeed all synthetic hormones are. Progesterone actually got a bad name due to the synthetic version being used and this mistake has had an effect on the use of the natural version.
What is now clear is that synthetic hormones are toxic, that we have established, but also petrochemicals and chemicals in our food, environment, drinking water, hair dyes, cosmetics and plastics to name but a few are having what is called “oestrogenic” effects on our body, the result of which is causing chaos regarding our ability to function hormonally.
(Also see effects of these chemicals on my thyroid page as their effects on the endocrine system in general are identical)
Both the UK and the US are starting to recognise that the natural progesterone product is very different to the synthetic hormone that was being prescribed and also recognising its benefits to women.
Oestrogen is responsible for the change that occurs in young girls when they reach puberty. It is a hormone which stimulates, which is why when given in excess in its synthetic form, it becomes toxic and the risks associated more than treble.
Of course many women get relief from synthetic HRT. But the far safer hormone, Natural progesterone can also relieve it, since progesterone is needed for the production of oestrogen in the first place.
The cream was developed as a transdermal cream which when applied, would be absorbed into the bloodstream far quicker and more efficiently than taking it by mouth in the form of a tablet.
60% of what is applied to our skin is actually absorbed by our bodies, so think about that the next time you are applying your fake tan or body lotion. Read the list of ingredients. Do you really think sodium laureth sulphate and parabens belong in your body?
Greater findings were made regarding osteoporosis. Doctor Lee’s findings revealed that after a few months of applying the cream, tests began to show that users bone density had increased.
This was an amazing discovery because while oestrogen can slow down bone loss, natural progesterone was actually reversing it. No other substance had ever been shown to reverse bone loss. Older women who had lost a great deal of bone density and had actually suffered fractures were now gradually regaining the bone density of 35 year olds. Although this happened over a number of years it was still a real breakthrough. The typical findings in the patients of Doctor Lee was a bone density increase of 10% in the first year, followed by 3-5% each following year, and fractures reduced to zero!!
Other findings brought back to Doctor Lee by his patients were:
PMT reduced in patients who were still menstruating
Fibrocystic breasts began to improve
Women taking diuretics no longer needed them
Depression sufferers started to feel happy again
Low thyroid function started to improve in some women and in some, returned to normal
Women with fibroids found that these improved to a level where surgery was not required, or even shrank altogether.
What else can help?
The first port of call should be a good diet, rich in organic foods especially fruit and vegetables where possible, low in dairy produce and meat. If you need to eat meat make sure it is definitely organic.
Supplements are also important.
GLA in evening primrose oil or starflower oil
together with magnesium and zinc, both very important minerals work well together.
Also a B complex, particularly B6 and B3 niacin.
Whilst Mexican yam was thought to convert to progesterone, it has been proven that it does not. However, it is a useful phytoestrogen which helps to block powerful oestrogens in the body from attaching to oestrogen receptors.
A supplement containing a high dose of calcium is also recommended (at least 300mg a day) Please note: If you take thyroid medication for hypothyroidism, make sure you take this at lease four hours after or before a calcium supplement as the supplement can affect the absorbtion of the thyroid medication.
Basically, a good menopause supplement should be taken which includes everything mentioned but add additional supplements like evening primrose, epa fish oils and bone or osteo supplements.
Doctor Lee states that many women suffer from oestrogen dominance and this may be for many reasons; chemical, environmental, HRT, the Pill, or also from a general lack of progesterone. The use of progesterone cream rebalances the symptoms. He adds that while oestrogen is a powerful hormone and necessary, the supplementation of it in synthetic form increases the risk of cancer, of both the breast and womb and triggers many unwanted symptoms such as:
Water retention, mood swings, tender swollen breasts, fibrocystic breasts, PMT, depression, loss of sex drive, uterine fibroids, sweet cravings, heavy and irregular periods, weight gain, particularly around the hips and thighs, low thyroid, increase in blood clotting, interference with blood sugar control and reduction in vascular tone.
Progesterone opposes these effects:
It Maintains endometrium
Protects breasts from becoming fibrocystic
Helps burn fat for energy
Naturally anti depressant
Helps to normalise thyroid function
Normalises blood clotting helping to avoid strokes
Restores sex drive
Prevents endometrial cancer
Stimulates bone density
Helps prevent breast cancer
The cream you choose should be bio identical natural cream that is free from chemicals and additives of any kind. It is also organic. It is made from USP progesterone and NOT wild yam extract.
The cream is transdermal, which means it is absorbed through the skin. The benefit of this is that with oral tablets it would need to be processed through the liver and you would need 50 X more. The transdermal approach means you need less to receive the benefits as it is absorbed through the bloodstream hitting the receptor sites immediately. Each jar lasts about a month and contains 2oz
Although it can take up to 3 months before you see results, some women experience relief within the first week.
What are the ingredients?
The cream contains natural spring water, vegetable stearic acid, sweet almond oil, glycerin, aloe vera, progesterone, grapefruit seed extract and Vitamins A, B Complex, C, D and E. The progesterone used is 100% pharmaceutical Grade Natural (Bioidentical) Progesterone.
Since I am a user of natural progesterone cream and can confirm that it has worked for me, I would love to see others benefit in the same way and reduce all women's menopause symptoms.
Please read Doctor Lee's books on the subject of menopause
The books are extremely informative and can help you lead a life that is free from the unpleasant and debilitating symptoms that the menopause brings, the hot flushes, night sweats and the effects of oestrogen dominance.
Some questions that have been asked about Natural Progesterone
Do women need to take Oestrogen as well?
Doctor John Lee states that in his experience, unless women are changing from HRT to Natural progesterone, the majority of women
do not need to supplement with oestrogen in addition to progesterone. His recommendation is that menopausal women should try Natural Progesterone for three to four months before deciding whether they need to additionally supplement with oestrogen. Oestrogen should only be used if menopausal symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flushes are not completely controlled by Natural Progesterone. In the moajority of cases, oestrogen will not be required.
If Oestrogen is needed, which kind is best?
Since oestrogen can be toxic, only the smallest amount is needed. Doctor Lee believes that the oestrogen patch is the safest method as the dose can be controlled by sticking the patch over a hole cut in a sticking plaster, so that only a part of the patch is in contact with the skin. He does not recommend combined Natural progesterone and oestrogen creams because it is not possible to control the amount of oestrogen.
How do women feel on Natural Progesterone and are there any side effects?
Most women feel great. Menopausal symptoms disappear, like hot flushes and mood swings. Some women experience weight loss especially around hips and thighs, and water retention is greatly reduced. Cycle related headaches and migraines often disappear or are greatly reduced. Moods improve and cravings reduce. There is also reduced breat tenderness and breast cysts can disappear. Bone density increases. This has been proven by results published by Doctor John Lee in his own clinical trials.
However, although most women experience positive results, there are also those that find it difficult, especially at first. Some women it does not suit at all.
When a woman is not making her own progesterone, then supplying it in the same quantities that the ovaries would normally supply should not cause any side effects. However, in the first few weeks of using Natural Progesterone cream, a few women may experience exaggerated oestrogen dominance symptoms, such as breast tenderness, depression and mood swings. This generally passes within the first month with rarer cases taking slightly longer.
This happens because progesterone makes the oestrogen receptors more sensitive therefore making oestrogen in the body more effective. This is also why a woman on HRT should reduce her oestrogen intake by half when starting to use Natural Progesterone. The oestrogen will of course have a greater effect. This is more likely to occur where a woman has a build up of oestrogen due to chemical pollutants, from the Pill or HRT, or because she has not been producing her own progesterone over a long period of time. Progesterone normally keeps oestrogen in check.
The solution to this is to use slightly more cream for a while until the oestrogen balance is brought under control or alternatively, use a tiny amount of cream, then build it up slowly. Experimentation may be required initially as everyone is different.
Maca can also help with the menopause by balancing hormones and many women have had good results. It also may increase Libido in both men and women. To read more about the superfood, Maca,
Please Click HERE
Please Click Here to go to the Libido Page
for some ideas and natural solutions on how to increase yours if it is low. Menopause and chronic illness and also depression and anti-depressant medication can and usually does affect libido causing anxiety and unhappiness for women and their partners. Much can be done to help improve this in those who genuinely want to. Although if the problem is in conjunction with a marriage or relationship break down, no amount of products are going to help as these products need to be used by those women who are desperate to improve there libido not only for their own benefit, but also just as much for their partners.