Menopause and Menopausal Symptoms
The Mayo Clinic says that, “Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period.” - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menopause/DS00119
Obviously, menopause is so much more than its strict definition. In American culture, menopause is strongly associated with uncomfortable symptoms; so much so, that the word menopause alone, is often used to mean menopausal symptoms. Our cultural Osterizing of these two terms has led to a sense that menopause must include menopausal symptoms, and that menopausal symptoms, regardless of their severity, are normal and inevitable.
The cause of menopause is the expression of the complex biological design of the female that favors the cessation of fertility under certain conditions.
The causes of menopausal symptoms are a completely different, but certainly related world.
We know that women have widely varying experiences of menopause, and widely varying degrees of menopausal symptoms.
We are too focused on hormones being the cause of menopausal symptoms. It is valuable to remember that hormones are hugely regulated by how we live. On T. Colin Campbell’s site we are informed that estrogen levels are influenced by foods such as hormone-laiden meat, vegetables, and phytoestrogens in plants. http://www.tcolincampbell.org/courses-resources/article/china-report-menopause/?tx_ttnews[backPid]=76&cHash=a1b97ce12ffeab7fc1f59e50d56c5aea
Accumulated knowledge and experience have shown us that menopausal symptoms are influenced, and/or caused by: stress, loving-relationships status, exercise, yoga, diet, food allergens, nutrient status, magnesium status, essential fat status, toxic burden, and gut health, to name a few.
Our culture overly utilizes remedies for all conditions. Menopausal symptoms are no exception. We all know that some remedies can often provide real and valuable relief. Hopefully we are beginning to learn that remedies may be a place to start, but that we are wise to begin learning about the causes of our conditions and responding to them.
We all know that in middle-age most men and women begin to have more health problems and symptoms. I hope we recognize that these problems are primarily caused by an insufficiency of healthy lifestyle practices. Surely there must be some connection, some overlap between mid-life poor health and menopausal symptoms.
So that I won’t take an arrow to the back, let me first say that I am not exemplary in my own lifestyle and self-care. That said, I have yet to treat or meet a woman with menopausal symptoms who had a real handle on the majority of the influencing and causative factors listed above. Again, to try to avoid arrows, I don’t have these factors well handled in my own life. So, no blame, just my viewpoint. And, let me tell you, guys surely don’t have these factors handled any better than women, we just have other symptoms.
It is important to recognize the sameness, or at least similarity of most, if not all menopausal symptoms when compared with allergic signs and symptoms. In my practice since 1983, I have found that many women have reductions or elimination of menopausal symptoms following the elimination of food allergens from their diets.