Menopause – A Time to Change

A season of change is upon us as Autumn draws near.  Each year at this time I am reminded of the path of peri-menopause into menopause.  As I reflect on my own journey I realize that this time changed the course of my life.  Peri-menopause was filled not only with physical changes but also remnants of unresolved issues and the gateway to evaluate how I was living my life, what I wanted and the changes I was willing to make.  The path into and through menopause can truly be a gift.

The menopausal transition spans 3-9 years, typically starting around age 45 with a range of age 44-56.   The transition is dynamic, beginning with longer cycles, periods that are lighter and shorter or heavier and longer in length.  During early peri-menopause progesterone levels begin to fall, estrogen typically remains the same or increases.  When progesterone declines and estrogen remains the same, an imbalance is created.  The first symptoms experienced are irregular periods and often excessive vaginal bleeding.  This is often a time of weight gain, premenstrual headaches, bloating, mood swings and forgetfulness.  As a woman moves closer to menopause, defined by 12 months without a period, estrogen declines and hot flashes often occur.  A hot flash is a sudden sensation of warmth that can become intense heat over the face, scalp and chest area.  (more…)

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What can Natural Medicine do for Arthritis?

While there are many forms of arthritis the most common are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.  The common features of the arthritic illnesses include joint pain, stiffness and inflammation.  Nearly 1 in 3 adults are affected by osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, which is the most prevalent.  The primary risk factor is aging.  The second most prevalent form is rheumatoid arthritis which affects 3-4% of the population including children.  Gout affects the small joints of the hands and feet and is more prevalent among men.  Less common forms of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

What causes arthritis?

There are many factors contributing to arthritis and that combination is individual.

  • Leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability
  • Food allergies
  • Dysbiosis
  • Accumulation of toxins in the body
  • Parasites, bacterial and yeast infections
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Immune dysfunction leading to an autoimmune reaction, which means the body becomes allergic to its own tissues.
  • Biomechanical stress

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