Home And Lifestyle Remedies
The following steps may reduce symptoms of menopause:
- Dress yourself in layers and go to a cooler place to deal with hot flashes. Avoid anything that triggers your hot flashes. Common triggers include caffeine, hot beverages, alcohol, stress, spicy foods, warm rooms, and hot weather.
- Use over-the-counter silicone or water-based vaginal moisturizers or lubricants to reduce vaginal discomfort.
- Get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverage.
- Practice techniques for relaxation such as guided imagery, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc.
- Do pelvic floor exercises such as Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. This helps reduce urinary incontinence.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Include lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains in your diet. Avoid sugars, saturated fats, and oils. Also include foods rich in phytoestrogens such as soybeans, lentils, flaxseed, chickpeas, and sage.
- Dont smoke. Smoking increases your chances of developing stroke, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
- Exercise regularly. It helps protect against various diseases associated with old age.
Menopause is a natural process which occurs when your ovaries stop releasing eggs. Though you may know that you are entering menopause by its various signs and symptoms, there are tests for menopause that may help you confirm your hunch. During menopause, your hormone levels decrease.
Why Are Blood Tests So Important For Hormone Treatment
Dr Aziz-Scott: Although we can get an idea of where the problem lies by assessing history and symptoms specific to hormone health, blood tests give us more information about exactly whats going on with each patient we see.
At a glance, blood tests:
- Give an in-depth analysis of specific hormones.
- Ensure an accurate diagnosis.
- Allow your doctor to ensure the amount of hormones in your body are not higher than what is physiologically appropriate, and to know that the prescribed treatment is working effectively.
- Help your doctor understand if any changes to your medication are required.
- Are essential for monitoring your safety.
- Ensure you are getting the very best care from the Marion Gluck Clinic.
In the initial appointment, we need to understand whether a patient is perimenopausal, menopausal, or whether they could have premature menopause or some other hormonal condition. The initial blood tests allow us to evaluate which hormone levels are raised or lower than expected to aid with an accurate diagnosis.
Estrogen and progesterone
For women who are menstruating monthly, we check the blood hormone levels on day 21 of their cycle and analyse the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio, which should ideally be 10:1. Day 21 progesterone is indicative of whether a woman is ovulating. If your progesterone is low and estrogen is relatively high, then it is likely to cause symptoms of estrogen dominance, which is common in perimenopause and in women who present with PMDD or PMS.
The Ideal Lab Range For Ferritin
Im a Clinical Nutritionist. We specialize in the bodys chemistry, how systems work, communicate, detox and repair. I use narrow lab ranges, not average lab ranges that doctors usually use, as a guide to health status in my Consults.
This is especially true for the FERRITIN blood test
Most labs put Ferritin normal at 15 to 300. I feel 40 to 70 is ideal.
Your doctor may disagree with me but study this article on Iron Overload and make your own choice. It will not harm you to donate blood and reduce Ferritin to 70 or even 100.
Your doctor may say a lab result of 300, 400 or even 500 is acceptable. Its not! Those of us with Hemochromatosis will confirm Iron can be fatal
Recommended Reading: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause
Am I Going Through The Menopause
If you are experiencing symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness and in your 40s, its likely you are entering the menopause.
Sometimes women experience Premature Ovarian Insufficiency in their 20s and 30s. They should ask to be referred to a menopause and HRT specialist by their GP if they are experiencing problematic periods alongside other issues such as:
- Hot flushes
Follicle Stimulating Hormone Test
Follicle stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, and its levels increase temporarily each month to stimulate ovaries to mature eggs. FSH levels during menopause tend to increase in attempt to make the ovaries produce more estrogen.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that one high FSH reading is not enough to indicate that a woman has entered menopause because hormones can fluctuate dramatically on a daily basis.
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Blood Test For Menopause
Your doctor may also order certain blood tests for menopause to confirm menopause or rule out any other medical condition such as a thyroid disorder. Some of the blood tests for menopause include:
An FSH test for menopause checks the levels of this hormone in blood, since the ovaries stop working during menopause. This causes the levels of the hormone to rise in menopausal women.
Since menopause may closely resemble hypothyroidism, your physician may order thyroid function tests to assess the health of your thyroid gland. Thats what a thyroid-stimulating hormone test is for. If your thyroid hormones are low, it may indicate that your symptoms are a result of a thyroid problem.
Anti-mullerian hormone is secreted by the ovarian follicles. Physicians consider its level as a measure of the total number of follicles left in a woman. This hormone test for menopause may help your physician predict when you might begin menopause if you arent there already.
Estradiol is the form of estrogen that circulates in your body during your reproductive years. During menopause, its level may decrease by about 10 times the premenopausal level and reach below 30 picograms per milliliter. If your levels of estradiol are consistently low, it may indicate that you are in menopause.
Blood Test Predicting Menopause Could Help Women With Severe Menstrual Symptoms
We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .Nanette Santoro
Symptoms associated with menstruation look different for every woman, and surgical options are available for some of the most serious or bothersome. But for those on the cusp of menopause, deciding whether to undergo surgery or even a hysterectomy can be difficult.
Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and chair of reproductive endocrinology and infertility in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Colorado Denver, and colleagues recently showed that measuring the amount of anti-Müllerian hormone in the blood can be used to predict when menopause will occur. Santoro believes the knowledge will empower women to make decisions about their health.
If I knew I had only one or two more annoying menstrual periods to endure in my life, I might try to tough it out. However, if it looks like my future holds 40 to 50 more of them, no thanks! Santoro said.
Endocrine Today spoke with Santoro about the symptoms and timing of menopause as well as the benefits of using a blood test to predict the transition.
What happens physiologically during menopause?
Howwide is the variation in menopause timing among women?
Howdoes a woman typically determine that she has reached her final period and can no longer become pregnant?
Whymight women want a good predictor of menopause, even years in advance?
For more information:
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Why Testing Is Important
Perhaps the most important aspect of testing has to do with what you do you with that information.
What I’m referring to is the treatment for menopause.
Knowing you are in menopause is only a small part of the battle.
The next most important step is what you decide to do as a result of that information.
As a woman, you will find that menopause hits certain women harder than others.
Some women can go through their life with a few hot flashes and maybe some minor weight gain while others can be completely incapacitated.
The decision to use treatment largely depends on you and how badly you are suffering from symptoms.
The good news is that there is a VERY effective treatment for menopause known as hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
The goal of HRT is NOT to give you more hormone than you need or to bring back your menstrual cycle or anything like that.
It’s simply to provide your body with the exact replica of youthful hormone that your body has been used to for decades to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
HRT has been shown in many studies to completely reverse the symptoms associated with menopause in a matter of days.
Because menopause is the result of the DECLINE in these hormones, so it makes perfect sense that the treatment would be to provide your body back with these hormones.
Laboratory Tests Are Not Required To Diagnose Menopause In Over 45s
Dr Jane Davis explains how the NICE quality standard on menopause is expected to reduce variation in care and improve quality of life
Read this article to learn more about:
- diagnosing menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency
- when to review women taking hormone replacement therapy, and what the review should include
- providing information to women undergoing medical or surgical treatments that are likely to cause menopause.
Menopause is defined as: a biological stage in a womans life when she stops menstruating and reaches the end of her natural reproductive life.1 On average, menopause occurs at 51 years of age, but onset is early for approximately 1 in 100 women.1 Women of menopausal age account for a large proportion of the current UK population and approximately 80% of the demographic are employed.2,3 Healthy menopausal women are essential to a healthy society.
Excellent menopause care is simple and inexpensive to achieve, yet the quality of menopause care varies throughout the UK. Barriers to good care are common and include:
Recommended Reading: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause
Selected Sources & Further Reading
Farhi, J., Homburg, R., Ferber, A. Non-response to ovarian stimulation A clinical sign of impending onset of ovarian failure pre-empting the rise in basal follicle stimulating hormone levels.Human Reproduction 1997 12 241-243.
Okeke et al. Premature Menopause.Ann Med Health Sci2013.
Gold, E. The Timing of the Age at Which Natural Menopause Occurs.Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2011.
What Do My Perimenopause Blood Test Results Mean
The perimenopause blood test is used to determine hormone levels within the blood. If this test is positive, then this indicates a woman is transitioning toward menopause. Continued testing may be recommended by a medical provider depending on a patients health and lifestyle habits.
It is important to note that there isnt a specific result from the perimenopause blood test which will indicate that a woman has entered this time in her life. Estrogen levels can rise and fall unevenly throughout this transitionary phase. A pattern of uneven results from multiple tests is usually necessary for a diagnosis to be achieved.
Women who are in perimenopause can still become pregnant. If you do not wish to become pregnant, then speak with your medical provider about the benefits of continuing contraceptives or take measures at home to prevent a pregnancy.
Perimenopause always ends with a woman transitioning into menopause. There is nothing that can delay this process. Once diagnosed, the goal of treatment is to ease the bothersome symptoms a woman may be experiencing so her lifestyle isnt interrupted because of this physical change.
Recommended Reading: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause
Testing + Symptoms = Diagnosis
Both lab tests and symptom charting are not necessarily 100% accurate.
This time is a period of great fluctuation, both in terms of your symptoms and in terms of your lab tests and hormones.
Your hormones and prohormones may fluctuate wildly during this time which means that checking just one time may not necessarily be accurate.
As a woman is going through the menopause transition it’s not uncommon for her body to attempt to menstruate.
This attempted menstruation may cause small to large rises in hormone levels which may alter your symptoms.
Because of this, you don’t want to rely heavily on one form of diagnostic tool over another.
Instead, it’s best to combine both your symptoms and use them in conjunction with your lab tests .
This is especially important if you are suffering from early menopause.
Women who suffer from early menopause may be pushed aside as having depression as opposed to true ovarian failure/menopause.
The good news is that it is easily testable and that you can be sure what is happening in your body with a couple of lab tests.
During menopause, we know that your estradiol levels and progesterone levels WILL fall dramatically.
When in doubt, make sure to ask your doctor for the lab tests listed above as they may help to explain what is happening in your body.
Can You Use Hormonal Blood Tests To Work Out Whether Or Not You Can Safely Stop Contraception
Potentially, yes. This depends on both your age and the contraception you are using, and whether or not youre using HRT. If your GP thinks hormonal blood tests are helpful and relevant, it is important to remember that the use of either HRT or certain hormonal contraception may well impact the reliability of the blood test results. If youre using HRT or combined hormonal contraception , i.e. the combined pill, vaginal ring, or patch, then hormonal blood tests will not give you a reliable result. These hormones suppress your bodys levels of FSH and LH. Blood tests work by measuring these exact hormones, so if you are taking medication that affects them, testing cannot tell you accurately where you are in terms of your menopause, or whether or not you can stop contraception. If youre using progestogen-only contraception blood testing can be reliable. Your FSH levels are not affected by these methods of contraception. As such, if you are not experiencing a period and you are over fifty, and if you are using progestogen-only contraception, blood testing can determine whether or not you need to use contraception. However, if you are under fifty, blood testing this way cannot tell you whether you can stop using contraception. Here is everything you need to know about menopause contraception.
Impact Of Menopause On Mental Health
In addition to the well-recognised physical symptoms associated with the menopause, the drop in hormones can cause changes in mood. Feelings of anxiety and low mood can be made worse by other menopausal symptoms like a lack of sleep.
Its estimated that 61% of women who are at the perimenopause stage experience low mood or mild depression. Research shows that an increase in these feelings at this stage are associated with fluctuations in progesterone and oestrogen.
Other conditions such as an overactive thyroid become more likely as age increases and can trigger anxiety. Thats why our menopause health check measures your thyroid hormone levels, so you can see if your thyroid function may be contributing to mood swings and other symptoms.
There are steps you can take to help improve your mental health such as eating healthily, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake. Exercise is also a good mood booster and helps to relieve stress. Activities such as yoga and meditation are also beneficial for mental wellness.
Read our study of how menopause affects women in the workplace.
Why Take The Menopausehealth Test
The menopause has a significant impact on womens mental and physical health. Our menopause test kit is a health check designed to give women an understanding of the key areas of their body which are impacted by the menopause. Having access to this data will help you take positive steps to boost your wellbeing and reduce the increased health risks caused by the change in hormones.
This menopause blood test analyses biomarkers which support good bone health, hormones including follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone and oestrogen, together with testosterone, thyroid function and cortisol. The changes in hormone levels also impact your risk of developing heart disease and osteoporosis. Which is why our menopause test also includes magnesium, vitamin D and cholesterol.
Testing and tracking these biomarkers over time will help you understand where you are in the transition to menopause, or measure the impact of HRT. It will also help you make any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your heart and bone health.
The sample for this test should be collected before 10 am. If youre still having periods, collect your blood sample on the third day of your period. If you no longer have periods, you can take the test at any time.
Read Also: What Helps With Dizziness During Menopause
Home Menopause Test Kits
Home menopause test kits measure the levels of follicle stimulating hormone in your urine. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Its levels increase each month to stimulate the ovarian follicles to release a mature egg. During menopause, your ovaries stop producing eggs and the levels of FSH rise.
Home menopause tests detect the amount of FSH in your urine, but they cant definitively detect whether you are in perimenopause or menopause. Whatever the results of the test may be, you should consult your doctor if you have menopausal symptoms.
Is There A Test For Menopause
You may be able to self-diagnose menopause by paying close attention to its symptoms. You may start noticing symptoms of menopause months to years before it actually starts. This transition period is called perimenopause. Some of the symptoms of menopause are:
- Thinning hair
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of fullness of breasts
Your doctor can also help you determine if you are going through menopause. They may ask you about your symptoms, perform some tests for menopause, and track your menstrual cycle.
Presently, no single menopause test is definitive enough to predict for sure when a woman is in menopause. But doctors may do several different kinds of tests for menopause to find out whether your symptoms are caused by menopause or something else.
Also Check: Estrogen Dizziness