Bioidentical Hormone Therapy

bioidentical hormone therapyThe decision to undergo hormone replacement therapy(HRT), always has been and perhaps always will be, a controversial one.  There are many things to consider before embarking on hormone therapy, but lately there`s been a new kid on the block in the relief of menopausal symptoms– bioidentical hormone therapy(BHT).


Traditional Hormone Therapy

The hormone therapy that we`re all familiar with, uses the urine from pregnant mares, plus a host of chemical additives to achieve the same effect as the hormones that are naturally produced by our body.  The introduction of these elements to the body can have some very undesirable side effects, as synthetic hormone therapy is unable to take into account the differences in the hormonal make-up of individual women.  They may be metabolized and react differently than expected in some people.

The slightest deficiency or excess of a certain hormone can tip the body off balance. Sometimes, when this happens, it may make you feel out of sorts, unwell and even depressed. It may cause one of any number of different complaints. This is where bio-identical hormone replacement therapy comes in.

The Case For Bioidentical Therapy

Devotees claim that Bioidentical therapy is said to be more of a natural menopause remedy , as the raw materials used as the basis for the hormones, are extracted from plants.  Although the word “natural” is nowadays bandied around as part of many a sales pitch and it could be argued that the mare`s urine is a natural substance, so I would prefer to use botanical as a description.

How Does It Work?

bio-identical hormone therapySome bioidentical hormones are tailored for the individual woman, replicated from saliva or blood samples.  These are compounds and as they aren`t a standard formula, it is impossible to test every individual preparation.  Compounds therefore, are not approved by the FDA.  This does not mean that the medication is dangerous or would not benefit the patient, but there is no requirement for the dispenser to provide the usual warnings that must be given with FDA approved hormone therapy.

Bioidentical hormones – which the therapy is are available in a variety of forms, such as oral, patches, creams, lotion or drops.  It is believed that transdermal delivery often leads to more consistent hormonal levels.
The reason that many women may not be aware of BHT is that these hormones are considered to be identical to those that occur naturally in the body and as such, they cannot be patented.  Just as one cannot patent skin or muscle.  This unfortunately offers little incentive for the large pharmaceutical companies to pursue the treatment and instead they prefer to offer only the artificial hormones that can be patented.

There are some doctors however, who are offering this alternative.

What Are The Benefits?

bio-identical hormone therapyEstrogen:

  • Reduces risk of heart disease
  • Decreases risk of bowel cancer
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Improves mood
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Maintains bone density
  • Increases sexual desire

Progesterone :

  • Builds bone
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Protects against endometrial cancer
  • Helps balance estrogens
  • Natural anti-depressant
  • Lowers cholesterol

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of undergoing bioidentical therapy, speak with your doctor and find out if he offers the treatment.  If not he may well be able to refer you to a practitioner who does.

Soy & Menopause

soya menopauseSoy(soya in the UK), has recently been hailed as the latest `discovery` in the fight against menopausal symptoms, although in actual fact, soy protein has been used as a food ingredient for over forty years.

If you`re unsure of the merits of eating a diet rich in soy products, this article will hopefully make things clearer for you.

How Would It Help?

As women move towards menopause and estrogen levels begin to drop, we experience symptoms associated with fluctuating hormones.  Soy products such as tofu, tempeh and miso are rich sources of a substance similar to estrogen, called isoflavones. Some people claim that foods containing soy are a simplified and natural form of HRT (albeit a weakened version). So what exactly do we know about soy as a menopause food?

In Japan, where soy foods are consumed daily, women are one-third as likely to suffer menopausal symptoms as in the United States or Canada. Interestingly there is no word in the Japanese language for “hot flashes”.

What Symptoms Does Soy Help With?

Soy seems to do very well in alleviating hot flashes and recent recommendations are that women take between 40 – 70 mg of soy per day to help with symptoms. That would equate to 1 – 4 servings every day.


To give you an idea of the approximate amount of isoflavones per serving, the following each contain 40 mg:

¨      Soy Milk – 1 cup

¨      Miso – ½ cup

¨      Tofu – 4oz

¨      Tempeh – 4oz

How Much Is Beneficial?

One study focused on post-menopausal women who consumed 40 grams of soy protein every day for 6 months. Researchers found that these women significantly increased their bone mineral density compared to the other group. Another study found that eating soy was associated with a significantly lower risk of fracture, particularly among post-menopausal women.

Regarding concerns of estrogen and breast cancer, it has been acknowledged that the phytoestrogens in soy foods, may block estrogen from reaching the receptors and therefore potentially protecting women from developing breast cancer. But for women who already have breast cancer, a few studies showed the estrogen like effects in isoflavones may prove harmful to them. If a women is post-menopausal,  concentrated soy supplements may add estrogen to the body and hence increase breast cancer risk. Therefore, post-menopausal women should avoid taking concentrated soy supplements until more is known.

As Yet, The Benefits Remain Unproven

American Institute for Cancer Research stresses that as yet, data on soy and breast cancer are not conclusive.  Prostate cancer seems to be very promising and many studies support the role of soy in the prevention and possible treatment of prostate cancer. Cancer research states that more work is needed in all areas of soy and cancer treatment before any dietary recommendations can be made.

Although vegetarians have been using soy as an alternative to meat for years—as it is a rich source of the B Vitamins– nowadays it can be found in a variety of foods, including, soy milk, soybeans and soy burgers. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium, low in saturated fats and has no cholesterol.

Now, while studies have shown that isoflavones behave like estrogens in the body and there has been improvement in symptoms for some women, it must be remembered that soy, manufacturers are keen to promote this message. After all, it`s good for business. But such a message may give women the impression that soy can be used alone to naturally relieve symptoms of menopause and as yet, this has not been confirmed by clinical studies.

As the connection of soy as an aid to menopause is quite recent, there is understandably lots of contradictory information and advice. As always, we have given you both sides of the story and the choice of whether to include soy products in your diet is of course entirely yours.

Please consult your doctor and a nutritionist if you do decide to change your diet dramatically.

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Progesterone Menopause

menopause hormonesProgesterone has a major role in our lives as it is essential for regulating blood sugar, developing intelligence, bone building and much, much more and, fortunately for us our bodies make it constantly. But how much do we know about this important menopausal hormone?

What Is It?

The hormone progesterone is secreted by the ovary in the latter half of the menstrual cycle, although this does not mean that it is exclusively a female hormone.  In fact there is not much difference in the amount that men and women have in their bodies.

It develops when the body turns cholesteron into pregnenolone.  The pregnenonone is then converted to progesterone and finally, the body makes many other hormones from the progesterone, including the estrogens and testosterone.  Estrogen reduces greatly in menopause and progesterone starts decreasing in perimenopause and.  Many women have used progesterone creams during this time. Your doctor may give oral progesterine for ten to fourteen days each month to try and prevent erratic bleeding.

Progesterone has been around for a very long time, about 500 million years in fact and that demonstrates just how important it is to a great many living creatures.  It can be found in fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals, including human beings of course. It plays no part in the secondary sexual characteristics which develop at puberty. It is the precursor to the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone

Of course,Therefore, it must be appreciated how a progesterone deficiency would have serious implications on many functions of the body.  Similarly, progesterone therapy can be effective in treating a wide range of health problems.

How Is It Used In Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Progesterones in medications are usually made from plant sources.  When used in Hormone Therapy, there are two primary types of progestogen.   One which most closely resembles progesterone and the other derived from testosterone.  If any side effects are experienced on one type, changing the type or route of progestogen may help.

Which Symptoms Does It help?

Progesterone can be effective when used to regulate abnormal bleeding. If given continuously with postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, progesterone will prevent menstrual sloughing as long as there is a small amount of estrogen present

How To Administer

It can be taken orally, as a vaginal suppository or as a cream. Price and convenience will have an influence on the method chosen and, absorption and longetivity will vary dependent on the type used.

When taken orally in tablet form between one and four hours in the peak absorption period.  The pills should be taken with food in order to increase absorption.  Orally on liquid form, such as oil, means that the peak absorption time is at approximately twelve hours after administration. Vaginal suppositories, peak absorption is around four hours.

Skin creams do not absorb through the skin very well but alcohol-based gels are more effective, with application recommended once a day. As with any medication, the dosage of progesterone must be carefully regulated as too much can cause excessive fatigue.  Vaginal dryness can also be a side effect, as progesterone counteracts the lubrication effect of estrogens.

Natural Menopause Remedies

natural menopauseWhile there are plenty of medications available which can ease menopausal symptoms, some women prefer to try natural  remedies first.

Regular Exercise

Exercise such as walking for 20-30 minutes three or four times a week is a natural menopause remedy, that can improve your health and add years to your life.  Exercise strengthens the bones, increases wellbeing and can help make sleeping easier.  The hardest part of starting a new exercise regime – is starting!  Be find to pick something that you really enjoy and you’ll find that it easier to stick to your routing.

Isoflavones (phyto-estrogens)

There has been a lot of talk about Isoflavones and their benefits.  Highlighted by recent studies that showed how Chinese and Japanese women suffered from fewer menopausal symptoms than Western women, consumption of soy(soya) products is currently being investigated more thoroughly.  The ladies of China and Japan, eat a  diet that is rich in soy and as it contains a weak compound similar to estrogen, this was suspected to be the reason.  So, that`s another great natural menopause remedy that`s easily accessible and affordable.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

It is much better to get the menopause vitamins and minerals you need from your food. There may be occasions when your diet is limited due to illness or other circumstances and in this case, speak with a dietician about your nutritional requirements.  It is important not to take in too many of certain vitamins, so expert advice is recommended.

Water

Who would have thought of water as being a natural menopause remedy? The importance of water for proper functioning of the body cannot be over emphasized.  Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day.  For those nearing menopause, if you drink adequate water, you will eventually notice a reduction in amount of hot flashes that you experience..

Bitter Leaf

Bitter leaf is said to be one of the best woman friendly plants around.  It is good for the body either before, during or after menopause and especially good for the relief from hot flashes.  Bitter leaf does not supply estrogen but helps the body to produce the amount of estrogen it needs.  Squeezing the fresh leaves of bitter leaf in water and taking a glass every morning and night is recommended as a natural menopause remedy.

Vitamin E

It has been suggested that vitamin E may help to reduce hot flashes and the best way of taking it, is in your diet.  Some foods rich in Vitamin E are:

Avocado
Peanut oil
Almonds
Hazelnuts
Tuna in oil
Sunflower oil

So, if you prefer to try natural menopause remedies yourself, be careful what you buy over the counter.  Although the label may state “natural” this does not necessarily mean safe. These products are not subject to the strict regulations which apply to other drugs.

 

Menopause Sweats

Hot FlashesFeeling sticky, uncomfortable and wet?  Are your clothes clinging to the perspiration in an unflattering, damp mess?  Unfortunately the menopause sweats are another common symptom that we poor females have to contend with. And the more you try and stop them happening, it seems the more determined they are to invade your day.

While profuse sweating may not be as toe curlingly embarrassing as incontinence and  hair loss, it can still be extremely inconvenient and very unwelcome.  It doesn`t help that your beetroot red face will absorb most of the make up that you carefully applied that morning.  Or that the perspiration will leave your hair hanging limply round your ears.  And of course, freshening up afterwards is a must, so running water and somewhere private to cool down would be just wonderful.

How Long Do They Last?

Menopause sweats and night sweats are the most common symptoms of menopause and experienced by up to 90% of women, many of whom have the pleasure daily.  The good news is that they tend to disappear for most women after a couple of years – although they can last five years or more for the unlucky few.

What Causes Them?

In the brain, there is an area responsible for regulating heat.  As estrogen levels drop and hormones become unbalanced, this heat regulatory area becomes confused and gets tricked into sending out signals to the body that it needs to cool down. The body has its own built in cooler system, which is to send sweat onto the surface of the skin.  Blood vessels dilate and heart rates increase, which in turn makes us feel dizzy.

Although hot flashes,  menopause sweats and night sweats can happen anytime and are not dependent in any strenuous exercise to trigger one, there are precautions that can be taken.

Controlling Menopausal Sweats

  • Layer your clothing and still to natural fabrics.  This way, if you do feel yourself becoming warmer, you can remove a layer or too to keep your body cooler.night sweats
  • Carry a small hand fan, use a spray filled with water and carry a pack of moist wipes
  • Crowded places can trigger a hot flash, so whenever you can, stick to spacious, airy environments.
  • Cut down on smoking (preferably cut it out).  It has been said that the first  puff of each cigarette can trigger an agressive bout of sweating.
  • Maintain a comfortably cool temperature at home, especially in your bedroom.
  • Sip cool water.  This will not only help you to stay cool, but only prevent dehydration, which can occur due to the perspiration loss.
  • Take cool showers and keep rooms well ventilated, particularly at night if prone to night sweats
  • Limit trigger foods and drinks that you know trigger an attack.  These could be tea, coffee, sodas, spicy foods, in fact any stimulant could provoke an attack.
  • Limiting hot drinks at night may help to reduce night sweats. These affect the  blood vessels, and make you prone to flushing
  • Regular exercise improves circulation, and may help reduce the intensity and frequency of menopause sweats as the body adapts to coping with extremes of temperatures

Feeling anxious and stressed will only make things worse.  Any relaxation techniques that you can do, such as deep breathing, visualization and listening to relaxing music, will be beneficial and will help keep those night sweats at bay.

Menopause Remedy

menopause helpIt`s strange  that so many women enter “menopause remedy” into the search engine, looking for answers. I mean, it`s not as though there is a “cure” for menopause, there can`t be because it isn`t an illness. From personal experience, I believe that a large part of the issue is not simply the problematic symptoms of menopause, but what it means psychologically to a woman.

Menopause Highs and Lows

Menopause signifies the end of a womans fertility and the undeniable fact that she is now officially “middle aged”. Now to some (men and under 30`s), this may seem trivial, but believe me, it isn`t. It can be a stressful, depressing and highly traumatic experience for any woman. If you`re finding your menopause is a wonderfully pleasant and fragrant experience, then this article isn`t for you, if not, then please read on.

For any woman who has always taken pride in her appearance, paid attention to her beauty regime and strived to maintain a healthy weight, middle age and its associated “symptoms”, such as menopause sweats,  is not a welcome arrival.

So anything that offers a menopause remedy seems irrestistable.

Are We Past Our Prime?

Wrinkles, sagging skin, weight gain, loss of elasticity…and bladder control, all go some considerable way to battering ones ego. In fact, I became quite depressed about the mere thought of reaching 50. I mean, read any newspaper or magazine article and a 50 year old woman is seen as motherly, dependable, mature…which is fine, but not when you also consider yourself vibrant, sexy and desirable.

How is it that those words are rarely used when talking about a 50 year old woman? And how come most of the television and film actresses are under 35?  It`s almost as if you reach your middle years and wham…you become instantly invisible.

Perhaps this is just my interpretation on the menopausal years, but offer me a menopause remedy and I`d be there like a shot.

Can Menopause Be Remedied?

It`s hardly surprising that many of the women I spoke with were either dreading their menopause, or going through it and wishing it over as soon as possible. Many felt that they had lost their identity and just didn`t feel like themselves anymore. The stigma of menopause seems to affect womens confidence far more than the actual symptoms.

And so, despite all opinion to the contrary, it is up to each and every menopausal women out there, to prove that we can give those 20 somethings dolly birds a run for their money. Remember, we have style, sophistication and experience.

 Always Look Your Best

When I was younger, my beauty routine was hit and miss to say the least, but now I pay special attention to my face and body and have regular beauty treatments. I don’t feel guilty about spending money on myself and always make sure that I`m looking my best…well you never know when opportunity may come knocking!

Nowadays, instead of getting up in the morning and avoiding the mirror at all costs, I put on my best lipstick and trot out of the house with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I have goals that I want to carry out for the day, week, month and even the year ahead and I make sure that I complete each and every one of them. And I`m not talking about doing the shopping or that pile of ironing that`s been in the basket all week. I`m talking about things that I want to do.

Take dancing lessons, learn to scuba dive, re-train as a beauty therapist, it doesn`t matter what it is, so long as it makes you feel good and gets you excited about the future. Keep pushing those boundaries and surprise yourself, you never know what latent talent has been lurking within.

And yes, if there was a menopause remedy, I would be first in line.

Menopause Hot Flash

hot flushIt can strike anytime, anywhere! One minute you`re happily going about your business and the next, a clamminess appears – usually around the chest area – which quickly spreads up over the neck and face, leaving you hot, bothered and usually the color of a ripe tomato.  It`s the curse of the menopause hot flash and sweats, the most common symptoms of menopause.  Possibly you will then perspire profusely and this may be followed by a bout of shivering, as the body readjusts its temperature.

Earliest Indicators Of `The Change`

Hot flashes often begin several years before any other signs of menopause, with three out of every four women experiencing them. The older you become, the less you will experience hot flashes. Most women – around 80% – have them for under two years, with only a small percentage still having them after five years. They can be quite severe as described above or no more than a light flush of the cheeks.

What Causes Them?

Menopause hot flashes and  sweats are triggered by decreasing estrogen levels and an increased amount of other hormones that affect the brains thermostat that triggers blood vessels to expand rapidly. This causes an increase in skin temperature which results in sweating and a noticeable reddening of the chest and neck area.

Any Treatments Available?

Treatment is not usually necessary as hot flashes are a by product of the natural menopausal process and will ease with time. However, if you are finding them particularly uncomfortable, there are some options you may wish to consider.

Although not suitable for everyone, hormone therapy relieves the discomfort of  the  hot flash in many cases.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~menopause hot flush

The hot flash is the most common symptom of menopause and affects around 70% of women – night and day

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Possible Triggers

Caffeine, alcohol, hot drinks, spicy foods, and stressful events have been highlighted as triggers for hot flashes. Although avoiding these triggers will not necessarily prevent all episodes, it is certainly worth experimenting to find out which, if any, work for you.

Holistic treatments such as bioidentical hormones, progesterone cream, phytoestrogen herbal supplements and natural food sources have shown good results for some women. Prior to just buying the first product you encounter, it would be wise to do a little research on which ingredients or products contain ingredients that actually work at relieving hot flashes.

Time To Watch Your Health

Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity can increase your risk or cause you to have a greater number of hot flashes. By stopping smoking, getting to a healthy weight and including an exercise routine into your life, you should see a lessening of the severity and occurrence of your hot flashes.

menopause hot flushIf you are looking for a product that relieves menopause hot flashes, you have many choices and a confusing array of choices. Menopausal symptom relief products are found in pharmacies, health stores and on the internet. You’ll often find yourself confused and unsure of which product to buy from the hundreds of different options available. It can work out time consuming and expensive if. Ask your friends and find out what they have tried and recommend. Look through magazine articles as they often contain real life stories that you can glean information from. Build up a list of possibilities and when you are through with your research, visit the suppliers and find out what they have to say about their products.

If one method fails to yield results, try another.  After all, who wants to look like an over ripe tomato when life is offering so many new opportunities?

 

Menopause Hair Loss

menopause hair loss

Most women take a lot of pride in their hair and losing it has a devastating impact on their confidence and feelings of femininity.

You may be surprised to know, but around two-thirds of women have to deal with hair loss at some point in life.   If there is a connection between menopause and hair loss, it is possible a reaction to low thyroid function, which is common amongst menopausal women.

 

Symptoms Of  Menopause Hair Loss And Hair Thinning:

  • Hair falls out in large clumps when washing it.
  • Large snarls of hair appear in brush or comb.
  • Scalp is red, oily, or itchy.
  • Overall thinning rather than specific areas of baldness.

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

Hair is made of keratin, which is a protein and the average person has around 100.000 hairs on their head.  This protein is the same that makes up our nails.  The hair that you can see is actually dead tissue and we can lose up to 100 strands each day.  The living follicles, which are bulb shaped, are underneath the scalp’s surface.

Hair normally grows around half an inch per month, slowing down with age.   Sometimes the hair may not grow and just rest, it then usually falls out and the follicle replaces it.  If something happens that disrupts this cycle, the hair falls out but isn`t replaced.  This is what happens with menopause hair loss and general thinning.

The average head has about 100,000 hairs. Your hair grows and is shed regularly. You usually lose 50 to 100 strands each day. If you have a normal head of hair, you probably don’t notice this small loss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hair loss affects around 2/3 of women

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hair usually grows about half an inch per month, although this slows as you age. Each hair remains on your head for two to six years, and during most of this time it is continually growing.

As a hair gets older, it may enter a `resting` stage in which it remains on your head but doesn’t actually grow. At the end of this stage, the hair usually falls out. Usually, the follicle replaces it in about six months. But unfortunately many factors can disrupt this cycle. The result can be that your hair falls out early or isn’t replaced.

Pinpointing The Trigger

If sudden hair loss occurs, consider if anything `out of the ordinary` happened up to three months before.  Factors triggering hair loss can take up to three months before their effects are noticeable.

Possible Causes

Things such as a hormone levels, stress and anxiety, trauma, stating a new medication or a medical diagnosis, can all be the cause.  Of course menopause hair loss is merely another sign of menopause.

Hair loss in women is a potentially depressing symptom, as a woman´s hair is associated with her femininity and sexuality.  As soon as you notice a problem, visit your doctor and discuss the options.

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Menopause fsh

test for menopauseFSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone, to give it its full title, is always present in the body, not just at the time of menopause.  Its job is to stimulate ovulation and the ripening of the ova and it is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs in the ovaries.

How Does It Work?

When a woman`s ovaries start failing to release eggs, which may be for a number of reasons, but reaching menopause is certainly one of them.  The pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, gets a signal to make more of the FSH in an attempt to get the ovaries to respond and cause the remaining eggs to mature.  FSH is the same hormone that is contained in the injectable gonadotropins which are used to produce multiple eggs for infertility treatment. A woman can be 42 and still have some good quality eggs and still be fertile, or she can be 25 with poor quality eggs and be infertile.

This hormone and this process are a vital part of fertility and if a woman is not ovulating, she will obviously not be able to conceive.  A test to check her FSH levels, will identify whether or not a woman is ovulating.  It will let you know, with reasonable certainty, whether a woman’s ovaries are beginning to fail.


Why Take A Test?

Usually, when a woman reaches her forties and experiences symptoms associated with menopause she will not bother to find out of she has in fact reached “the change”.  She will simply assume that she has and cope with the symptoms as and when they arise.  As there are certain medical conditions that can result in the ceasing of periods, a few women prefer to be certain that they are experiencing menopause and will therefore take a FSH test.  As some symptoms of menopause can be quite distressing, such as mood swings, memory lapses, forgetfulness, some women take a test to put to rest their fears of some more serious condition.

When To Do The Test

The test is carried out by taking a blood or a urine sample and is so simple that there are home kits available, therefore no doctor`s visit is necessary.  Although if preferred,  the test can certainly be carried out at the surgery.  If the woman is having a monthly periods and as the FSH level fluctuates throughout a woman`s monthly cycle, it is recommended that the test be carried out between the third to the fifth day of the period.  Levels of FSH over 40 mIU/ml are considered high and would suggest ovarian failure.

It is important that the woman is not taking estrogen based contraception.  Allow 6 weeks before taking the test and terminating therapy, otherwise a true reading will not be achieved.

If she is not having regular periods such as after a hysterectomy, it is advisable to obtain two samples 2 weeks apart.  These may give information about residual cycle activity.

Those women who have had a hysterectomy menopause and still have their ovaries, may wish to take the test to discover whether they are menopausal.  Hormone replacement therapy could then be prescribed at this stage rather than waiting for the symptoms to begin.

Menopause and Acne

menopause acneQuestion: How many menopausal women suffer from acne?

a) 5%

b) 10%

c) 15%

More menopausal women than teenagers – around 10% – suffer from acne.

Acne during menopause – or hormonal acne as it is known and consists of   blackheads, whiteheads and small pustules,  is yet another of the many symptoms of menopause that is once again due to our potty hormones.

Blame The Hormones

Our hormone levels fluctuate in much the same way as a teenager’s hormones fluctuate at puberty, but while one woman will suffer with no menopause acne whatsoever, another will be covered with blemishes on her face, back and chest.  Actually, acne menopause and breakouts amongst middle aged women is quite common.  And you thought the days of trying to disguise your spots with make up had long gone!

What Causes Acne During Menopause?

Apart from disruptive hormones, Hormone Therapy has been known to trigger breakouts.  HRT works by trying to rebalance the body`s hormones and by doing so, it sometimes causes acne to surface.  On the other side, some women find that HRT actually cures their menopausal acne. Trial and error will determine which applies to you.hormones & menopause

Our skin has its own bacteria that lives off oil. When this gets caught underneath the skin, both the bacteria and oil create the awful whitehead, which is an inflamed area on the face that collects white puss.  With a blackhead, bacteria and oil are also trapped below the skin’s surface but in this case, they open partially causing the mass to turn black because of the presence of melanin.

Does Stress Make Acne Worse?

menopause and anxietyWith acne during menopause, estrogen levels are increased during the early stages of menopause, which then converts into testosterone.  This enables the glands to produce even more oil that consequently results in even more breakouts.  Thus creating a stressful cycle ….but wait….stress can make acne worse!  It stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and an androgen called DHEAS, which also stimulate the glands of the skin to produce more oil.  Another good reason not to become anxious!

Menopause acne can be very upsetting and cause great anxiety(see menopause anxiety for more information on this).  Along with the other side effects of menopause, it’s just one more thing you don’t need to deal with. Fortunately, by getting your hormones back in balance and reducing your stress levels, you can understand the causes of acne during menopause and prevent future breakouts.  Try practising relaxation techniques or treat yourself to a massage in order to keep your stress levels in check.

Would Extra Cleansing Help?

It is a not true to say that acne is caused because people fail to wash their faces often enough. Too much cleansing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse.. The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it twice daily using a mild cleanser. Be careful to remove make-up without harsh scrubbing.

As we mature, our epidermis does not renew itself as quickly as when we were young and so our pores can easily become blocked with dead skin cells.  While I recommend gently exfoliation a couple of times per week, don`t be tempted to overdo it as you can easily damage your skin and end up with unsightly red blotches – as well as your blemishes!

You may need to change your moisturizer as some on the market are notorious for blocking pores.  You should be looking for one that contains as few colors and chemicals as possible, but still nourishes and moisturises older skins.

Treatments for Acne Menopausemenopause acne

  • I`m assuming that you diet is healthy and you`re drinking plenty of water.
  • Lose body fat – excess increases your hormone levels.
  • Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and is useful for dabbing over spots and pimples.
  • Mature skin, such as at the time of menopause, is able to tolerate anti blemish ingredients such as retinoids and benzoyl peroxide.  But when skin is also thinner and lacking in moisture, it is far better to use a product that contains retinol.  This will help unblock clogged pores and also stimulate collagen production.  Antiobiotics such as minocycline and doxycycline may also be prescribed.
  • This is the product that we recommend

Of course, it goes without saying, that no matter how tempting, don’t pick or squeeze your spots because you can cause infection and the skin will certainly become red.  Ensure that your diet has adequate quantities of calcium and fiber and also keep the amount of fat to a sensible level.  Carbohydrates convert into insulin that then produce androgens that increase the skin’s oil production, so keeping carb consumption to the recommended level is another good strategy.   Finally, make sure you drink a minimum of eight glasses of lovely, refreshing water every day and keep that acne menopause at bay.

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