Menopause brings a significant change in the way your body manufactures estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Before menopause, your ovaries’ production of the three hormones can decrease considerably. Your body produces less estrogen and progesterone and you no longer go through the monthly cycle of ovulating and preparing for pregnancy. But since these hormones play many other roles in your health, you continue to need a certain amount of them all your life. In fact, if menopause goes smoothly, your postmenopausal hormone levels should be close to what they were in the first half of your monthly menstrual cycle.
Ideally, as you go through menopause, your levels of all three of these hormones remain sufficient to meet your needs. As your ovaries make less, other mechanisms in your body begin to produce more estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to keep you adequately supplied.
These other mechanisms primarily involve a process in which the adrenal glands are recruited to make increased amounts of precursors for the fluctuating hormones. These precursors or “building blocks” are transformed into estrogen and testosterone by other tissues of the body such as the liver and adipose tissue (fat cells).
But if your menopause is less than ideal, your body can have a harder time adjusting to the changes and maintaining good levels of these three hormones. You can be deficient in estrogen, testosterone, progesterone or any combination of these three. Each of these combinations cause a variety of unique symptoms ranging from hot flashes, cravings, mood changes, hair growth, vaginal dryness, depression to fatigue.
DID YOU KNOW?
High testosterone levels have been linked to insulin resistance, a condition that interferes with your body’s ability to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Identifying the pattern of deficiency in these hormones with serum blood tests as well as symptomatology and/or saliva hormone testing is essential to proper treatment and the restoration of your health.