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The Change. Menopause Meno – monthly pausis – stop Women can enter menopause anywhere from 35- 60 years of age Median age is between 50-52 The transition.

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Presentation on theme: "The Change. Menopause Meno – monthly pausis – stop Women can enter menopause anywhere from 35- 60 years of age Median age is between 50-52 The transition."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Change

2 Menopause Meno – monthly pausis – stop Women can enter menopause anywhere from years of age Median age is between The transition from reproductive to non-reproductive age takes from 2 to 6 years

3 Physiological activities Remaining ova begin to degenerate. The ovaries become less responsive to the gonadotrophic hormones, LH & FSH, fewer follicles are stimulated. Oestrogen (estradiol) and progesterone production in the corpus luteum ceases. Testosterone is continued to be produced by the ovaries

4 Physiological activities cont.. Concentrations of FSH and LH increase because the negative feed back from estradiol does not occur. Hypothalamus releasing patterns of Gonadotrophic Releasing Hormone (GnRH) change. Responsiveness of the Anterior Pituitary gland declines.

5 Physiological activities cont… Peripheral oestrogen conversion continues in adipose, hepatic and adrenal cells produces a weaker form of oestrogen (oestrone) The adrenal glands become the major producers of progesterone and oestrone

6 Physical Manifestations Symptoms produced by this hormonal shift include: Hot flashes/flushes Night sweats Vaginal dryness Breast atrophy Menstrual irregularities

7 Physical Manifestations Dizziness Weight gain Increased urinary frequency Headaches Disturbed sleep Non-specific aches and pains Changes in elasticity and firmness

8 Pathological Risk Factors An increase in the risk of osteoporosis An increase in the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease

9 Psychological Manifestations Loss of self esteem Irritability Depression Loss of concentration Loss of libido Feelings of missing out on life and that time is running out. Loss of life purpose

10 Western Medical Paradigm Oestrogen deficiency Remedied with HRT - Hormone replacement therapy – either oestrogen alone or oestrogen and progesterone combined 35-40% of American women start treatment, 15% continue with long term treatment

11 Hormone Replacement Therapy Advantages: Decreases menopausal symptoms Can be used to soften the blow of oestrogen decline Decreases risk of osteoporosis by 50% Associated with a decrease in mortality from cardiovascular diseases by 35%

12 Hormone Replacement Therapy cont… Disadvantages: Oestrogen alone HRT is associated with increased potential for breast cancer Natural Oestrogen is harvested from pregnant mares in battery horse style barns. Only delays the inevitable process of oestrogen depletion

13 Hormone Replacement Therapy cont… Is a big business proposition for pharmaceutical companies Doesnt effect a decrease in hot flushes in Asian women

14 Psychological Paradigm From a Jungian perspective, menopause involves the woman meeting her masculine aspect. The meeting of the animus. New, possibly unwanted energies are revealed. These need to be integrated within the self.

15 Female shamanistic paradigm Menopause is retaining the blood, or holding the power within. The base primordial energies of the root chakra rise to connect with the spiritual energies of the crown chakra. This enables unification of Sakti and Siva- the male and female principle. (aka kundalini)

16 Female shamanistic paradigm Hot flushes are considered a manifestation of this new energy. Women are encouraged to ride the fire to allow the veil of consciousness to contract and reveal a superior state. (Stepanich 1992)

17 Contemporary Attitudes Negative attitudes can surround this transition from mother to crone, considering it another burden after the curse of menstruation The crone/old hag archetype blinds the modern woman to the wisdom and beauty (Kenton 1996) Often considered in terms of loss, and as a partial death

18 Contemporary Attitudes cont.. Positive attitudes consider it a celebration that a womans creativity is no longer bound to the obligations to propagate the species. A new sexual freedom is found. A time of great power, energy and freedom, and a transformation into the wise woman archetype

19 Role of the Naturopath 50% of women seek some sort of treatment for menopausal symptoms Many women are rejecting HRT and are seeking natural solutions to ease unwanted symptoms We have many ways to support and encourage this transformation

20 Role of the Naturopath Provide space and time Hear their story Encourage and support exploration of this phase Help to develop a positive attitude Explore new outlets for creative expression

21 Role of the Naturopath - Nutrition Ensure adequate fibre and complex carbohydrates, a high intake of fruits and vegetables, regular moderate intake of protein Limit salt, fat, sugar, caffiene, and alcohol intake. Avoid hot foods Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids should be consumed regularly

22 Role of the Naturopath - Nutrition Focus should be placed on: Health of GIT calcium and phosphate intake and absorption. Low oestrogen levels hinders calcium and phosphate absorption. Low oestrogen also increases resorption from bones, diminishing bone density.

23 Role of the Naturopath - Nutrition Phytoestrogens are nonsteroidal plant compounds with a phenolic ring that bind to the oestrogen receptors in human cells. The major types are lignans and isoflavonoids. They are 160 to many thousand times weaker than natural oestrogen.

24 Role of the Naturopath - Nutrition In menopausal women there is some evidence that they mimic oestrogen activity. 100gms of tofu and 1 tbsp linseed/day has been shown to reduce hot flushes.

25 Role of the Naturopath - Nutrition Another study revealed a 25% reduction in hot flushes from 60g isolated soy protein/day They are found in legumes, wholegrains, seeds, fruit and vegetables (esp. sprouts) and various medicinal plants

26 Role of the Naturopath - Herbal We have a large array of herbs to assist women through this transition including: PeonyChamaelirium VitexZizyphus (Sun-Ten) CimicifugaAngelica *Trifolium*Medicago sativa

27 Role of the Naturopath - Lifestyle Exercise - Weight bearing exercise is recommended to ensure bone density maintenance - Help to maintain healthy BMI and waist:hip ratio Encourage relaxation, meditation, inspiring music & making time and caring for the self

28 Summary The passage through menopause differs as much as the women who experience it. We can support the bodys hormonal orchestra whilst it tune up and rehearses a new symphony, called by Margaret Mead, Post Menopausal Zeal

29 References Glazier, M G A Review of the Evidence for the Use of Phytoestrogens as a Replacement for Traditional Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Archive Internal Med/ Vol161, May Greer, Germain The Whole Woman, Doubleday, 1999 Kenton, Leslie Passage to Power Vermillion Press, 1996 Myers, R Menopause – its management and treatment Aust J Med Herbalism Vol 4 (3) 1992 Stepanich, Kisma Sister Moon Lodge, Llewellyn Pub, 1992 Shuttle, P & Redgrove, P The Wisewound, Harper Collins, 1994 Tortora & Grabowski Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Harper Collins 1997 Trickey, Ruth Women, Hormones and the Menstrual Cycle, Allen & Unwin, 1998 Willis & Reid Life in the Middle, Academic Press, 1999


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