The North American Menopause Society posted an article that was in Reader’s Digest on Facebook entitled 15 Signs No One Tells You Come Before Menopause. The Reader’s Digest article is written by Susan Jara quotes Ellen Dolgen as a menopause expert as to these “15 Signs” but falls short of really helping women how to address these issues. It’s articles like this that makes women think they have to suffer through perimenopause and menopause when in reality they do not.
1. Breast Tenderness –Ellen Dolgen says it’s impossible to know when your breasts are going to begin throbbing and says that breasts will feel more lumpy but offers no real solution. There are several reasons women get breast tenderness in perimenopause but the main reason is because they’re estrogen dominant. Estrogen dominance is an estrogen deficiency disease. I explain this in greater detail in my post “Estrogen Dominance or Deficient?”. Diet, medications, and low estrogen cause boobs to hurt and throb. When estrogen gets too low and a woman eats a high carb and sugar diet, normal estrogen will not detoxify properly out of the body and will store in fat. Sore boobs are brought on by low estrogen causing an estrogen dominance effect. Keeping estrogen in healthy reproductive ranges will eliminate sore and throbbing boobs and many other perimenopause signs. Lumpy boobs happen to women whose estrogen has fallen too low. The lower estrogen gets, the more lumpy and ropy breast tissue will be. To never have lumpy, ropey boobs again, keep estrogen in healthy reproductive ranges. In the long run, estrogen deficiency contributes to breast tenderness because there isn’t sufficient estrogen to induce the progesterone receptors. Without adequate progesterone receptor up-regulation, the progesterone isn’t able to down regulate the estrogen receptor therefore calming the proliferative effect of estrogen on the breast tissue. If you pay attention, your boobs will cycle right along with your menstrual cycle.
2. Unexpected Bruising–Most people don’t expect to bruise but as we age, bruises come up all over our body when it doesn’t make sense. This article states that because women become clumsier in perimenopause, which leads to the increased bruising, and that fluctuating hormones makes skin thinner causing you to bruise easier. It’s not clumsiness that causes perimenopausal women to bruise easier, nor because our skin is thinner due to fluctuating hormones. Women bruise easier without trauma in perimenopause because their estrogen is dropping too low, and/or anemia (brought on by estrogen deficiency). Hormones aren’t fluctuating, they’re declining and when our bodies run out of the very juice that tells our brains we’re alive and well, then our body responds. One of the ways we respond is by our body’s inability to absorb nutrients from our food and supplements. One of the main nutrients our body loses when we lose estrogen is Vitamin K. Vitamin K is critical in our body’s ability to prevent bruising, and if a woman has a toxic gut, on medications or low in estrogen, she will bruise easily no matter how old she is.
3. Dry Eyes–Dolgen got this right about declining hormones but didn’t offer a real solution to fix the problem. Dry eyes, like everything else in the female body will dry up when estrogen levels decline, as well as the ocular tissues. All tissues in the female body are designed to shrivel up and deteriorated as estrogen tanks. The lower estrogen gets, the more “raisin-like” we get from head to toe, in our brain and body. The best way to prevent or completely eliminate altogether is get your estrogen levels back into healthy reproductive ranges again. Women with healthy levels of estrogen do not have dry eyes. Dry eyes need not be one of the 15 perimenopause signs.
4. Chin Hair–Dolgen and the Northern Menopause Society says chin hair is an all-too-common symptom of perimenopause but offers no solution for increased facial hair and hair loss on our head. No matter how old a woman is, if her estrogen is too low, she will lose her hair. The longer she goes without estrogen will cause an increase of coarse facial hair on the chin and upper lip and a peach fuzz blanket on the sides of the face an jaw. This does not happen to women who maintain healthy levels of estrogen.
5. Heart Palpitations–This article says the studies show epinephrine and norepinephrine fluctuate causing heart palpitations in menopausal women which is the cause of heart palpitations. Clinically speaking, when working in a menopause and hormone clinic, I had the chance to witness hundreds of patients’ bodies and brains transform as they got hormone levels back to healthy ranges. One of the most common things women complained about coming in with low estrogen is heart palpitations and it’s one the most reversible symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. When we lose our estrogen, our tissues begin to shrivel up including muscles such as the heart. The walls and strength of the heart is compromised as estrogen declines. When estrogen is restored, the tissues rebuild and become strong again. Outside the brain, it is the heart that benefits the most from adequate levels of estrogen. Outside the brain, it is the heart that is the most compromised as estrogen declines. This deterioration process can be avoided completely is estrogen remains sound.
6. Urinary Leakage— Lower estrogen levels cause the lining of the urethra to thin, says JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). This is where there is a disconnect in modern medicine and estrogen deficiency diseases. We can find experts that tell us what causes the problem but they don’t offer any real solutions like don’t let your estrogen fall too low, or let’s restore your estrogen back to healthy levels to fix the problem altogether. When estrogen declines, all tissues in the body are designed to deteriorate and decay. Estrogen levels tell our brains and bodies where we are in our lifespan. When estrogen is low, no matter how old we are, our brains and bodies will decline. If estrogen remains in a healthy range, this declining does not take place like it would without estrogen. The best way to keep from peeing your pants when you laugh is keep estrogen in healthy reproductive ranges. You can get significant improvement or an elimination of urinary incontinence if you get your estrogen back.
7. Dry Skin— Less estrogen equals acne and dry and thinning skin for many women in entering menopause, which Dr. Pinkerton likens to “reverse puberty.” It’s also common to experience flare-ups or new cases of allergies and eczema during this time, adds Dolgen, whose swears by coconut oil for softer skin and smaller pores. While Ellen Dolgen swears by coconut oil, I swear by estrogen restoration. When estrogen declines in women, so does the moisture throughout our entire body, eyes, vagina, mouth, joints, poop, skin, hair, etc. No matter how much water you consume estrogen levels decide how much water our body will utilize and keep throughout. Some patients after getting healthy levels of estrogen no longer use lotion or other lubricants to rehydrate the skin because it’s no longer necessary. Low estrogen also contributes to low secondary hormones like thyroid. When estrogen and thyroid are low in women, it’s guaranteed moisture in the body is low. Allergies, eczema and psoriasis are also estrogen deficiency issues that do not exist when the toxic gut is cleaned and estrogen is restored.
8. Body Odor–This article states, “A drop in estrogen levels tricks your hypothalamus gland into thinking you’re overheated, signaling your body to sweat more.” This isn’t the case. It’s not sweat that makes you stink, it’s the lack of estrogen, circulation, and water that causes us to stink. Detoxifying our body and gut and restoring estrogen cleanses the odor our body produces. The lower estrogen gets, the worse women stink. The same holds true for men and declining testosterone levels. Our sense of smell also changes when estrogen declines. Old women smell like decaying flesh the older they get. This is an actual scent of the living decaying the physical body has when estrogen is low. If you gave an old aging woman estrogen, her body scent would change to less a decaying smelling odor and more sweet to our olfactory glands.
9. Migraines— Migraines may start for the first time, or worsen, when you start going through menopause because of new hormonal fluctuations, says Dr. Pinkerton. Migraines only happen to women whose estrogen is too low. Women with healthy levels of estrogen do not get migraines no matter how old she is.
10. Vaginal Dryness— Sex-stifling vaginal dryness was one of the most difficult symptoms for Dolgen. “Your vagina takes a trip to the desert and takes your eyes and skin along with it,” she says. Lower estrogen levels cause thinner, drier and less-elastic vaginal tissue and decrease blood flow to the area. The result: vaginal dryness, itching, and painful sex. I recommend to never let your estrogen fall in the first place so this deterioration and dryness never happens. The walls of the vagina will not thin and be lubed up and receptive to sexual stimuli as well. Healthy estrogen levels allow a woman to respond to pheromonal messages stimulating a clitoral lubricating response in the vagina.
11. Hot Flashes–This article states that low estrogen levels contribute to hot flashes but offers no solutions as to how to keep estrogen levels up to prevent this in the first place. I discuss the Anatomy of Hot Flashes in an article I posted earlier. No woman needs to ever have a hot flash and every woman is susceptible no matter how old she is if her estrogen drops too low.
12. Weight Shifts–Though this article quotes Ellen Dolgen saying “A woman’s weight throughout her menopausal journey is impacted by five factors: hormones, diet, exercise, stress, and genetics”, she fails to tell women what those hormones levels should look like and missing a critical component of sleep that will dictate fat gain or loss. The reality is that it’s estrogen levels that dictate our shoulder-waist-hip ratio. Everyone knows the best way to fatten a sow is to take away her ovaries. A woman can exercise, eat healthy, and have good genes but if estrogen is in the tank, a perimenopausal woman will get fat and won’t be able to get rid of it as long as her estrogen is in the tank. That’s why it’s easier for younger women to lose weight than an older woman, assuming the younger woman is estrogen sound.
13. Irregular Periods–This article states that irregular periods are a nuisance but offers no solutions to work with. The truth is, no matter how old a post-menarche woman is, when her estrogen is low, she will have irregular periods. Irregular periods are a result of low estrogen levels and can be fixed if estrogen were properly dosed. No woman ever need to go into menopause at all if estrogen is kept at healthy reproductive levels.
14. Bone Loss— The less estrogen your ovaries produce, the more bone loss may accelerate. This can put you at a greater risk for osteoporosis, or bone thinning, which increases your risk of fracture. “You can lose up to 20 percent of your bones during the first five years of menopause,” Dr. Pinkerton says in this article. What Dr. Pinkerton doesn’t say is its estrogen that decides bone density and osteoporosis in women and can be reversed or prevented if estrogen were maintained at healthy reproductive levels.
15. Fuzzy Thinking–Like most of the 15 Signs in this article, cognition issues are a direct result of estrogen deficiency. Estrogen deficiency has the greatest impact on the female brain than anything else. Women without estrogen have a difficult time with cognition, memory, and “pulling up information” out of their head when estrogen is too low. The more estrogen declines, the worse it gets. This also greatly impacts a woman’s ability to cope and handle the things that come her way.
Every one of these 15 Body Signs No One Tells You Will Come Before Menopause is a direct result of estrogen deficiency. That’s what Susan Jara should’ve written, The 15 Things That Happen To Women When Their Estrogen Falls Too Low. If she had all the right information, she may have.