Is estrogen deficiency menopause women experience really a disease?
In the resent past, there's been a strong push to medicalize menopause. The medical profession's concept of "treating" menopause was shaped by the advent of tranquilizers and antidepressants in the 1950's.
By the early 1960's, psychotropic were widely promoted to doctors as being ideal for middle-aged women and able to "cure" the symptoms of menopause. This has lead to society believing menopause is an illness.
Women began to think they weren't crazy, they were just sick and needed to be treated for "estrogen deficiency disease". Labeling menopause as a disease was the result of a particularly feminine problem defined in gynecology textbooks as reproductive failure or ovarian failure.
This idea of labeling midlife women as sick failures continues to dominate medical thinking today.
Many doctors today are continuing to discovery the benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Doctors are continuing to learn that deficiency isn't a disease and that if a woman lives long enough they will eventually become deficient of estrogen.
Many other doctors are stilling holding on to the belief that menopause isn't natural. They believe it's an endocrine disorder and it should be treated medically with the same seriousness as other endocrine disorders, such as diabetes and thyroid disease.
Persistently viewing menopause as a disease has many implications. It implies that premenopausal women are normal, postmenopausal women aren't. Diseases are treated with medication, so if menopause is a disease, women experiencing menopause will need medications.
What's natural about menopause and correcting hormone imbalance
What's interesting is the fact that estrogen levels drop only 40 to 60 percent at menopause, while progesterone levels can drop to nearly zero. Estrogen and progesterone, while nearly antagonistic in their effects, each sensitize receptor sites for the other. The presence of estrogen makes body target tissues more sensitive to progesterone, and the presence of progesterone does the same thing for estrogen.
Progesterone has an opposing or balancing effect on estrogen. When progesterone levels drop to near zero, we have estrogen dominance, which results in a long list of undesirablemenopause symptoms. Estrogen dominance doesnt necessarily mean we have too much estrogen, it simply means that estrogen levels are relatively higher than progesterone. This is what creates a hormone imbalance with its attendant estrogenic side effects.
How does this deficiency mind-set maintain a hold on the medical profession and the public?
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