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I'm happy to answer any and all of your questions. Here are a few questions that come up all the time. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Q: What is menopause?

A: Menopause is typically a natural part of a woman’s life. As a woman approaches menopause, her ovaries produce less sex hormones. This may lead to irregular periods, and abnormal, heavy or light bleeding. Eventually, the ovaries stop producing female hormones which leads to a complete cessation of periods. “Natural menopause is deemed to have occurred after 12 consecutive months without menstruation for which there is no other obvious physiological or pathological cause and in the absence of clinical intervention” according to the World Health Organization, WHO. In summary, what happens with menopause is that if you still have your uterus and ovaries, and you stop having periods for 12 months in a row you are considered to be in menopause.

Q: Can a hysterectomy cause early menopause?

A: Yes, it can. “A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus, or womb. Your uterus is where a fetus grows when you're pregnant,” according to WebMD. According to a study published in 2005, “Hysterectomy is associated with an earlier onset of menopause”. 1 About 300,000 women get hysterectomies in the United States each year. It’s the second most common surgery performed among women, according to Cleveland Clinic. Some people may use the term hysterectomy incorrectly. While a hysterectomy does not involve the ovaries, an oophorectomy is a correct term used to describe surgical removal of your ovaries. This will result in immediate menopause. Women who have had oophorectomies may experience more severe and abrupt symptoms after surgical menopause compared to natural menopause. A woman may also experience menopause after receiving certain medications and chemotherapy or radiation.

Q: How do I know if you are in menopause if you have had a hysterectomy?

A: Certain labs can be checked to confirm that you are in menopause. The labs to test for menopause may include LH, FSH, Estradiol and Progesterone. Your provider can check your hormone levels to see if you are getting close to menopause or are in menopause. It is important to pay attention to see if you experience “PMS-like” symptoms periodically and keep track of these symptoms on a calendar. Symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, irritability and mood swings may help determine if you are still ovulating. Whereas hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and forgetfulness are often related to menopause.

How do I choose a good fish oil?

Watch this video for recommendations on finding the best fish oil supplement for you. Fish oil benefits your heart, memory and more.

Q: What is peri-menopause?

A: Symptoms related to menopause can start a few years before your last period. The years leading to menopause are called perimenopausal years. During perimenopause, you may experience similar but usually milder symptoms to menopause. It is not uncommon for women to skip their periods or experience prolonged and heavy periods during perimenopause. That is usually due to a drop in progesterone which results in estrogen dominance. Your healthcare provider can order certain labs to determine if you are getting close to menopause. Perimenopausal symptoms may be managed using natural hormones, over-the-counter supplements, lifestyle changes and prescription medications.

Q: Is weight gain common with peri-menopause and menopause?

A: Most women tend to gain about 1.5 lbs a year during perimenopause and menopause. Hormonal changes, reduced muscle mass, genetics, decreased metabolism, and stress are some of the factors contributing to weight gain in perimenopausal and menopausal women. For more information on weight gain please refer to my blog.

Q: What is a hot flash?

A: Hot flashes are often described as a sudden sensation of heat in the upper chest and face that lasts 2 to 4 minutes. Approximately 75% of menopausal women report hot flashes. 4 Women may experience hot flashes or night sweats in different ways. Some experience a rush of heat and sweat in the back of the neck. The feeling may then extend to the chest, face, and other parts of the body. Others may experience a feeling of panic right before a hot flash starts. Some have milder symptoms, others may only have night sweats, or even just “run hot” all the time. A woman may be able to tolerate these symptoms without much discomfort or she may feel that they interfere with her everyday life and sleep.

Q: At what age do hot flashes stop?

A: It is not easy to predict how long a woman will experience hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms may start during perimenopause and continue well into menopause. Most women stop having them after 10 years, however, some women continue having them in their 70’s and even 80’s. Your level of stress, alcohol, caffeine and sugar consumption, your genes, and other medications that you may be on are among the factors that can affect your hot flashes and night sweats.

Q: What are natural ways to stop the hot flashes?

A: Here are suggestions for reducing the intensity and frequency of hot flashes naturally: • Daily practice of mindful meditation, yoga, and de-stressing activities • Cut back on or stop the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and sugars • Stop smoking • Take a potent fish oil (see my blog on Omega III fatty acids) • Ask an expert about using OTC remedies such as black cohosh • Ask an expert about using natural, bio-identical hormones

Q: What is the most effective way to manage hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness associated with menopause?

A: Hot flashes and night sweats (also called vasomotor symptoms or VMS) and vulvovaginal symptoms are two of the most common complaints associated with menopause. 2 Hormone replacement therapy or HRT is the most effective way of treating hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. According to NIH (National Institute of Aging) “hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. They can also help with vaginal dryness, sleep, and maintaining bone density”. 3

Q: How do I get help with menopause symptoms:

A: Because the average woman lives one-third of her life in or past menopause 4 it is important to get help at the right time and from an expert. Reaching out to a pharmacist who specializes in menopause and perimenopause and works with Bio-identical hormones (BHRT) is one of the best options. Bioidentical hormones contain the same exact chemical structure as the body’s natural hormones. A hormone pharmacist is trained and knowledgeable in treating menopausal symptoms and works with doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to guide them in prescribing appropriate BHRT for their patients. During a hormone consultation, the pharmacist collects information about a patient’s medical history, discusses risk factors for developing different diseases (such as osteoporosis), reviews the individual’s symptoms and lab results, and recommends the appropriate therapy to the prescriber. Once the prescriber approves the recommendation for BHRT prescriptions, the patient, prescriber, and pharmacist work as a team to adjust the dosage until symptoms improve. Saliva, blood spot and regular blood testing can then be used to measure the hormone levels and adjust the prescriptions as needed.

Q: How do I set up a consultation appointment with Dr. Green?

A: Dr. Green will be happy to do a video or phone consultation for you. You have the option of a 1/2hr or a 1hr session. Please go to Shop and choose your session.

A: Does Dr. Green accept insurance for her consultations?

A: No she does not.

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