Why HRT Isn't Where We Start With Menopause Clients

healthy hormones hrt menopause stress Dec 19, 2022

This is one topic I work with many people on and find that the more stressed someone is, or has been, through their lives then the more impact we have, and in many cases, actually stopping people needing to go onto hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

I have dived into it through this video and subsequent podcast for the audio but what is absolutely clear is that you can pretty much certainly get results by improving your health and lifestyle habits without needing to go onto life long HRT, actually causing more frustration as a result.

Many people struggle with their weight and health when it comes to going through the menopause, even before reaching the expected age that many expect to go through the menopause I am speaking to more and more women that are struggling with symptoms of hormonal imbalance and as a result there's been a frustration with weight problems as a result they they have struggled to get on top of.
 
I've worked with many women around the menopause and speaking at a recent mastermind in Miami, where the audience was primarily female, I spoke to multiple women there that asked me about the menopause and can I help - the short answer is 'yes, absolutely'
 
But I don't work in a way that many doctors would, I am not going to go for medication and if you're on HRT already then it's not my place to get you off of it, it's my place to get your body functioning as it is supposed to so that any side effects are minimal and also that you're able to make a decision yourself whether you even want to go onto HRT in the first place.

 

Many people go for the hormones, but this is an end result and I look deeper, from a top down perspective start with signalling within the brain and the consistent exposure to stress throughout the years.
 
Hormone signalling is an output, not an input and first off we have to make sure the brain is functioning with the right signalling in the first place, yes, is it overly stressed is what I am looking at.
 
If you are in a good position of health, stress managed, your adrenals should be functioning effectively and getting the signals to produce enough DHEA which will then go on to make sure you have enough estrogen getting made, in the best case scenario WITHOUT having to put exogenous hormone into your body, in the best case scenario remember.
 
The problem comes right here...
 
I have to take into account a client's total history from things like:
 
  • Previous diet habits and beliefs - so many women in their late 30s, 40s & 50s have been fed so many lies through the media with dieting - low fat, low carb, vegan, keto, intermittent fasting - if I didn't have this as my expert area I would definitely be confused where to start but these things have had a hard impact on how the body is right now and how it will go through the menopause.
  • Previous trauma - not only do we look at the dieting history but I make sure I build enough trust for anyone to be able to talk freely, both male in female here, into what they have been through in the past and if there's some high level of stress deep within the body, are they carrying forms of PTSD that keeps the body not just in a fight or flight mode but a more severe 'freeze' mode, we need to work through that
  • Previous training habits - I see so many women that are in their late 30s, 40s and 50s hit the cardio craze between the 90s and 2010s, loads of running, loads of 'more is better' aerobic work and then high intensity training methods were brought in like cross fit, maybe they competed in physique shows or just severely overtrained following a calories in vs calories out approach, we have to work on this
  • Medical conditions - what has already happened to the amazing body we carry ourselves in? We need to look deeper and what are the repercussions of these conditions on the menopause going forward.
  • Thyroid issues, the same signalling that causes severe side effects through the menopause is also the place where I start when it comes to thyroid issues and hence why we have actually been able to reverse what was previously described as hypothyroid in some patients in the past. More women are diagnosed with thyroid issues than men.
  • Toxin exposure - we don't always look at the air we breath but things such as mould exposure, constant blitzing of the air with perfumes, fumes in the air within the city, chemicals in farming areas and more, all these create a toxic load on the body we have to work through and improve the detoxification systems throughout.
 
It can definitely be a minefield when it comes to improving your body and thinking the only answer is to just accept it's because you're going through the menopause, ageing and it is time catching up on us - you do NOT have to take that as the final answer.
 
These are some strategies I work with clients on:
 
  • Manage your meal composition focusing on fibre, green veg, fats and protein before carbohydrates - but not demonising them either
  • Stop having cereal or smoothies for breakfast - these will severely spike your glucose levels and start your day on a rollercoaster of cravings and poor sugar management
  • Have protein with every meal
  • Keep hydrated
  • Make sure you're able to sleep through the night without waking for the toilet, at least 7 hours
  • Don't smash the workouts hard but rather focus on steps and what we call, NEAT - non exercise activity thermogenesis
  • Improve brain function and clear brain fog
  • Get the body able to tolerate stress and the perception of stress
  • Work on toxin exposure and historic toxin exposure
If you need further help with working through the menopause, feel free to drop me a message and I can advise further what I would suggest.

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