Genetics matter when it comes to menopause.
Environment plays a major role.
Following is an excerpt from Dr Sara Gottfried’s The Hormone Cure:
We used to think that a woman’s age at menopause was determined simply by when she exhausted the supply of eggs in her ovaries. But the latest thinking is that genetics and environment play major roles.
Your age at menopause is highly correlated with your mother’s age at menopause. It stands to reason that low progesterone, the first step toward menopause, is also genetically determined. It’s good to find out if you have a genetic predisposition to that problem, because then you can look into boosting your progesterone (using the Gottfried Protocol: see tips below). Start the inquiry by asking your mother (if possible) about her age at menopause, and when her periods started to change.
A recent Harvard study identified ten places in DNA where your age of natural menopause is determined. Of course, exposure to environmental factors, such as endocrine disruptors and birth control pills, can affect when you have your final period.
The Gottfried Protocol for boosting progesterone:
I have followed Dr Gottfried’s philosophy for the last year and have been trained as a “Hormone Evangelista”. Dr Gottfried admits that what she does lacks a name–she is a Harvard-trained physician who has adopted her own natural approach to hormone balance. The reason I am drawn to her approach is this: she doesn’t rule one thing in and the other out; it is not a one-size-fits-all or black-and-white approach. Nor does she jump to one “cure”.
Her protocol can best be summed as:
Look for the root cause and then:
- Try to address via lifestyle tweaks & vitamin supplementation: paying attention to how we eat, move & sleep. If no improvement, introduce:
- Herbal Therapies. For some women, this isn’t quite enough, and will shift to:
- Bioidentical Hormones
In the case of low progesterone, the consequences can be rage, headaches, cysts, miserable periods, “fat & moody” and sleep disorders. The top five root causes are:
- Little or no ovulation
- Low thyroid
- High prolactin
The Gottfried Protocol recommends:
- Lifestyle Tweaks: Reduce/eliminate caffeine & alcohol, Vitamin C (750 mg/day), Saffron (15 mg twice/day): a safe option for depression, painful periods & PMS, Calcium (600 mg twice/day), Magnesium (200 mg/day), Vitamin B6 (50-100 mg/day)
- Chasteberry (500 to 1000 mg/day: proven to reduce PMS by raising progesterone) &/or St John’s Wort (300 mg 3X/day)
- You may need to augment with a bioidentical progesterone pill or cream or suppository
PLEASE NOTE: All information provided in this website is for educational purposes only. This information is not a replacement for a thorough consultation and examination from a licensed health professional. Nothing here should be construed as an attempt to diagnose, prescribe, or recommend, in any manner, a treatment for any health ailment or condition. Do not attempt to self-treat based on information in this website. Consult your own health care practitioner regarding the treatment of any medical condition.