Perimenopause is the time of change leading up to actual menopause-the normal biological event
that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, lasts about 4 to
5 years, and is commonly associated with a shift from regular to irregular menstrual cycles prior to stopping
completely. Symptoms associated with menopause may occur during this transitional period.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Irregular periods that can be heavy, light, shorter, or longer
Occasional hot flashes and/or night sweats
Unpredictable mood swings, depression, anxiety, or irritability
Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
Variations in breast tenderness or fullness
Loss of or decreased sexual desire
Alterations in body fat composition
Decreased bone density
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Both perimenopause and menopause are caused by a gradual reduction in the amount of estrogen and
progesterone produced by the ovaries. Estrogen and progesterone are essential for the reproductive process and
influence menstrual cycles, pregnancy, some aspects of mood, and the aging process. In the years leading up to
perimenopause, the ovaries become less functional and produce lower amounts of estrogen and progesterone.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT FROM OUR NATUROPATHIC CLINIC?
It is important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider regarding the
benefits and risks of different options for reducing symptoms and health risks associated with perimenopause.
At our clinic, during your initial 1.5 hour one - on - one consult with our Naturopathic
Doctor, Sushma Shah, you will be undergo a comprehensive symptom intake in detail, and at the end of the visit, you
will be required to do some blood and urine testing. Her assessment is oriented toward determining what is impeding
your body's ability to function normally. She will determine which assessment tools are most helpful in establishing
a treatment strategy specific to your health needs.
Dr. Shah may order some specialized hormonal testing, blood tests to determine hormone
and cholesterol levels, and a bone density measurement, if need be in order to get all the necessary physiological
information and to get a more complete picture of your symptoms. Following this visit, you will be coming in for
your second visit, in which she will be doing a full physical check up, including a breast exam, a traditional
Chinese medicine tongue and pulse diagnosis, body fat analysis and blood glucose testing. After having gone
through your case, she will be giving you an INDIVIDUAL TREATMENT PLAN, that is specific to the symptoms you
WHAT WILL YOUR TREATMENT PLAN ENTAIL?
The goal in treating perimenopause and menopause is to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk for
long-term medical conditions such as heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
The following preventive measures may help diminish symptoms and reduce the risk of serious
complications (such as osteoporosis and heart disease) associated with perimenopause:
Quitting smoking-smokers tend to begin perimenopause 1 to 2 years earlier than nonsmokers;
smokers are also at an increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis
Taking calcium supplements - helps protect against bone loss
Exercising - slows the rate of bone loss, reduces hot flashes, and improves mood
Consuming a diet low in saturated fat-helps prevent cardiovascular disease by decreasing low
density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels and by lowering the chances of weight gain
The information on this handout is the property of SUSHMA SHAH N.D., and is not intended to treat,
diagnose or cure any disease. For any questions, or concerns, please contact me at 416 913 4325 (HEAL) or
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org