“This should have been the easiest chapter to write.   After all, menopause symptoms are the defining characteristics of the menopause “problem.” Yet much mystery prevails.   Not all women passing through menopause have any of the usual panoply of symptoms, and the characteristic symptoms that some U.S. women and women in industrialized countries have are rare in third-world cultures. Though solid statistics are hard to validate, medical authorities teach that about 50% of women in the U.S. experience some degree of hot flashes during menopause, and only 15% seek medical treatment for them. Yet all women who go through menopause experience a drop in estrogen. Why do only some of them experience menopausal symptoms?    Why do menopausal women in other cultures not experience these symptoms?

Early in my career, when I still felt assured of the medical education I had received and before I knew anything about natural progesterone, I was visited by a patient who first brought home to me the inadequacy of mainstream medical treatments. She was a 62year old lady with persistent, quite severe flashes despite years of estrogen replacement therapy. She could tolerate the hot flashes but, as she apologetically explained, she was worried about the loss of libido, her inability to lose weight, and the thinning of her scalp hair. She was overweight and aware that the more estrogen she took the fatter she got and the more water she retained.

My medical examination and laboratory workup found nothing abnormal. In my naivete, I thought I would be able to help her. I put her on my favorite low-fat, low sugar diet,added small doses of essential vitamin and mineral supplements, and tried manipulating her estrogen supplements to avoid water retention and fat buildup. Nothing I did helped her.With estrogen she had normal vaginal lubrication, but she still had hot flashes and her libido was just not there.

But failure is often a better instructor than success. So although I unfortunately wasn’t much help to this patient, She was a help to me. In my attempt to unravel this knotty problem, I came to learn several important lessons: One, not all women with hot flashes are helped by supplemental estrogen.  Two, fat increases estrogen levels in post-menopausal women. Three, fatter post menopausal women generally have higher estrogen levels than thinner women. Four, post-menopausal women with normal estrogen levels can suffer hot flashes. Something more than estrogen deficiency is going on.

Let us look again at the symptoms associated with menopause with some women.

Such a list would include:

*hot flashes

*vaginal dryness and atrophy

*water retention

*fat and weight gain, especially in the hips, thighs, and abdomen

*sleep disturbances (insomnia, less REM-time sleep)

*decreased libido

*mood swings—-depression, irritability

*headaches, fatigue

*short-term memory lapses, lack of concentration

*dry, thin, wrinkly skin

*thinning of scalp hair, some increase of facial hair

*bone mineral loss (osteoporosis)

*diffuse body aches and pains”


“The common thread running through all these conditions is estrogen dominance in relationship to a relative insufficiency of progesterone. At this point, the last thing a woman needs is more estrogen!

The vast majority of menopausal problems can be avoided by good nutrition, avoidance of toxins, regular exercise, and the proper supplementation, when indicated for hormone balance, of real, honest-to-God, natural progesterone. A very small percentage of women continue to have hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Once again, I have found that a few months or at most a year or two on natural estrone or estriol solves that problem.  Estriolis the predominant estrogen made by the placenta when the ovaries are resting during pregnancy.”

The above quotes are from a book by Dr. John Lee called, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. It is worth getting a copy of it, if you don’t already have it.

Dr. Lee recommends a natural progesterone cream have at least 400-500 mg/oz.Renewed Balance Natural Progesterone cream has 750 mg/oz.

Take time to read our other articles about estrogen dominance and natural progesterone cream.

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