“Dr. Carrick is the first doctor who showed me with words and actions that she cared about my health. I couldn’t believe that in a few appointments a lot of the chronic internal issues I had been suffering from were starting to correct themselves and without the use of harmful medications! She is extremely thorough….”* —L.Y., Raleigh
*Results may vary
MENOPAUSE & PERI-MENOPAUSE
Few women transition from steady, regular periods to no periods. Peri menopause is the in-between phase, usually around ages 45-50, when ovaries no longer respond to the brain. There may be fluctuating periods (longer or shorter, lighter or heavier), as well as poor memory, poor sleep and some irritability.
The Back-Up System for Peri-Menopause
When our ovaries can’t produce estrogens, progesterone and testosterone anymore, the body has a back-up system to ease into menopause well: the adrenal glands. Our brain sends a message to the adrenal glands to allow some adrenal hormone in the bloodstream to be converted to estrogens and progesterones throughout menopause and even post-menopause. This is the back-up for falling levels of important female hormones.
How Stress Interferes with Adrenal Help
Under stress, our adrenal glands produce cortisol, but if the stress is ongoing, adrenal glands become exhausted. If we are stressed during peri menopause, our adrenal glands will be too depleted to provide needed hormones when menopause occurs. For an easier menopause, it’s important for women to know the condition of their adrenal glands. Ask Dr. Carrick about an adrenal test that can be taken at home.
Menstrual disorders can start for many reasons. It may be that the pituitary is sending faulty messages or the ovaries can’t respond or a congested liver can’t eliminate excess hormones in a timely manner. Other factors affecting menstruation are poor blood-sugar regulation, anemia, poor adrenal function and hormone-binding problems.
Traditional doctors often prescribe birth-control pills to regulate periods, but this is a poor use of birth-control pills. This approach masks the problem, only to have the problem return when the birth-control pills are stopped. A greater concern is that when messaging between the brain and ovaries is interrupted for years at a time, the rhythm doesn’t return.
Functional Medicine Treatment
After checking for poor blood sugar, anemia disorders and other underlying problems, a dynamic hormone test can reveal more about the complex dance of the menstrual cycle. The Cycling Female Hormone Panel 11 saliva sample is run over the length of a menstrual cycle. It looks at the interaction of the pituitary and ovaries. Taken at home, the patient collects a saliva sample about every 2-3 days, which is labeled and kept frozen until all samples can be sent together to a laboratory.