"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 in preparation for each appointment as well as history-taking and examination during said appointments. Her staff is also wonderful and always friendly. I have recommended several people to Dr. Carrick and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon."--L.Y., Raleigh*
*Your results may vary
Menopause and Peri-menopause
Few women transition from steady, regular periods to no periods. In peri-menopause, there may be a combination of shorter and longer periods and heavy and lighter menstrual flow, as well as irritability, poor memory, poor sleep, etc. Peri-menopause is usually around age 45-50, and this happens when ovaries are no longer able to respond to the brain.
When ovaries can no longer produce estrogens, progesterone and testosterone, the body has a back-up system to ease into menopause: the adrenal glands. Best known for producing adrenaline during “fight or flight” situations, the adrenal glands can’t provide needed help through menopause if someone is stressed when going into menopause.
Produced by adrenals, cortisol should be high in the morning (because it helped to provide the brain with glucose during sleep) and should drop throughout the day so that someone is not too keyed up at night. Cortisol levels are affected by estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, blood-glucose levels, and the immune system; therefore, Functional Medicine physicians look at other physiological processes, too.
To have 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 pituitary sending faulty messages, the ovaries’ inability to respond, or a congested liver that can’t eliminate excess hormones in a timely manner, among other things. Other considerations are poor blood sugar regulation, anemia, poor adrenal function, and hormone binding problems.
The standard treatment is to use birth-control pills to regulate periods, which is an inappropriate use of birth-control pills. This approach ignores what is wrong and covers up the problem, only to have the condition return when the need for birth-control pills are stopped. When the interaction of the brain and ovaries are interrupted for years at a time, the rhythm sometimes does not return. After checking for poor blood sugar, anemia disorders, and other underlying problems, a dynamic hormone test can reveal the inner workings of the complex dance of the menstrual cycle.
The Cycling Female Hormone Panel is an 11 saliva sample test run over the length of one menstrual cycle. It looks at the interaction of the pituitary and the ovary response. Abnormalities are visible due to the number of samples taken. This is a test kit you take home. Collect a saliva sample about every 2-3 days, which you keep labeled in the freezer until they are all sent together to a testing laboratory.