Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Weight Gain, Insomnia, Mood Swings, Thinning Hair, No Energy: Can’t Do Anything About Menopause Symptoms?

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Susan Gregoire, ARNP and Certified Functional Medicine Menopause Counselor, answers these and other questions in her practice at LifeWorks Wellness Center, where her patients are looking for Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy Â? bioidentical hormones, as discussed in Suzanne SomersÂ? book, The Sexy Years and other natural solutions to their menopause symptoms.

Night sweats, insomnia, no energy, hot flashes, weight gain – wondering where your hormones have gone or if it’s all in your head as some would like you to believe?

Are you considering natural hormone replacement therapy - bio-identical hormones or other natural solutions to handle your menopause symptoms? Maybe you’ve been told there’s no help for you and all has been done that could be done? Or are you looking for help solving your menopause puzzle with natural solutions? Here’s some information about the different tests that are available to check your hormone levels and some tips to get started on the road to symptom free days.

Susan Gregoire, ARNP and Certified Functional Medicine Menopause Counselor, answers these and other questions in her practice at LifeWorks Wellness Center. Her patients are looking for Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy – bioidentical hormones, as discussed in Suzanne Somers’ book, "The Sexy Years," and other natural solutions to their menopause symptoms.

The first step is to find a knowledgeable practitioner who can work with you consistently, Gregoire says. There are many reasons that an imbalance in your hormone levels could be causing you to suffer with menopausal symptoms. Your practitioner will evaluate and design a personalized a program specifically for you.

The second step is to have an initial body system evaluation with testing to determine your hormone levels. The hormones you want to make sure any test covers are: Estrogen, Testosterone, Progesterone, DHEA, and Cortisol. Others may be considered depending on your personalized program.

Measuring the balance of the different estrogens in the body is also a consideration to be evaluated. These three estrogens that the body makes are called Estradiol, Estrone, and Estriol.

Currently, there are three types of tests used to test your hormone levels: blood, saliva, urine.

1) The blood or serum test is a “snapshot” of what hormones are available in what quantities to the tissues at the moment in time the blood is drawn. The test looks at the “reservoir” of what is there to be used. Many hormones are in the packed cells of the blood and are not easily measured. The hormones in the body are very responsive to the bodies needs and fluctuate many times throughout the day and night. If you experience stress during the day your hormone levels change. A “snapshot” type of test may not reflect this.

2) The saliva test is easy to collect. Just spit! The saliva collection may be done one “snapshot” time in the morning, or it may be ordered 3 times a month every 10 days at the same time or the order may call for collecting it 4-6 times one day which will give the practitioner cortisol levels as well.

The saliva test reflects directly the amount of hormones which are found free in the body and are available to help with symptoms. There are some drawbacks to this test: hot beverages, certain foods, medications, taken before the test can interfere with results as well as chewing gum, sugar in gums, or blood in the saliva from periodontal disease. Taking sublingual hormones can give false high saliva hormone levels. Your practitioner will instruct you.

3) The urine test is usually a 24-hour urine collection. This has been the gold standard of some very astute scientists for many years. It measures the output in the urine of all of the above hormones and more over a period of 24 hours. Twenty-four hour collection is reflective of what hormones the body produced and utilized throughout the day and night.

This test measures the by-products of hormone metabolism, which can give a more accurate picture of how the body is using and converting the hormones that are being produced or given. This test is a little more work but gives more detailed information.

You and your practitioner should talk and decide which test is right for you.

During this first visit, your practitioner will start to design your personalized program and will be able to make recommendations of things you can start doing immediately to help your menopausal symptoms. This, of course, depends on the individual patient as results do vary.

And, if you’re one of these people who like to get started on things right away, here’s some tips of steps you can take. Try eating more organic foods and take an amino acid nutritional supplement called BioBuilde from BodyHealth found at It contains all the essential amino acids for optimum protein synthesis and greatly helps with hormone balance. It is 100% absorbed and 99% utilized to build body proteins and provides 400% more protein than eggs or meat with less than 1 calorie per serving, which really helps with weight loss.

These are the first steps to getting rid of those unwanted menopause symptoms and getting started on the road to feeling better.

For more information, call LifeWorks Wellness Center toll free at 877-543-3975 or visit


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Jeannine Dowdell
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