Thursday, October 23, 2014

Low Adrenal Function and Menopause

If your adrenal glands are not up to the stress of Menopause, it will be more difficult. Normally the adrenal glands produce some estrogen which helps to cushion the severity of the menopausal symptoms. Also, the hormones normally produced by the adrenal glands help the body deal with stress and change. At this time hormones are sputtering and levels are dropping. They are certainly not staying level. This requires very constant and careful monitoring of your hydrocortisone and fludrocort. You will need to be aware of the symptoms of both high and low adrenal levels (see Hydrocortisone and Addison's Disease and Fludrocort and Addison's Disease). Menopause started for me in my early 40's and lasted until I was 57. It was a rough time, and I'm glad it is over. I feel so much better now! Here are some suggestions I have to make this time easier if you have low adrenal function:

  • be kind to yourself - allow for extra relaxation 
  • be low key - this is not a time for new challenges
  • get plenty of rest - take a nap and get to bed early
  • dress in layers - at the first hint of rising heat, I start taking off layers- it helps a lot
  • eat at regular times - plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • drink plenty of water - helps to keep cooler
  • stop when fatigued - relax, rest
  • sleep lightly - don't put piles of blankets over you; I sleep better when I am a little cool
  • avoid all stress possible (you may have teens, do your best!)
  • listen to relaxing music
  • read funny stories (I love children's literature. They have the best humorous stories. see  Books for 3rd graders
  • do things you enjoy
A big thing to watch out for is excessive bleeding and the resultant low iron levels. I became severely Anemic. I learned that raising my dose of hydrocortisone helped to reduce the bleeding to a normal level. Taking iron quickly helped me feel better. 

If you remember these five things, Menopause will be easier:
  1. You will need more relaxation than the normal menopausal woman
  2. You must carefully monitor you medications 
  3. Keep cool
  4. Test for anemia
  5. Menopause does end!

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