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Menopause – Preparing for Appointment

February 20, 2021
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"When preparing to go see your doctor about hormone replacement therapy or menopause, it's important for you to fill out a general medical health questionnaire with all of your past medical history, all of your surgical history, all of the medications, as well as supplements you're on. I also request that my patients get a full hormonal profile looking at the entire neural endocrine access, which includes the ovarian function, adrenal gland function, thyroid function. I also check lipid profiles because menopausal women can be at risk for cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors. Hormone replacement therapy can also impact cholesterol levels in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. So I'd like to have baseline lipid levels. And the specific hormones that I request are estrogen, 17 beta estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, total testosterone, and free testosterone levels. DHEA, which is the adrenal gland hormone, which is consistent with adrenal gland function. I request a full thyroid panel and also IGF-1 or human growth hormone levels, human growth hormone levels also decline as we age and patients become symptomatic because of that, I also request vitamin D levels, B12 levels and fasting glucose levels. The patients are already fasting due to the lipid levels. So I also request fasting glucose levels. As I mentioned earlier, weight gain is very common in menopausal women. And this is due to changes in metabolism, changes in the sensitivity of the insulin receptor. So you metabolize fats and sugars differently than you did when you were in your twenties and thirties and women will start to gain weight around their central abdomen. Frequently women will report that they're exercising, dieting, watching everything that they eat and are still either gaining weight or not able to maintain or lose weight. And this is extremely common during menopause."

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