Pacific Wellness Institute Clinic: Bloor-Yorkville Toronto

Battling Low Estrogen

Menopause symptoms



Dr. Bianca Drennan ND


            I hear it all time – “everything was fine until I turned 40,” “as soon as I turned 50 all of this happened,” or “I never had issues with this before.”

So many women struggle with declining estrogen levels. It is rare to hear a woman say that they have not noticed any changes since getting older. It is a very real thing, and it is not in their heads.

            Menopause is not a subject women enjoy talking about, but it is a necessary one. Technically, menopause is defined as not having a menstrual period for 1 year. However, symptoms can appear 10-15 years prior to the onset of menopause. The average age for a woman to enter menopause is 51 years old. That being said, some women may enter it as young as 35 years old. The biggest predictor of when you will hit menopause is what age your mother did. If you have sisters, they can also be predictors. The period before women officially enter menopause is known as perimenopause – and this is the time when most women battle symptoms that greatly decrease quality of life due to declining estrogen.

The most common perimenopausal symptoms include:

    Weight gain (especially around the abdomen)

    Hot flashes

    Night sweats

    Lack of focus/concentration (feeling foggy)

    Memory loss

    Decreased libido

    Vaginal dryness (often causing pain during intercourse)


    Worsening PMS

    Mood swings



            Perimenopause is an opportunity for a woman to minimize the negative effects of low estrogen which can decrease overall health. It is a chance to improve quality of life. Easing the transition as estrogen levels decline will not only improve perimenopausal symptoms, but also improve a woman’s outcome once she hits menopause. A key way to do this is to balance hormone levels through perimenopause. There are many ways to do this. Some may opt for hormone replacement therapy, while others may not. It is important to discuss hormone replacement therapy with your Naturopathic or Medical Doctor to understand the benefits and risks. However, there are a lot of less invasive, lifestyle options to balance hormones and the symptoms associated with menopause. These include:

    Weight loss – diet, exercise

    Enhancing detoxification pathways

    Optimizing bone health

    Optimizing digestion

    Hormone-related botanical (herbal) prescriptions

    Balancing cortisol (stress hormone) levels – to improve weight, sleep, mood, energy