Am I Menopausal?

There’s really no delicate way to describe the unnerving symptoms you experience when starting menopause. 

The intense heat that spreads through your upper body … anxiety like there’s an invader in the room … doom-and-gloom depression … endless sleepless nights … a suddenly accelerated heartbeat … a leaky bladder … weight gain (especially around your tummy) … desert-dry skin (and vagina!). And what happened to that brain of yours that used to be so sharp and quick witted?

Unquestionably, menopause forces you into a new strange and scary existence where nothing feels the same anymore, whether it is your own body, or your bond to the people around you. I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be like this. 

I know – because I’ve been in the throes of menopause three times!

It’s a challenging time, but I want you to know that you are a butterfly, not a moth. Haven’t heard the butterfly story?

A Boy & A Butterfly

Let me share with you a beautiful parable about a boy and a butterfly.  

The story is about a boy who finds a caterpillar, lovingly observes it go into its cocoon and anxiously waits for it to emerge as a butterfly. One day he sees it struggling in the cocoon, the butterfly struggling to get out and squeeze its body out of the tiny hole. Seeing it struggling, he takes pity on it. The boy decides to gently cut open the cocoon to ease its journey. However when the butterfly emerged, its wings would not expand and the butterfly could not fly. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around, crippled.   

The journey that the butterfly takes and its struggle from getting out of the cocoon actually is natures way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that the butterfly would be ready for flight once it emerges from the cocoon.  

This story hits home and often reminds me of experiences in my caring for people. 

Let me share with you a conversation I had with a lovely patient of mine Vera. I had been seeing her for many years and she was at a point in her life where she was struggling, feeling depressed and uncertain about what she had spent the prior 55 years of her life doing.  She felt isolated and alone, disconnected from her family, her friends and her husband.  

I explained to her that the process of transformation of hormones in perimenopause to menopause is that time when we are in the cocooning journey in our lives. This time depends upon us nurturing ourselves and being patient in this struggle, as we transform into the butterfly we were designed to be. 

She laughs, thinking of herself in a cocoon. And then she says; “Yes, emerging the butterfly, or the moth?” We had a great laugh with this and then she said determinedly; “I am becoming the butterfly!”

Butterfly Vera

Butterfly Vera

The struggles are necessary. It has been a long journey since our ‘caterpillar’ days! Patience and nurturing are mandatory. There are decidedly many periods of struggling, cocooning, in our lives, so never give up, and always be good to yourself.

So this brings me to today’s topic of menopause.

What is menopause? 

Technically, menopause occurs when levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to fall and your ovaries stop producing eggs. The average age is  51. When you undergo 12 full months without a period, you are definitely in menopause, Technically, that is it. One day of Menopause, everything before is pre or peri, and after is post.

Take my Hormone Quiz to get your Menopause Report Card to see if you’re truly in menopause (it takes only two minutes)!

Contrary to what conventional medicine has preached, menopause is not a disease to be treated with drugs or surgeries — far from it. It’s another natural stage in your life, when your hormones are in flux once again, just like they were in puberty.

Yes, menopause is natural and mandatory … but suffering through it is not!

As I outline in my new book The Hormone Fix, you have significant control over how you feel during menopause. You can progress from surviving to a life of thriving. And you can do it without multiple medications and surgeries.

How can I thrive during menopause?

Go Keto-Green. I strongly emphasize diet and nutrition to help women alleviate menopause symptoms. After decades of working with thousands of patients, I have found that a combination of a keto diet with alkalinizing nutrition works wonders to combat symptoms. For one thing, a keto diet keeps the body’s carbohydrate stores almost empty. In turn, this fights insulin resistance, in which your body doesn’t use insulin properly and it stockpiles in your system. Insulin resistance lurks beneath many of most common symptoms you experience during menopause. 

My Keto-Green Diet helps maintain steady energy levels because healthy fats and ketones provide a clean, efficient energy source and support healthy hormone levels, especially when combined with an alkaline diet. Of course, it also helps you lose weight quite efficiently and without hunger pangs. Studies have shown that women who lose up to 10 percent of their body fat experience relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.

Supplement to ease symptoms. Although I often prescribe bioidentical hormones to help menopausal women, I have discovered several dietary supplements that work quite powerfully. Omega-3 fish oil, for example, greatly reduces the incidence of hot flashes. My Mighty Maca supplement helps restore hormonal balance and boost energy. Vitamin D is necessary for the healthy function of your sex hormones. Others such as milk thistle stimulate detoxification, which ultimately supports hormone balance. For a complete supplement program, see The Hormone Fix. And check out my blog Taking the Heat Out of Hot Flashes, in which I review supplements that ease this crazy, uncomfortable, and often-embarrassing symptom.

Get moving. Exercise is an excellent hormone fix. A number of studies demonstrate that many of the changes—both physical and mental—that we associate with aging and menopause are partly the result of inactivity. Exercise helps protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, and possibly breast cancer. For bones, weight-bearing activities like walking, running and weight lifting are especially important. They make your muscles more receptive to insulin, so you’re less likely to become insulin resistant. A good workout can also zap stress, improve mood, and help you sleep like a baby. Stress reducers like yoga help reduce menopause symptoms too. Most of the women I have worked with over the years—women who began exercising during menopause—tell me that it changed their lives.

Lubricate naturally. Two of the most annoying symptoms of menopause are vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. After three intense years of research and testing, I developed a topical anti-aging vulvar cream called Julva®, formulated with DHEA and other quality natural ingredients shown to be beneficial to vaginal skin and its underlying tissues. My research shows that that a small (pea-size) amount daily of Julva topically applied to the vulva achieves excellent improvements in vaginal lubrication, which means less pain during intercourse. Julva also helps relieve urinary incontinence. Read my blog Why DHEA Is Optimal for Vaginal Dryness, Pain, and Pelvic Health. Want to try Julva for free? Order my Free Trial Pack!

Going through this often confusing but natural and beautiful life stage of menopause doesn’t have to be frightening or frustrating. Take control with natural remedies, no matter how mild or severe your symptoms. You’ll be amazed at the power you have over your own body and health. 

Kick those menopausal symptoms with my light, tasty, Keto-friendly Avocado Berry Salad that will leave you full and energized throughout your busy day. Packed with alkaline, green leafy vegetables and 36g of protein, this delicious combination of ingredients has a natural detoxifying effect on the body and even helps balance hormones.

Avocado Berry Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: N/A

Serves 2 to 4


  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 pound chicken, cooked, chilled, and chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sprouts
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe found below)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds


  1. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients and serve. 

Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette 


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  • A pinch of sea salt


  1. Whisk together all ingredients until fully combined. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Facts:

Amount per serving 

Calories: 487

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 33.3g 43%

Saturated Fat 5.7g 29%

Cholesterol 87mg 29%

Sodium 101mg 4%

Total Carbohydrate 12.6g 5%

Dietary Fiber 5.9g 21%

Total Sugars 3.2g 

Protein 36.8g 

Vitamin D 0mcg 0%

Calcium 85mg 7%

Iron 3mg 15%

Potassium 828mg 18%

P.S. - Feel light and refreshed with my Keto-Green Shake...

it’s a tasty and easy-to-make way to stay slim and help reach your weight goals. Click here to experience the difference yourself!

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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

Learn more about my scientific advisory board.