Sunday, January 17, 2021

Menopause

Menopause


Menopause

Menopausal women are faced with a barrage of symptoms, both physiological and psychological. Their risk for heart disease and osteoporosis takes a jump upward during this period of life. Because of the risks involved with hormone replacement therapy and bone density drugs such as Fosamax, many women are turning to alternative medicine and natural alternatives to see them through this challenging time of life. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, mood fluctuations, irritability, PMS symptoms, depression and sleep problems.

To assess where you are in the process of going through menopause, your alternative medicine practitioner can order a simple saliva test available through the Great Smokies LabThe test provides hormone levels and accompanying information of great value in determining your therapy as well as monitoring the effectiveness of your therapy. It is called the “Comprehensive Menopause Profile”. The assessment is more commonly done with blood testing by physicians but you probably won't receive any recommendations beyond hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a result.

There are a number of lifestyle considerations which will assist you in your journey through menopause. You should minimize stress. Certainly, smoking is a serious risk factor. You should minimize your use of alcohol.

A commonly used and successful treatment is the herb black cohosh. If you do not get the relief from symptoms that you want from black cohosh, try adding the use of a topical natural progesterone cream. Usually, the combination of these two products will eliminate the symptoms.

There are a number of other things you can do as well. Nutritionally, one should avoid caffeine, dairy foods and high fat foods. Epidemiological studies have shown that cultures which consume high fruit and vegetable diets and especially foods rich in soy have a significantly lower incidence of hormonally related problems including menstrual and menopausal irregularities, breast, prostate and colon cancer, and osteoporosis. The foods highest in soy, in descending order of content are tofu, soybeans, tempeh, miso and soy milk. Some soy protein products have little or no isoflavone (the active ingredient) in them because of the process used in manufacture of the product. Flax seeds make an excellent contribution with their phytoestrogens (plant source, natural estrogen), fiber, and fatty acids.

The vitamins and minerals shown to be beneficial include pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6, B complex, PABA, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium. For bone health, boron and ipriflavone are of benefit also.

There are a number of herbs that have been shown in the studies to be helpful in the menopausal years. They include black cohosh, chasteberry, licorice (must be glycyrrhinized), Chinese gentian root, dong quai, peony root, and wild yam root.

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