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Alternative Therapies That Help Reduce Symptoms of Menopause


Alternative Therapies That Help Reduce Symptoms of Menopause

The natural end of every woman’s reproductive life is menopause. The standard treatment for menopause used to be hormone replacement therapy (HRT); however, many women and healthcare providers are no longer routinely asking for or prescribing traditional estrogen replacement therapy because we now know that traditional HRT using synthetic progestins and estrogen increases the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

To treat the symptoms of menopause including night sweats, mood swings and hot flashes, women are turning to natural alternative treatments. Your symptoms of menopause may be relieved if you try the following tips:

 

Diet:

Your diet can help you control your symptoms of menopause. You should increase your intake of wheats, oats, grains, almonds, brown rice, cashews, tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as foods that contain phytoestrogens including soy. However, you should limit your consumption of sugar because it impairs the immune system and limits the liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen. You should also limit your consumption of commercially raised meats including pork, chicken and beef because these meats decrease the body’s ability to metabolize estrogen and they contain a high amount of saturated fats. You should avoid carbonated beverages that contain phosphorous that can increase bone loss, and foods that contain high amounts of caffeine.

 

Red clover isoflavone supplements:

Red clover isoflavone supplements, used in controlled studies, have been shown to have a significant positive effect on the rate of bone loss, improve cardiovascular health, and may offer some protective effect against endometrial and breast cancer, according to a research published by the Journal of the British Menopause Society. Some evidence has also suggested that red clover isoflavones decrease the incidence of one of the most common vasomotor complaints experienced by peri-menopausal and menopausal women, namely, hot flashes. Promensil is a dietary supplement that is available over-the-counter (without a prescription) at drug and health food stores and at retail groceries. In one study, the participants experienced a 58% decrease in the number of hot flashes experienced after 8 weeks of using Promensil 40 mg daily. They also experienced a significant reduction in the severity of night sweats.

 

Bifidus and Lactobacillus acidophilus:

To help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen, these “good” bacteria in our intestines are important for women during menopause. They can be found in various nutritional formulas on the market. The occurrence of yeast infections drops with the help of these “good” bacteria.

 

Vitamins and minerals:

There are certain minerals and vitamins that can provide particular benefits to menopausal women. For instance, vitamin E (400 to 800 IU daily) helps reduce night sweats and hot flashes; vitamin C (1,000 mg to 2,000 mg daily) helps the absorption of vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility; magnesium (500 mg to 750 mg daily) is essential to help with the absorption of calcium; and calcium (1500 mg daily), the best type of calcium isn’t calcium carbonate, which may not be absorbed fully, but calcium citrate or microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite calcium (MCHC).

 

Black Cohosh:

This is a plant of the family Ranunculaceae. It grows in eastern North America in a variety of woodland habitats, and it is usually found in small woodland openings. This plant is a phytoestrogen and helps many women manage the symptoms of menopause. It should be taken 3 times daily, from 20 mg to 60 mg. However, women who experience natural menopause benefit from phytoestrogens more than those with surgical menopause.

 

Other herbs:

Vitex Agnus Castus 175 mg daily, Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg 3 to 4 times daily, Dong Quai 500 mg to 1000 mg 2 or 3 times daily, and Ginseng 100 mg to 500 mg 3 times daily are some of the other herbs that are recommended to relieve symptoms of menopause.

 

Natural estrogen compounds:

These types of estrogen are bio-identical, which means that they are chemically equal to the estrogen that is produced naturally in the body. Natural estrogen compounds are available by prescription from compounding pharmacists. The three types of estrogen that are commonly used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy are Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). Most of the risks that are associated with estrogen use are caused by estrone and estradiol. Bio-identical or natural estrogen compounds are prepared in any combination or number of these 3 types of estrogen. 10% Estrone, 10% Estradiol, and 80% Estriol is the most common formulation, called Tri-est or Tri-estrogen. Bi-estrogen is a two estrogen bio-identical compound.

 

Natural progesterone:

For many women, one of the important components in managing menopausal symptoms is natural progesterone. Because the cream product doesn’t have to be metabolized by the liver, it can be taken in a much lower dose than the oral form. Progestins aren’t natural progesterone; they are a synthetic version that isn’t chemically equivalent to the progesterone produced by the body. Fluid retention and irregular bleeding are some of the side effects of progestins, but natural progesterone causes virtually no side effects.

 

Exercise:

The single most important thing a woman can do to improve her overall health and well-being throughout her life is exercise. Regular exercise, at least 3 or 4 days a week, plays a key role in reducing the risk of many types of cancer and heart disease, and it helps prevent and reduce bone loss.

Every woman is different. Even though these methods work for many women, but finding which treatments or combination of treatments work best for you may take some time. You should also always inform your healthcare provider of any creams, vitamins, herbs or other natural alternative treatments that you are using.

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Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss Araz Kahvedjian




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