Menopause

Managing Menopause Naturally

By Eric M. Spinner, C.N.C.

I would like to offer some alternatives for all the women who are on, or trying to decide whether or not to go on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). Estimates show that as of 1998 there were more than 17 million women in this country taking synthetic HRT to help alleviate some of the ravages of menopause. However, since July 2002 – when the first of three National Institutes of Health studies on women taking synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone was halted due to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and strokes- many women are reconsidering their decision to begin using HRT.

Personally, I find it strange that in this country menopause is treated more like an illness, than what it really is- a change of life. This is a very important time in a woman’s life, and the choice of how to handle it is an extremely important one. A woman should speak with her Doctor, or health care provider, and ask questions regarding the risks and benefits of using HRT. She should also try to do as much research on her own to learn about all the possible options that exist, and then given the information, should come to a conclusion that feels right for her.

I consult with women on a daily basis, on what is available from “Nature’s Medicine Cabinet” to help reduce the night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and power surges associated with the change. I have women who come to see me after having tried HRT, and finding the adverse effects, and possible risks undesirable, looking for an alternative. The answer for them may lie in naturally occurring compounds found in plants called Phytoestrogens. These compounds have an estrogenic-like effect when the body’s levels of estrogen are too low, and can even help block stronger estrogens when levels are too high. Isoflavones and lignans are the two classes of phytoestrogens found in nature. Lignans are found in Flaxseeds. Flax is also a vegetable source of the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which helps reduce high trigliceride and cholesterol levels.

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