This past July,a report raised serious new concerns for the six million women taking combination hormone replacement therapy.
In the lastest and statistically most valid study of this subject ever done,it was found that the combination of ESTROGEN AND PROGESTIN taken for MANY YEARS, not only FAIL TO DECREASE THE INCIDENCE OF VASCULAR DISEASE,BUT ALSO INCREASES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACKS,STROKES,BREAST CANCER,AND CLOTTING DISORDERS.
In addition,other recent research has found a possible link between ESTROGEN replacement and OVARIAN CANCER.Although theses risks are not considered to be high,they are REAL-REAL ENOUGH FOR THE INVESTIGATORS TO HAVE STOPPED THE STUDIES IN MID-COURSE.
The DOWNSIDE of HRT OUTWEIGHTED THE BENEFITS.
So what’s a Menopausal Woman to do? Read on to learn about HEALTHY and NATURAL ways to approach Menopause.
The ancient Greeks referred to Menopause as the “Climateric” or “Change of Life”,and regarded it as a step in the ladder of life.It was considered to be an important step in the maturation of a woman.
In Traditional Cultures,even those of today,there is little or no evidence of the negative symptoms “Modern” people associate with menopause.
In large measure, because the “Traditional”(or what some people would call Primative) human diet is low in fat and animal proteins.
In a healthy person,the body adjusts for the ovarian reduction in estrogen by signaling other glands, (especially the Adrenal glands),to produce more estrogen,preventing the complete loss of the female hormone.However,if the ADRENAL GLANDS ARE WEAKENED BY A LIFETIME OF POOR DIET AND BAD HEALTH HABITS,THEY PROBABLY CANNOT AND WILL NOT MEET THE NEEDS OF THE BODY WHEN MENOPAUSE BEGANS.
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55,when the ovaries stop producing eggs.The woman also undergoes a number of hormonal changes,including a reduction in estrogen production,an increase in pituitary hormone,and higher levels of male hormones.
With the reduction in estrogen production,also comes an increase in bone loss,a lowering of HDL,(the Good cholesterol),and an increase in cholesterol.This can result in Atherosclerosis,Coronary Heart Disease,and Stroke.
Other changes can occur as well,such as: poor memory,poor concentration,moodiness,anxiety,loss of sex drive,hot flashes,night sweats,and/or vaginal dryness.These changes also increase the likelihood of bladder and vaginal infections.
Traditionalist believe that one of the best approaches to menopause is in the diet.Eating foods rich in Phytoestrogens,which are Plant-Produced ,promote bone health and prevent Cancer.A low-fat,high fiber diet will help the body to adjust more easily to changing hormonal levels.
Such foods are: Whole Grains,Fresh Vegetables,Beans,Seaweed,Miso,Tofu,Seeds and Nuts,(especially Sunflower Seeds).
According to Chinese Medicine,the symptoms of menopause imply a deficiency of YIN fluids,particularly those fluids that calm and relax the liver.A helpful dietary approach then,is to add foods that build the YIN.
These foods are: Wheat Germ, Mung Beans and Sprouts,Tofu,String Beans,Black Beans,Kidney Beans, Barley,Black Sesame Seeds,and Royal Jelly(from bees).
Foods that contain Phytoestrogens help prevent hot flashes and night sweats,as well as some of the psychological changes,(anxiety,moodiness,etc.).
Some of these are: Tofu and other Soy products,Yams,Carrots,Apples,and Potatoes.
Foods rich in Calcium,help prevent Osteoporosis.
Some of these foods are:Sesame Seeds,Almonds,Low-fat Yogurt,Dark Leafy Greens,(such as Kale,Collards,Broccoli),and Sardines.
Foods and Other Things that would be WISE to AVOID:
Animal Foods,Fatty Foods and Fried Foods,
Sugar and Refined Foods(these contribute to mood swings),
Caffeine (can cause hot flashes),
Alcohol (can cause hot flashes),
and use of Tobacco,(we all know by now the dangers of Tobacco).
HERBS TO TREAT MENEPAUSE:
“Chaste Berry”:stimulates the production of progesterone and helps balance hormones
(And/or)”Black Cohosh”which has simular properties,and acts in much the same manner as Chaste Berry.Please go to my “Herb of the Month” page to learn more about “Black Cohosh”.
“Don Quai”:(also known as “Angelica”):stimulates estrogen production and helps balance hormonal levels in young as well as older women.It also boosts energy levels and increases all-over well-being.
“Motherwort”:(a member of the Mint family):relieves heart palpitations,reduces pain,but in some people can cause drowsiness,combined with “Sage”,will help relieve hot flashes
“Siberian Ginseng”:helps strengthen Adrenal Glands,as well as strengthens over-all immune system,and boosts energy levels.BUT IF YOU HAVE A HEART PROBLEM OF ANY KIND,YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE GINSENG.
“Borage”:helps strengthen Adrenal glands
“Licorice”:strengthens Adrenal glands(IF YOU HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE,OR A HEART CONDITION,DO NOT USE LICORICE)
“Primrose Oil” or Caps:Helps your skin stay supple and soft,helps ease hotflashes and night-sweats,strenghtens heart,
“Vit.E” and “Flax Seed Oil” does much the same as “Primrose”.
HERBS TO TREAT TENSION, MOODINESS, AND ANXIETY
“Wild Oats”or”Oatstraw” (good over-all immune booster,increases energy levels,fights anxiety,eases depression)
“Skullcap”(this can cause drowsiness)
“Valerian”(this is fairly strong,and can cause drowsiness,should mainly be used at night for sleeplessness)
“Kava-Kava”(this can cause drowsiness in some people, is also used to manage moodiness,anxiety,& pain)
“Chamomile”(this is very mild,and will not cause drowsiness,can be used safely during day,helps with anxiety,and crankiness)
“Passion Flower”(this can cause drowsiness,it reduces anxiety,and helps with insomnia)
“St.Johns Wort”:(reduces depression)
“Hops” (good over-all immune booster)
With any of these herbs,you need to use caution until you know how it will affect you.And unless you are very knowledgeable in the use of herbs,I recommend that you contact a qualified Herbalist or Naturopathic Dr. or Practioner for instructions on use and how much to take.