The news has been rife with stories in the past few years about the possible risk of hormone replacement therapy for women facing menopause. Concern was raised most recently after the release of information from the prominent Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study showing the increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes associated with the use of the most commonly prescribed hormone, Prempro. Naturopathy is one option that has grown in popularity. see here.
Naturopathic medicine offers alternatives for women who have been using hormone replacement therapy and are searching for other ways to avoid hot flashes, depression, mood changes, irregular periods and vaginal dryness, as well as many other early menopause and menopause related changes. Natural therapies may be the perfect solution, as they offer reduction of symptoms of menopause without the increased risk of disease.
Black Cohosh is an example of a herbal treatment for menopause symptoms. Studies have shown that there are fewer hot flashes, night sweats, headaches and mood swings in women who take Black Cohosh. They also report a general decrease in insomnia, tiredness, irritability and vaginal dryness. These benefits were attributed to substance containing phytoestrogens believed to be present in black cohosh. Phytoestrogen is a chemical ingredient in all plants. The most commonly known phytoestrogen is isoflavone, present in all soy products.
To women dealing with menopause symptoms there are many non-hormonal options available. In some people, combinations of herbs like dong quai, motherwort, licorice root, burdock root, and wild yam root can minimize hot flashes. (Do you not know these herbs? Don’t worry, just ask your Naturopath to point you in the right direction!). Many women take vitamin E, vitamin C, to relieve hot flashes. Examples of other options include insomnia with melatonin, depressed mood vitamins B, and joint pain with glucosamine sulfate. Women who have avoided the use of hormone replacement therapy due to negative effects or on their physician’s advice should consider seeking a Naturopathic Physician’s treatment. A Naturopathic Physician will help women sort through all the natural alternatives and determine the most suitable choices and efficient doses based on individual needs.
Naturopathic doctors are specialists in the application of natural therapies. With four years of postgraduate education in biological sciences, traditional medical diagnosis and the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, Naturopathic Physicians are able to provide up-to – date information on safe and effective menopause therapies.