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Natural Menopause 8 Natural Alternatives to Reduce the Symptoms of Menopause


Updated May 16, 2014

Menopause occurs at the natural end of every woman's reproductive life. So why not treat it in a natural way? Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was long the standard treatment for menopause, however, since we now know that traditional HRT using synthetic estrogen and progestins increases the risk of breast cancer and heart disease, many women and healthcare providers are no longer routinely asking for or prescribing traditional estrogen replacement therapy.

More and more women, every day, are turning to natural alternative treatments to treat the symptoms they experience during menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Try the following tips to ease your symptoms of menopause:

  • Your diet is an important tool that you can use to help control your menopausal symptoms. Foods to avoid include high amounts of caffeine in any foods, and carbonated beverages which contain phosphorous and can increase bone loss. Also, limit your consumption of commercially raised meats including beef, pork, and chicken because these meats contain a high amount of saturated fats and decrease the body's ability to metabolize estrogen. Excessive sugar intake also limits your liver's ability to metabolize estrogen and impairs the immune system.

    Increase your intake of foods that contain phytoestrogens including soy. Other foods that you should include in your diet include grains ,oats, wheat, brown rice, tofu, almonds, cashews, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • According to research published by the Journal of the British Menopause Society, 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 breast and endometrial cancer. There is also evidence which suggests that red clover isoflavones decrease the incidence of hot flashes, one of the most common vasomotor complaints experienced by peri-menopausal and menopausal women. In one study, after 8 weeks using Promensil 40mg daily participants experienced a 58% decrease in the number of hot flashes experienced; study participants also experienced a significant reduction in the severity of night sweats. Promensil is a dietary supplement that is available over-the-counter, without a prescription, at retail grocery, drug, and health food stores.

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidus (the "good" bacteria in our intestines) cultures are important for women during menopause to help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen, and some believe these "good" bacteria help reduce the occurrence of yeast infections. These can be found in various nutritional formulas on the market.

  • In his book, Medicinal Herbal Therapy: A Pharmacist's Viewpoint, registered pharmacist Steven G. Ottariano says that certain vitamins and minerals can provide particular benefits to menopausal women. These include Vitamin E (400 to 800 IU daily) to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats; Calcium (1500 mg daily)--the best type of calcium is not calcium carbonate which may not be fully absorbed, but microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite calcium (MCHC) or calcium citrate; Magnesium (500 mg to 750 mg daily) is essential to help with the absorption of calcium; Vitamin C (1,000 mg to 2,000 mg daily) helps absorption of Vitamin E and decreases capillary fragility.

  • Also recommended by Pharmacist Ottariano is Black Cohosh (20 mg to 60 mg, 3 times daily) which is a phytoestrogen that helps many women manage menopause symptoms. There are a number of Black Cohosh products on the market for menopause including Remifemin. However it's important to note (as I have learned through my personal experience) that women with surgical menopause may not find phytoestrogens as helpful as those who experience natural menopause. Other herbs recommended as potentially beneficial by Ottariano include Dong Quai (500 mg to 1000 mg, 2 or 3 times daily), Evening Primrose Oil (500 mg 3 or 4 times daily), Ginseng (100 mg to 500 mg, 3 times daily), and Vitex Agnus Castus (175 mg daily).

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