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Menopause Alternatives

A woman’s menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for six to twelve months in older women. In most industrialized nations it is accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, headaches, irritability, fatigue and vaginal dryness, not to mention hot flashes, which 65-80% of American women will experience.

Conventional medicine view’s menopause as a disease in need of treatment. A woman’s body ceases to produce sufficient amounts of estrogen, one of the hormones thought to be responsible for the changes that are taking place. The way to solve the problem, the current medical model, is to supplement the deficiency.

Periodically, over the last ten to fifteen years, numerous studies, like the Women's Health Initiative Study on "Effects of estrogen and progestin on health-related quality of life" have surfaced revealing that many of the wonderful claims regarding hormone replacement turned out to be the figments of a drug company’s imagination. Women have become even more confused regarding this ‘replacement’ approach after a national study had to be terminated midway due to a clear increase in strokes, heart attacks, and breast cancer in the hormone––treated groups.

The use of synthetic hormone replacement therapy has major flaws. Although it can provide symptomatic relief, the list of the side affects, some of which are life threatening, is tremendous. We need to investigate other options that can make the menopause transition a smooth one. Relevant link from Dr. Ray Peat Ph.D.

Questions to consider;
  • First, why is it that women in industrialized countries almost exclusively experience the complaints of menopause?

  • Second, why do the majority of women in indigenous cultures experience little, if any, symptoms?

Life of a woman in an indigenous society is one of physical exertion and would be termed anything but sedentary. Scandinavian researchers found that daily exercise can ward off hot flashes, while improving bone density and energy levels. Enough could not be said regarding the profound benefits that an exercise regimen can have. It is truly the golden elixir for many of the problems that are ailing our society as a whole.

Our diets differ radically from that of our indigenous counterparts. Many of the nutritive substances that are contained in foods are removed during their refinement and preparation process. We make a feeble attempt at fortifying some of these foods. Many of these lost vitamins and minerals are necessary for producing energy, protecting us from heart disease and cancer, as well as maintaining bone density. Plants contain many types of phytoestrogens and other constituents which help our bodies modify these phytoestrogens so we can use them safely.

Mineral rich foods that contain lignans, coumestans, isoflavones and resorcylic acid lactones are what is needed in a healthy women’s diet. These are found in beans, fresh fruits and vegetables and not in your local supermarket processed food isle’s. They can be found around the perimeter where fresh unprocessed foods are put out to view. This is where women will find there first line of care. The more organic the better. If you have the availability and resources by all means keep away from the practice of petrochemicals (Xenohormones) used in much of the food production today.

Help your intestinal flora do their job. Most of the antibiotics and chemicals we come in contact with kill our flora and leave us unable to break down our food sources. The enzymes produced in the intestinal tract are severely compromised. To counteract this eat organic yogurt, miso, fermented soy or even take a good source of lactobacillus with an enteric coating to get into your colon and past your stomach acid.

Watching the types of fats consumed, we would note a radical difference. Many of the ‘good’ fats found in nuts, seeds and fish are replaced by the saturated fats of dairy and animal sources in the standard American diet. ‘Good’ fats are naturally anti-inflammatory as well as cardiovascular protective, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Many of these oils, like evening primrose, black currant, and flax seed oil, have been used specifically for menopause-related complaints such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Even when we use vegetable oils, we often subject them to a process called hydrogenation to increase shelf-life. The down side is that these oils are transformed molecularly to resemble animal fats. We have not yet fully determined the long-term effect hydrogenation has on our bodies.

After a review of all the data, soy isoflavones seems to be a key ingredient in a successful menopausal management diet, warding off hot flashes and other complaints. The Chinese, whose menopause symptoms are rare, consume this bean in their diet regularly. Soy can be consumed in the form of tofu, roasted soy nuts, tempe, soy milk, and soy beans. Interestingly enough, in those countries that consume large amounts of soy, osteoporosis is also uncommon as well, despite the fact that cow’s milk is rarely consumed. Moreover, soy contains a type of protein that mimics the body’s estrogen. However, unlike estrogen replacement therapy, which has been linked to breast cancer, soy appears to be protective against this common cancer. Other foods that contain similar components are fennel, apples, rye, flax seeds and alfalfa.

It should be mentioned that the traditional medicines/herbs of the world have much to offer in the way of effective therapies. Native Americans have used black cohosh for many gynecological complaints. Black cohosh has a very low side effect profile while providing excellent, clinical results.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine for almost three thousand years. For example, dong quai, licorice and chaste berries all contain components that mimic the body’s own hormones. Another Chinese botanical is Gingko biloba. The leaf of this tree received its fame for the ability to improve memory and concentration. Gingko has also proven useful for cold hands and feet which is another common menopausal complaint.

The changes we can make to mimic an indigenous lifestyle and diet serve as a gentle approach to managing menopause. These recommendations come with few side effects and they have withstood the test of time. Furthermore, the awareness of treatment options empowers women to make an informed decision regarding her health. 

Alternative Treatments for Menopause

Bioidentical Progesterone Cream with Phytoestrogens

Contains both progesterone and phytoestrogens which work together to provide women more effective control of their menopausal symptoms.

Menopause Formula (PhytoBalance)

PhytoBalance contains eight of the most tested and proven herbs that reduces hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, and depression associated with perimenopause and menopause.

Recommended Herbs for Menopause Treatment

Menopause-Condition Treatments

Double Menopause Website


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