Recently, there was a lot of media coverage about a new study published on the dangers of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. In a report
in the New York Times by Denise Grady, she covers many of the most important points of this recent research.
As Denise says: “hormone treatment after menopause, already known to increase the risk of breast cancer, also makes it more likely that the cancer will be advanced and deadly. Women who took hormones and developed breast cancer were more likely to have cancerous lymph nodes, a sign of more advanced disease, and were more likely to die from the disease than were breast cancer patients who had never taken hormones.
One of the authors of the latest study, Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, says “Women should not take the hormones at all unless they really need them, for moderate to severe symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats that disrupt sleep and severely affect their quality of life.”
She goes on to say: “The data suggest it is cumulative long-term use. Women should avoid long-term use and take the lowest possible dose that eases their symptoms
.” My own thoughts are that if this latest study has been allowed to see the light of day in spite of the power that the pharmaceutical companies wield in the US, then it must really be of great concern.
It is just not worth the risk
If you are suffering from menopausal symptoms which are making it difficult for you to function - then how about turning to natural remedies? Every woman is going to go through the menopause at some stage in her 40s or 50s and many of them will suffer the well known symptoms of anxiety, depression, hot flushes, night sweats and even mood swings. Of course some women sail through virtually unscathed.
Natural alternative treatments can be used to treat symptoms
- Diet is very important. Avoid high amounts of caffeine in any foods or beverages as well as sodas which also contain phosphorous leading to increase bone loss. Avoid meat consumption because commercially raised meat contains high levels of saturated fats, decreasing the body's ability to metabolize the estrogen you do have, while impairing the immune system. Rather go for organic/free range meat and eat it less often.
- At the same time increase your intake of foods that contain phytoestrogens such as oat, brown rice, tofu, raw almonds, raw cashews and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Red Clover is widely recognized as a cure-all for menopause symptoms because it is one of the premium sources of phytoestrogens, plant estrogens that mimic the female sex hormone. These phytoestrogens help to increase the levels of estrogen in our bodies, thereby reducing menopausal symptoms. Red clover also contains many vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium and Vitamin C. Red Clover is also thought to be helpful in fighting osteoporosis. Because it contains high amounts of calcium, red clover may slow down or even prevent bone loss. Red Clover also increases the amount of high-density lipoprotein, or "good" cholesterol, in the bloodstream. This has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease in menopausal women. Red Clover is usually taken in capsule form. To treat menopause symptoms, the recommended dosage is between 400 and 500 mg.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidus are the good bacteria in our intestines, making them important for women at this time to help with metabolism and utilization of estrogen. They can also reduce the occurrence of yeast infections. You can buy supplements or nutritional formulas at your local health shop.
- Vitamin E (400 to 800 IU) plus Vitamin C to help absorption taken every day helps reduce hot flashes and night sweats while a daily dose 1500 mg of calcium citrate, with 500 mg of magnesium for absorption, protects against osteoporosis.
- Black Cohosh contains phytochemicals to help relieve the symptoms of menopause as well as phytoestrogens, specifically isoflavones, that bind to the estrogen receptors in your body. These plant estrogens work very much like natural estrogen, doing the job of lubricating the vagina, regulating the body temperature and even strengthening the bones. Black Cohosh may work directly on your hypothalamus, which is located at the base of the brain. This is what regulates your body temperature and your hormone production - so a very important function. Black Cohosh is available in supplement form and can be taken twice a day up to 6 months. It should not be taken longer than this.
If you are going through the menopause, have recently done so or perhaps getting close to that time in your life, seek natural alternatives along with some lifestyle changes to solve those common symptoms of anxiety, depression, hot flashes and night sweats.
Your body will thank you for it and you will safer.