Easing the process of menopause through natural medicine can be done in a variety of ways. The most effective options include special diets, lifestyle changes, nutrients, herbals, and, if necessary, bio-identical hormones that use estrogens and progesterone.
When To Seek Treatment For Menopause Symptoms
Most women stop having cycles between the ages of 45-55. Fifty is considered the average age of menopause, but I have seen women that are cycling normally into their late fifties. Some go through menopause with minimal symptoms, but for others, menopause may drastically affect their quality of life. That’s when we choose to intervene to relieve the symptoms.
Menopause Symptoms & Treatment
Common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, “brain fog”, vaginal dryness, weight gain and even depression. Often, we can use simple herbs to relieve hot flashes, and usually decreasing sugar in the diet, eating more protein and getting more exercise helps alleviate some symptoms.
Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment
In some cases, dietary changes and herb usage may not be enough to alleviate the symptoms of menopause, and that’s often when we turn to bio-identical hormone treatment.
Many women have questions about using bio-identical hormones. What are they, how do they differ from the older synthetic hormones Premarin and Provera, and how are they administered?
Using Synthetic Hormones For Menopause Symptoms
The older hormones that medical doctors used to prescribe are synthetic in the sense that they do not resemble your body’s natural hormones on a molecular level and were often prepared from pregnant mare urine. These synthetic hormones were used in moderately high dosages and soon were suspected to increase the risk of hormonal cancers and blood clots, so they’re used much less commonly now.
The problem is that this left many women suffering with the same symptoms. The current best solution is to have a compounding pharmacy make up a balanced mixture blending two of the three estrogens the body produces, estradiol and estriol, with progesterone. The resulting compound is called Bi-est , and can be applied as a topical cream, a capsule or an oral liquid.
How To Use Bi-Est
My professional recommendation is to use the lowest dose possible to get symptom relief, and to use the product for the shortest possible period of time. When doctors studied the use of synthetic hormones in high doses, they found that the risk of cancer increased slightly after 5 years of usage.
The most important thing to keep in mind when seeking treatment for menopause is to realize that there are many different approaches and options available, and starting with the least invasive option is almost always the best way to proceed.