Natural Approaches to Treat Menopause Ep 50
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Natural Approaches to Treat Menopause
Vitamin Junkeys Episode #50 (running time 7:39)
Date: October 13, 2009
Podsafe Music: Ice Cream by Christopher Dale Courtesy of MeVIO Music Alley
Show hosts: Jennifer Lyall & Dr. Jean Jacques (Dr. JJ) Dugoua, ND HBSc PhD (Cand.)
This episode examines:
What is Menopause?
What are some signs you are entering menopause?
What are some natural approaches to help minimize menopause symptoms?
What's Jennifer taking today?
While men do not get menopause, they do go through Andropause. There has been some recent research on Andropause that recommends that men get their testosterone levels checked for biologically available testosterone.
What is Menopause?
Menopause is when a woman stops ovulating and stops having periods. There is a normal hormonal cycle for females. Girls reach menarche at around 11 or 12 years old, which is when she has her first period. Then women will typically stop having periods around age 51-52. At that point women are no longer able to reproduce. After the periods end, women experience menopause.
With menopause comes a number of health conditions. Due to the decrease in estrogen, women are more prone to having lower bone density, which makes them susceptible to osteoporosis and bone fractures. The decrease in estrogen productions makes women more prone to heart disease. That's why in the 60's, 70's and 80's women were given ation">Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to combat the decrease in estrogen. More recent studies have shown that taking hormones does not really have any effect on heart disease for post menopausal women. So fewer women are doing Hormone Replacement Therapy.
What are some signs you are entering menopause? How do you know you are going through menopause?
Signs of menopause include:
- your periods become infrequent (perhaps every 2 months, then every 3 months, then they will stop)
- vaginal dryness
- mood changes
- weight gain
- Hot flashes- which can cause sweating at night or "night sweats". One moment you can feel "normal", the next moment you are red and pouring with sweat. Doctors don't fully understand the mechanism behind hot flashes.
Dr. JJ is seeing more and more women getting early on-set menopause, starting at age 42, 43 or 44. Some women are excited about not having their period any more, but what they don't realize is that by reaching menopause earlier, you are more prone to osteoporosis. This is because the longer your bones have exposure to estrogen, the stronger your bones are. Dr. JJ treats these patients with different remedies to help balance their hormones and delay menopause.
Jennifer asked if women tend to have all menopausal symptoms at once, or is it more gradual. Dr. JJ said that it tends to be more gradual. Sometimes hot flashes can come on strongly and frequently. Some women experience hot flashes once in a blue moon. Other women experience almost no symptoms, other than the decrease and stopping of their periods. It depends on the woman's health and their stress levels. Often if a woman works with a naturopath, their transition through menopause is a lot smoother.
What are some natural remedies to help minimize menopause symptoms?
Natural remedies to help with menopause include:
- Phyto Estrogens: Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Soy, Flaxseed
- Vitex- works with the pituitary gland
- Vitamin E
- Fish Oils
- Evening Primrose oils
- Omega 7's for vaginal dryness
It is important to work with a health care practitioner to determine an approach that is appropriate for your needs.
If you would like to find an alternative healthcare practitioner to help you address a health issue, you can find a naturopath, holistic nutritionist and other practitioners in your community through the Find a Practitioner link on our website www.vitaminjunkeys.com
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About Vitamin Junkeys
Join Jennifer Lyall and Naturopath, Dr. JJ Dugoua as they have fun exploring alternative therapies and healthy living. Weekly episodes are released every Tuesday.
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