- Integrative Medicine
- Health Blog
Women are increasingly concerned about the potential dangers of fluctuating hormone levels during and following menopause – but synthetic hormone replacement therapy has come under fire for its potential risks.
What’s a woman to do? Consider natural alternatives.
Leading the way in this more holistic approach are natural products that work to create an environment for optimal health in women’s bodies, specifically by affecting their own hormone production across the entire endocrine system.
According to recent clinical research, these products may do more than merely increase hormone levels; they also may increase bone density; elevate iron and calcium levels, due to improved absorption of vitamins and minerals; reduce “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) increase “good” cholesterol (HDL), reduce body weight and increase energy.
These holistic effects mentioned above are further enhanced with the recognition that the distressing symptoms that affect 75 percent of Western women at menopause can largely be considered as diet and lifestyle-related. As the baby boomers reach this stage of life, and as wellness-focused care becomes the catch-cry of this generation, women are not only willing and eager to adopt the health-promotion measures that can make menopausal symptoms a thing of the past, but also will seek out the products that best support their own efforts and address their core or foundation health.
So, what exactly is core or foundation health, and what are these self-help efforts? First of all, women should know that all of the hormones, neurotransmitters, endorphins and other factors that can reduce menopausal symptoms depend on an adequate supply of vitamins, minerals, aminos and essential fatty acids. These building blocks come from, or have precursors in, the food and drinks women consume. Unfortunately, most modern diets are unlikely to supply an adequate complement of all those building blocks.
One simple way to supply some of them is to replace common table salt with a mineral-laden salt. A further simple step can involve drinking water that is mineral-rich, rather than mineral-deficient.
Women also need to get rid of pre-existing accumulated toxicity. Just like landfill sites that become overloaded and wreak havoc in the environment, bodies can become a toxic waste dump and wreak havoc with health. For example, accumulated toxicity will trigger biochemical processes that tell the body to store fat. And unfortunately, being overweight, with the poor body image that may accompany it, can contribute to the depressed state many women experience during menopause. Good detoxification processes require that you consume an abundance of essential nutrients (particularly antioxidants such as vitamins C, E and zinc) and drink at least 2 liters of purified water every day. In addition, at Synergy we have constructed a multi-pronged detox program that involves herbal medicines, temporary dietary modification and Chiropractic neurological adjustments to help your organ systems work more efficiently.
An often-overlooked factor that adds to the overall burden of menopause is lack of touch. Touch is vitally important throughout our lives, yet it is generally given very little attention in Western society. The sense of touch is the first of our senses to develop and is also the most fundamental. Of course, this offers women and their partners a wonderful opportunity to connect at a very intimate level by giving and receiving a massage, holding one another, caressing and cuddling. This is vital not only in enhancing total well-being, but also in keeping intimacy (often a victim of menopause) alive.
Women also need to think about stress, since high stress levels will compromise all aspects of health and potentially exacerbate menopausal symptoms. Effective stress management involves reducing the levels of stress to which women are exposed, while at the same time, improving the means by which their bodies cope with stress. Coping better requires good nutrition, a program of regular exercise, meditation or other type of relaxation practice, time for family and leisure pursuits, and time to nurture oneself.
At least eight hours per day helps the body cope better with stress. And satisfying sex is one of the most effective de-stressors of all.
Unfortunately, with diminished libido, which is a common symptom of menopause, women often don’t practice this most fundamental and effective form of stress reduction.
In summary, while the responsibility for a positive attitude rests squarely with women, it is equally important to make lifestyle choices and create an environment conducive to optimal health. There is much women can do to impact their health before, during and after menopause. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Many women are given artificial estrogen, alone or in combination with progestin (another hormone), to fight symptoms of menopause. However, for some women, this may increase their chances of getting blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and gallbladder disease.