Natural Treatment for Menopause in Columbus, Georgia


As a woman ages, her body's production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone decline. This time is known as menopause. The average age of the onset of menopause is fifty-one, plus or minus several years. Medically, menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. Although this is correct, the process can begin up to 10 years earlier. This is referred to as perimenopause.

Most often menopause is naturally occurring and happens on its own. Sometimes, however, menopause may be medically induced. This is often a result of surgery.
 
 

Symptoms of Menopause

 
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of sex drive
 
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain
 
In Asia, women have no word in their language for hot flashes. This is because they are non-existent in their culture. However, if an Asian woman moves to America or Europe and adapts to their diet and lifestyle, the likelihood of menopausal symptoms is equal to that of an American woman. This demonstrates that diet, lifestyle, and environment play a role in the symptoms experienced by some women in menopause.

At the Himes Health and Wellness Center, we customize the treatment of menopause for each woman. We make sure that by taking the five (5) steps on the road to wellness, that your body's systems are balanced. Treatments are directed toward alleviating uncomfortable or distressing symptoms.

Call us at 706-221-2311 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
 

MENOPAUSE

What is menopause?
Strictly speaking, the menopause is your last menstrual period. However, most women think of the menopause as the time leading up to, and after , their last period. In reality, your periods don’t just stop. First they tend to become less frequent. It can take several years for a woman to go through menopause completely. Women are said to have gone through menopause (be postmenopausal) when they have not had a period at all for one year.
What causes the menopause?
A natural menopause occurs because as you get older your ovaries stop producing eggs and make less of the main female hormone called estrogen. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51 years old. Your menopause is said to be early if it occurs before the age of 45.
There are certain things that may cause an early menopause.
For example:
  • If you have surgery to remove your ovaries for some reason, you are likely to develop menopausal symptoms with six weeks.
  • If you have radiation therapy to your pelvic area as a treatment for cancer.
  • Some chemotherapy drugs that treat cancer may lead to an early menopause.
  • If you have had your uterus removed (a procedure called hysterectomy) before your menopause. Your ovaries will still make estrogen. However, it is likely that the level of estrogen will fall at an earlier age than average. Since you do not have periods after a hysterectomy, it may not be clear when you are in ‘the menopause’. However, you may develop some typical symptoms (see below) when your level of estrogen falls.
  • As early menopause can run in some families.
  • In many women who have an early menopause, no cause can be found.
Common Symptoms of Menopause:
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Insomnia (Sleep disturbances)
  • Low sexual desire
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
Longer Term Changes of Menopause:
  • Ski and hair. You tend to lose some skin protein (collagen) after menopause. This can make your skin drier, thinner and likely to itch.
  • Genital area.Lack of estrogen tends to cause the tissues in and around your vagina to become thinner and drier. These changes can take months or years to develop:
  1. Your vagina may shrink a little, and expand less easily during sex. You may experience some pain when you have sex.
  2. Your vulva (the skin next to your vagina) may become thin, dry, and itch.
  3. You may notice that you need to pass urine more frequently.
  4. Some women develop problems with recurrent urine infections.
  • Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). As you become older, you gradually lose bone tissue. Your bones become less dense and less strong. The amount of bone loss can vary. If you have a lot of bone loss then you may develop osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, you have bones that will break (fracture) more easily than normal, especially if you an injury such as a fall. Women lose bone tissue more rapidly than men lose it, especially after the menopause when the level of estrogen falls. Estrogen helps to protect against bone loss.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Your risk of cardiovascular disease (disease of the heart and blood vessels), including heart disease and stroke, increases after the menopause. Again, this is because the protective effect of estrogen is lost.
What is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Natural hormones are biologically identical to the hormones your body makes. This means the chemical structures of the hormones are identical to those synthesized in your ovaries and other areas of the body The body sees synthetic hormones (ie Premarin and Prempro) and consider them to be foreign substances. The body sees bio-identical hormones as an exact match to our hormones and responds to them in natural ways.

Dosages are customized to each patient. One size does not fit all. Each patient is put on a dose specifically chosen according to individual hormone levels, stress level and overall health assessment.

Since the product is compounded at special pharmacies, any dose of the hormone can be added, subtracted and adjusted as needed. This individualized hormone replacement therapy takes into account that we are not the same.

All the benefits of hormone replacement therapy—mood, sex drive heart, brain, and bone density –apply to natural hormone replacement without clinical evidence of the well documented side effects of the synthetic, horse urine, conjugated estrogens contained in conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Non-Hormone Replacement Therapy for Treatment of Menopause:
1. Eat Foods that help manage Menopause Symptoms
  • Organic fruits and vegetables : These contain dietary fiber to manage your appetite, antioxidants to slow the aging process and phytosterols that can help balance hormones.
  • Cruciferous vegetables : Vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cabbage and kale contain indole-3carbinol, which naturally helps to balance estrogen levels. These vegetables are high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and electrolytes that are important for blood pressure and a healthy heart.
  • High-Fiber Foods: Fiber is important for cardiovascular and digestive health, plus maintaining a healthy weight. Some studies have even found that diets higher in fiber might help to balance production of estrogen. Some of the best sources include nuts, seeds, legumes/beans, ancient grains avocado, vegetables and fruit.
  • Omega-3 Fats: Omega-3-fats from fish and flaxseed can protect the heart, promote smooth skin and help to counteract inflammation form omega-6 fats (found mostly in refined oils)
  • Healthy fats and cold-pressed oils: Look for virgin coconut oil, palm oil, extra-virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil. Other sources of healthy fats include avocado, coconut milk, nuts, seeds and wild seafood.
  • Probiotic foods: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can improve your production of key hormones like insulin and leptin. The best sources include yogurt, kefit, cultured veggies such as sauerkraut or kimchi, kombucha and other fermented foods.
  • Water: Drink at least 8 glasses (8 ounces) per day to replace fluid lost from hot flashes.
2. Avoid Foods that Make Menopause Worse
  • Packaged foods: The majority of processed/packaged foods contain added sugar, chemical preservatives, high amounts of sodium, toxins and synthetic additives.
  • Conventional meat: Conventional (farm-raised) meat and chicken contain added hormones that can cause problems, including increased inflammation. Make sure to choose hormone-free, grass-fed, cage-free or pasture-raised animals.
  • Refined Oils and friend foods: Foods cooked in highly-processed vegetable oils (sunflower, canola, corn, soybean or safflower) are high in omega-6fats that can contribute to inflammation and other health problems. Fried foods and trans-fats are also tied to heart problems, weight gain, diabetes and cognitive impairments.
  • Carbonated drinks: Carbonated soda and other drinks deplete the body of calcium and contribute to osteoporosis, bone loss and teeth problems.
  • Alcohol: Many women find that drinking even ‘moderate’ amounts of alcohol can aggravate hot flashes and contribute to weight gain.
3. Supplements for Menopause Relief
  • Please be very careful purchasing these from health food stores or other vendors. Many of these supplements do not have the amount of herbal medicine in them advertised and are filled with very dangerous fillers including lead!
  • Black Cohosh (80 mg 1-2x daily): Can help prevent menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats. Research shows it might also help improve sleep quality, reduce hormonal imbalances tied to diabetes, and fibroids.
  • Vitex or Chasteberry (160-240 mg daily): Vitex has been clinically proven to prevent hot flashes in some women. It also has many of the same hormone-balancing properties as black cohosh, helping to regulate hormones tied to sleep problems.
4. Reduce and Manage Stress
Managing stress in your life is one important way to reduce behaviors or symptoms like fatigue, insomnia and low sex drive. Some effective ways to relieve stress include: exercise, meditation aromatherapy, spending time in nature and dedicating time to your spiritual life.
5. Essential Oils for Managing Menopause Symptoms
Clary sage oil is the most effective essential oil for balancing hormones. It can help offer relief from menopause symptoms including increased anxiety and hot flashes. In addition, roman chamomile oil reduces stress, peppermint oil can help col the body from hot flashes, and thyme oil can help naturally balance hormones.

To use these essential oils at home, purchase a therapeutic grade/pure oil online (suggest doterra), then rub 3 drops of the chosen of on the tops of the feet and the back of the neck –1-3 times daily. You can combine any essential oil with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil to dilute its strength and decrease skin sensitivity.
6. Regular Exercise
Exercise is important for managing several risk factors associated with menopause complications, including becoming overweight, having high levels of inflammation, getting poor sleep, experiencing bone loss or muscle wasting, and dealing with chronic stress.

Certain studies have found that even if you haven’t been very active in the past, starting an exercise routine consisting of aerobic and strength exercise training at least three times a week for 12 weeks can result in improvements in sleep quality, insomnia and depression.
7. Get Enough Sleep
To allow your body to recover from stress, control your appetite and improve energy, aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.