Are you feeling out of balance? Are you having problems managing your menopausal symptoms?

Menopause

Hormones have far-reaching effects on your body and hormone deficiencies can therefore wreak total havoc on your health. One of the most commonly known hormone deficiency scenarios is menopause.

A healthful diet, low in processed foods and high in organic foods, along with regular exercise can go a long way in keeping your hormone levels balanced as you age.

During menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs and they produce less estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Changes in these hormones cause menopause symptoms.

During menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs and they produce less estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Changes in these hormones cause menopause symptoms. Periods occur less often and eventually stop. Symptoms can include:

  • Hot flushes and night sweats
  • Aches and pains
  • Crawling or itching sensations under the skin
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Reduced libido
  • Tiredness, difficulty sleeping – wakefulness of waking hot and sweaty
  • Urinary frequency
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Discomfort with sexual intercourse

There are several options of treatment for menopausal symptoms:

Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (cHRT)

Menopause has long been treated with cHRT however data from a 15 year study (Women’s Health Initiative 2002) revealed higher rates of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes and blood clots in the population taking the hormones compared to those receiving a placebo. By 2011 estrogen replacement therapy in women ages 50-59 drooped by 79%.However further studies have suggested that cHRT may be indicated for premature surgical menopause – reducing heart attacks and breast cancer.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (bHRT)

Bioidentical hormones are hormones synthesised to resemble identically, the natural hormones produced by the ovary. This makes them far safer than the synthetic prescription versions. Low-dose, compounded, plant-derived bioidentical hormones can manage menopause symptoms and lower the risk of fractures. The combination of low-dose natural hormones, for individually determined amount of time, plus breast cancer and heart disease prevention strategies is the safest and most gentle and least invasive form of HRT.

However it is important to note that here is no one blanket recommendation that will apply to everyone as treatment needs a highly individual approach. It is highly recommended that those interested in HRT see a medical practitioner who specialises in hormone therapy, nutrition and complementary strategies.

Address your diet first!

Foods high in phytoestrogens promote the metabolism of estrogens to anti-carcinogenic metabolites. They are nature’s alternatives to the selective estrogen receptor modulator drugs. Food sources include: soy beans and soy products (fermented only), flaxseed, apples, carrots, fennel, celery, parsley and legumes.

Phytoestrogens also decrease the incidence of breast, colon and prostate cancer. Soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones – genistein, daidzei and glycitein) bind to estradiol receptors in the uterus, breast, brain, bone and arteries.
They can weakly mimic estrogens in some tissues, whereas in others they block the effect of estrogens. Look for isoflavone content on labels – fermented products are preferred to minimise digestive difficulties. Avoid thyroid synthesis inhibition by keeping isoflavones to

A healthful diet, low in processed foods and high in organic foods, along with regular exercise can go a long way in keeping your hormone levels balanced as you age.
Consume a diet rich in organic vegetables and fermented foods
Eat low-fructose fruits and avoid high-fructose fruits
Eat only sprouted grains
Avoid sugar (as the rapid sugar peak effectively blocks hormone secretion, as does fructose)
Avoid regular alcohol consumption as this decreases growth hormone production
Eat high-quality proteins such as fish, grass fed organic red meat and organic poultry (cooked at low temperatures)

Supplementation

Supplementation of Vitamin E, Hesperidin, Vitamin C and Gamma-oryzanol have been shown to enhance pituitary function (secretion of hormones) and to help symptoms of menopause. Optimisation of Vitamin D levels is important for gene regulation and optimal health; certain polyphenols (antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables) have been show to have some HRT-like benefits without the drawbacks and are associated with a lowered risk of heart disease. Omega-3 essential fatty acids (such as fish oil) have anti-inflammatory properties and have an impact on the preservation of heart, breast and bone health as well as mood regulation. Magnesium has been shown to improve sex hormone levels including Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone; and Progesterone can be increased with Vitamin A and fat-soluble vitamin supplementation.

If you would like some help managing the symptoms of menopause or hormone imbalance contact Elevate on 9252 2225 and make an appointment to see Dr John Hart who will be able to help.

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