Natural Menopause Relief
Different kinds of Natural Menopause Relief
Hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, is a treatment used to alleviate the symptoms commonly associated with menopause like hot flashes, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irregular periods, bone and memory loss and vaginal dryness. Unfortunately, and like so many drugs being offered by the big drug companies, the list of possible negative effects all too often exceed the potential benefits which is why women are searching for natural menopause relief.
Uterine cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, increased risk of blood clots, increased risk of gallbladder disease, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke are among the many possible negative side effects associated with HRT.
Some experts recommend herbs for natural menopause relief along with a diet that is rich in foods that promote estrogen levels (for example kidney beans, yams, cherries, lentils potatoes, soy, apples, wheat, rice, tofu, miso, alfalfa,). But what if you don't like many of these foods and how much do you actually have to eat every day to see the desired benefit from them?
Realizing this, HRT drug manufacturers commonly recommend the lowest possible doze over the shortest possible duration. Unfortunately, severe menopause symptoms may persist for ten years or more, far longer than any drug company would recommend their product as a viable treatment plan for persistent, long-term menopause symptoms.
Most women (and rightly so) have elected to stay away from HRT as either a short or long term frequent treatment for menopause symptom relief.
The scientific community has long noted the many similarities between plant-based estrogen's (called estrogen's) and the estrogen's used in hormone replacement therapy. Some plant-based phytoestrogens are so potent, that they have been found to be “as effective as Hormone Replacement Therapy in treating symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.” So what are these different kinds of natural menopause relief?
There are three basic types of phytoestrogens found in the plant kingdom. You may notice that black cohosh and ginseng are not in this list because these herbs may have adaptogenic property but are not sources of plant based estrogen's.
Isoflavones are a class of phytoestrogens found in soy and chickpeas. It has long been thought that Eastern and Middle Eastern diets have greatly benefited from these plant-based phytoneutriets and may be one of the reasons that women in these countries seem to have less severe menopause symptoms than women in Western countries.
While soy-based products have traditionally been shown to be useful in treating the most common menopause symptoms (according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine), The National Institutes of Health notes that there is a higher risk of breast cancer associated with soy products.
Alfalfa and clover are the primary sources of coumestans, another class of phytoestrogens found in plants. However, there is currently very little scientific evidence which support coumestans as beneficial to humans. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies on animals that have had their ovaries removed show that an increase in dietary coumestans appears to help prevent bone loss. As many realize, bone loss (or osteoporosis) is one of the serious side effects associated with menopause.
Lignans are the third type of phytoestrogen found in plants and offer the most promising alternative to hormone replacement therapy as a natural menopause relief. In this class, ground flax seed, flax seed oil, and especially concentrated flax hull lignans, are the most potent source of plant-based phytoestrogens.
I starting taking fem-flax and started to see a drop in hot flashes in about three days… Phoebe K – San Francisco, CA
In addition to being one of the safest and effective herbs for menopause symptom treatment, flax hull lignans have been shown to be effective at slowing the growth of certain tumors, reducing cholesterol levels (in men and women), aiding in the elimination process, and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
Women who chose to take herbal plant-based supplements should always consult with their doctor before taking any natural menopause relief treatments to ensure that they will not interfere with any medications that they are currently taking.