Are there natural treatments available for menopause?

Natural treatments are available to treat the symptoms of menopause. Following are some ways of naturally controlling crucial hormones in the body to alleviate menopausal symptoms:
  • Try natural progesterone creams to increase natural progesterone levels in the body. Natural progesterone creams are safe and effective when used under the proper direction. Look for a progesterone cream that is transdermal, meaning it goes directly into the blood stream and clears out in 18 to 24 hours. Alcohol delivery systems are not as effective and direct the user to rotate the cream on fatty areas. These creams take longer to work and can build up in the body over time, causing the original symptoms to return.
  • To support the adrenal glands and restore strength there are many herbal remedies that have adaptogen herbs, such as ginseng and maca. Stress takes a toll on our adrenal glands and they need to be supported. Going further, under a professional’s care, supplements such as DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) or pregnenolone can be used to give the body what it needs to make cortisol, so it does not affect progesterone stores, leaving imbalances causing weight gain and other symptoms. Supporting the adrenal glands is the only true way to allow a progesterone cream to work efficiently.
  • Do something daily to lower stress. Women are constantly multitasking, trying to adjust their lifestyles to balance job and family demands. The good news is that it only takes 20 minutes a day to compensate for the fight-or-flight response. Try eliciting the relaxation response, ways that help the body compensate and relax. This can be done with things like deep breathing, meditation, and even sound-wave therapy, which takes the body into very deep, slow brain-wave patterns in only 20 to 30 minutes. 
Wendy Warner, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Obstetrician/gynecologist and functional medicine expert Dr. Wendy Warner suggests some natural treatments for menopause symptoms. Watch Dr. Warner's video for tips and information on women's health.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eating plant-based foods that contain isoflavones (plant estrogens) work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. For this reason, soy may help relieve menopause symptoms, although research results are contradictory. Some may help lower cholesterol levels and have been suggested to relieve hot flashes and night sweats. Isoflavones can be found in foods such as tofu and soy milk.

Riverside Women's Health
Administration

Some women try herbal or other plant-based products to help relieve hot flashes. Some of the most common ones are:

Soy. Soy contains phytoestrogens (estrogen-like substances from a plant). But, there is no proof that soy — or other sources of phytoestrogens — really do make hot flashes better. And the risks of taking soy — mainly soy pills and powders — are not known. The best sources of soy are foods such as tofu, tempeh, soymilk, and soy nuts. Other sources of phytoestrogens. These include herbs such as black cohosh, wild yam, dong quai, and valerian root. Again, there is no proof that these herbs (or pills or creams containing these herbs) help with hot flashes.

Products that come from plants may sound like they are safe, but there is no proof that they really are. There also is no proof that they are helpful at easing symptoms of menopause. Make sure to discuss these types of products with your doctor before taking them. You also should tell your doctor about other medicines you are taking, since some plant products can be harmful when combined with other drugs.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.