Menopause – Part 4

This is the fourth article in a series on Menopause. This time I want to talk about supplements.

Products vary widely in strength and bio-availability. It’s important to search for a good source that you can trust when you’re taking supplements. I have had many patients tell me they tried a therapeutic that didn’t work. When they tried the same supplement in a professional quality the results were so much better.

We all need a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Many people say that we should get everything we need from what we eat but our food is depleted these days. Our bones are made up of calcium and many minerals so a good, broad, gentle multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can help.

Essential fatty acids are important in menopause. Omega 3 oils such as flaxseed, fish oil or evening primrose can act in your body to give you a hormone-like effect and are helpful for all gynecological complaints.

Vitamin E is the single most useful vitamin that can help reduce hot flashes. It’s also a powerful anti-oxidant for the entire body. Calcium is a necessity at this stage. At about age 40 we start losing calcium and it needs to be replaced. Citrate is the best form. Calcium needs to be combined with magnesium and Vitamin D which help to carry the calcium into the bones more quickly.

Homeopathic medicines are wonderful at this time of life. Homeopathic medicines are tiny doses of plant, animal or mineral substances that stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism. There are a few remedies that are especially useful. One is sepia for depression, low libido, and irritability. The other is pulsatilla for weepiness and indecision.

Many herbs are useful for menopause and have been used throughout the centuries to help women pass through this transitional time. Don Quai is a Chinese herb that is said to replace what is lost in the menstrual blood.

At menopause we get less estrogen from our ovaries and more from our adrenal glands. So if you are experiencing high stress you may be getting less of the estrogen you need. Ginseng strengthens the adrenal glands, which can help reduce stress and increase your general energy level.

Wild Yam, which is an ingredient in progesterone cream, can be used to reduce PMS in the peri-menopausal stage. It also helps strengthen the adrenal glands. Black cohosh is a phytoestrogen that helps decrease hot flashes, headaches, water retention, and fatigue. It can also help to strengthen and tone the uterine and bladder muscles.

Thousands of women have used natural treatments with great results. Work with a qualified health care professional so that you too can pass through menopause with a great amount of ease.

Dr. Paulette Roscoe is a naturopathic physician who practices in Nanaimo.

She welcomes your calls at 754-1733.