Menopause is a normal and natural part of aging. But for many women in America, menopausal symptoms can be more than a daily nuisance. Hot flashes, irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping, and weight gain can significantly affect the quality of a woman’s life. In an effort to address this growing problem, hormone replacement therapy has become a billion dollar business in the United States. Unfortunately, hormone replacement is not without risks, and for many women it is either partially or completely ineffective in controlling their symptoms.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries slow down their production of hormones, especially estrogen. While it is normal for women’s hormones to decrease with age, a rapid decline in estrogen coupled by an imbalance in the complementary hormones progesterone and testosterone is often what leads to the uncomfortable symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, and irritability.
In my naturopathic medical practice, I treat many women for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Most of these women have tried conventional and/or natural hormone replacement therapy and report being unsatisfied with the results. Either they have found the hormone creams to be ineffective, have concerns about safety of long-term hormone use, or are tired of paying for expensive lotions and creams month after month. For these women, homeopathy is often an effective alternative treatment.
Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the self-healing and self-regulating mechanisms in the body. In contrast, hormone replacement therapy aims to simply replace hormones that are known to be low in menopause. One reason why homeopathy is often more effective than hormone replacement therapy is that the hormonal systems in the body are extremely intricate and not entirely understood by science. No two menopausal women have the exact same levels of estrogen, testosterone, or progesterone. Neither will any two have the the exact same speed of hormonal decline as they reach their menopausal years. In addition, women’s sex hormones are indirectly affected by other hormonal systems in the brain and throughout the body. On top of the fact that hormone levels vary greatly between women, blood testing of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone is not highly accurate. This is why most hormone replacement therapy is given in standard doses rather than individualizing it to each patient.
Instead of trying to play this hormone guessing game, I use homeopathic remedies to stimulate the body itselfto normalize hormone levels. While external measurement systems can fail and science may not be able to tell you exactly how hormonal systems work, your body knows exactly what hormones are out of balance and exactly how out of balance they are. By using homeopathic remedies to stimulate self-regulation, there is no way for hormones to be over-corrected, and no chance of standard hormone replacement therapy side-effects such as cancer or blood clots.
There are many different homeopathic remedies that can work to decrease menopausal symptoms. Because homeopathy treats the individual person, I ask patients many questions to find out which homeopathic remedy will likely work best for them. The questions focus on details like when the hot flashes occur, what triggers them, and what makes them feel better or worse. We also talk extensively about mood changes, temperature sensitivities, and any other medical conditions because all of these things can influence the remedy prescription. Most women who respond to homeopathy see a noticeable decrease in hot flashes, night sweats, and mood irregularities within the first few weeks of treatment, although women with more severe and long-standing imbalances may take longer to see effects. Often, we also talk about the importance of nutrition, detoxification, and stress-management in achieving hormonal and symptom regularity. For more information on the research behind homeopathic treatment of menopausal symptoms, please visit:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18194760,http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2005.11.21,http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12371460.
If you have tried conventional methods for menopausal symptoms and are dissatisfied with the results, homeopathy may be the missing piece you have been looking for. For more information, call 602-359-2893 to schedule your free 15 minute consultation today.
- Posted by Dr Katie Nuckolls
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