Escaping the Menopausal Maze-without HRT
With continuing uncertainty over the safety of long term use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), many women are seriously considering either coming off it or avoiding taking it altogether. However, finding a safe and effective replacement can be very confusing.
So what can you do to escape the Menopausal Maze?
Q I’m on HRT. What do I do to come off?
A If you wish to come off HRT it is advisable to discuss this with your GP first and to plan the best way to stop. Recent indications suggest coming off gradually over three to four months is best. If you stop instantly you run the risk of developing severe symptoms.Wait until you completely stop the HRT before taking any of the hormonal remedies.
Q I had menopausal symptoms before I went on to HRT. What do I do if they return when I come off?
A There are many natural remedies for menopausal symptoms. Match your symptoms with the remedies outlined below:
- Hot flushes/night sweats: Sage tincture*
- Hot flushes/night sweats, mood swing, depression, aches and pains, vaginal dryness: tincture of Black Cohosh*
- Lethargy, stress, loss of libido, vaginal dryness: Siberian Ginseng* & Avena sativa
- Stress, anxiety, mood swings: Avena sativa, Passiflora, Female Essence
- Prevention of osteoporosis: calcium supplement
* These remedies are not recommended if you have had or are having treatment for any hormonally induced cancer. Also check with your doctor or healthcare professional for any contraindications.
Q I don't have any menopausal symptoms despite my periods gradually disappearing. What should I take?
A Lucky you! This is the way it is supposed to be! Maintain your diet and lifestyle and add in a vitamin E supplement and a calcium supplement to help prevent osteoporosis. If you do start to experience any symptoms, consider the remedies listed above.
Q ! am 65 and still experiencing flushes and irritation. What can I take?
A If you are over 65 or your menopause started more than 10 years ago it is more than likely that your own hormone levels have tailed off and that, if you are experiencing what looks like menopausal symptoms it may, in fact, indicate adrenal stress. A hormonal remedy such as Sage or Black Cohosh is unlikely to work. Try Urtica (nettle), a vitamin B complex and a magnesium supplement. If you feel stressed or anxious take Avena sativa or Passiflora too.
General Advice on a Painfree Menopause
There are many simple things you can do for yourself regardless of the symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Eat a well balanced, wholesome diet and don’t miss meals – low blood sugar levels can trigger hot flushes!
- Ensure that you have regular bowel movements (at least one a day) – constipation can be a major factor in causing hot flushes!
- Drink plenty of plain water – at least a litre and a half.
- Take regular exercise – a brisk half hour walk a day can work wonders!
- Deal with stress. Stress causes the release of chemicals that promote hot flushes!
- Take a mineral supplement. Your local health food shop will be able to advise you on a good quality one.
- Drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks. These are a real no-no for the menopause. Take herb teas instead – nettle is wonderful for hot flushes; drink a couple of cups a day.
- Smoke. No need to say more!
- Drink alcohol. If you must have the occasional drink, go for organic wine.