Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hot flashes wiping you out?

Achieving the best female hormone balance is essential as women age. As the baby-boomer generation ages, I have found there is a great demand for natural treatments for symptoms such as hot flashes, so let’s talk a little bit about that. Traditionally coinciding with menopause, hot flashes can last 6 months to 5 years, however they may persist as long as 15 years. About 70% of women experience these during menopause. Hot flashes are postulated to be caused by a disordered hypothalamic function in response to a low estrogen environment. It has been suggested that they tend to be worse in individuals with compromised cardiovascular systems. Also, it has been found that traditional hormone replacement therapy can increase the duration of hot flashes and decrease the effectiveness of herbal remedies.
Herbal support is designed to assist the adjustment of the body during the menopause change. It also provides symptomatic alleviation of the effects of estrogen withdrawl. What kind of herbal remedies can be beneficial in decreasing hot flashes? The important herb is Sage, however Hawthorn and Motherwort can also be useful. Sage is traditionally found in tonic with Wild Yam Complex. Black Cohosh can be used as well, however special care must be taken as the contraindications with Black Cohosh can be extensive.
If hot flashes are aggravated by stress, Adrenal Complex should be added, and if hot flashes are a continued problem without stress, then Tribulus can be included in the treatment. In addition to hot flashes, menopause women can suffer from mood and stress imbalances, depression, sweating, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, poor memory and loss of confidence. Many of these can be linked to the fall in estrogen, however this is controversial at best. There are additional herbal remedies that can alleviate severity of these symptoms such as St. John Wart, False Unicorn, and Shatavari. Every woman is different, therefore these herbal recommendations could be more or less effective in different women, and prior to starting an herbal regiment, every woman should consult their primary care provider.

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