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Alternatives to hormone replacement therapy

Over the years, I have counseled thousands of women who are experiencing menopause. Menopause is a time when the ovaries reduce the production of estrogen and progesterone. This change may bring with it common physical side effects such as hot flashes, insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, thinning hair, aching joints and muscles, vaginal dryness and others.

Doctors have many women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a combination of estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). It was thought that this combination of hormones would ease hot flashes and insomnia, and would help preserve bone strength, mental acuity and heart health. Unfortunately, most people don't bother to read the fine print on the risks of taking synthetic hormones.

The Women's Health Inititative, a federally funded clinical trial, showed that taking estrogen and progestin together, for more than a few years, actually increases a woman's risk of developing potentially deadly cardiovascular problems and invasive breast cancer. This study was halted because after observing more than 16,000 women for roughly five years, researchers found this combination of hormones raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer.

I have never taken hormone replacement and have been teaching about its risks for decades. So what can I do, you ask?

You can suffer through symptoms or you can try nutritional supplements and natural alternatives to HRT. Many are very effective and don't carry the same risks and side effects.

Core products — Follow my Lindberg Nutrition Program

Your menopausal symptoms may be exacerbated by a poor diet where you lack certain nutrients. Cover your bases by taking a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula. I suggest Lindberg Pink Pack.

Next, take a protein shake using Lindberg Protein Blend (whey, milk and egg) plus Lindberg Lecithin Granules and Lindberg Flax Oil. You must have enough vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and protein to manufacture as much of your diminishing hormones as you can.

Natural progesterone

Natural progesterone is a hormone that can safely and effectively relieve menopausal symptoms, protect against cancer, act as a natural tranquilizer, prevent osteoporosis and may stimulate new bone formation.

Estrogen levels can drop 40-60% at menopause and progesterone levels can drop even lower. When your progesterone level drops very low, you get estrogen dominance, which doesn't necessarily mean that you have high estrogen levels. It simply indicates that estrogen levels are relatively higher than progesterone levels. This creates a hormonal imbalance and a long list of unpleasant symptoms.

To combat estrogen dominance, use a progesterone cream. The tube/jar should contain 400-500 mg of progesterone per ounce. Rub about a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon into the soft tissue areas of the skin twice daily. With continued use, the progesterone will distribute throughout the bloodstream. It may take some time for the benefits to become apparent.

I don't recommend synthetic progesterone (progestin). It mimics the action of progesterone, but the body does not respond the same way.

Take vitamin E

Fifty years ago it was reported by researchers that vitamin E helps with hot flashes and menopausal headaches. Take 400-800 IUs of natural vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) daily. Some of you may need up to 1,400 IUs daily. Increase your dosage slowly if you have hypertension.

Herbal remedies

Phytoestrogens (Greek for plant based estrogens) are capable of producing estrogenic effects, although their activity compared to synthetic estrogen is very low. Most types of natural phytoestrogens are readily absorbed in the gut and circulate freely in the blood, where they are able to act as estrogens before being excreted in the urine. Phytoestrogens exert a balancing action on estrogen. Isoflavones, like those found in soy and red clover, have the most potent estrogenic activity of all the phytoestrogens.

Black cohosh

Clinical studies show black cohosh to be as effective as HRT for relief of not only hot flashes, but depression and vaginal atrophy. It's also effective for night sweats, headaches, anxiety, nervousness, sleep disturbances and decreased libido.

Red clover

This plant extract red clover provides all four of the major estrogenic isoflavones: genistein, biochanin, daidzein and formonetin.

Soy

Soy may slow down hot flashes and actually help protect against excessive estrogen. It also contains isoflavones, which may block estrogen's ability to stimulate changes in the breast. Take a scoop of soy protein powder daily – because soy protein contains isoflavones.

Herbal combinations

There are a few other tonic herbs that have long been recognized for their benefits to the female glandular system. Dong quai is known as queen of all female herbs. Chaste berry or vitex may help reduce some of the undesirable symptoms that occur during menopause. I recommend using a menopause formula that contains several of these herbals.

DHEA is an estrogen precursor

DHEA is an estrogen precursor, which means it's converted to estrogen and even some testosterone in the body. After menopause, when the ovaries stop making estrogen, small amounts of estrogen continue to be manufactured in the adrenal glands from the hormone, DHEA. As we age, DHEA levels fall and we may be prone to many forms of degenerative diseases. Raising DHEA levels in postmenopausal women to more youthful levels through supplementation appears to be a way of increasing estrogen levels naturally. I don't recommend more than 25 mg a day.

Bone loss prevention

In addition to your multi vitamin, you should take the Lindberg Bone Support at night. It contains all the bone building raw materials your body desperately needs at this stage of your life.If you follow my suggestions, you should sail through this time in your life without sacrificing your health.

Start today! Feel better tomorrow!  May you be blessed with abundant health! 

 

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