Managing Menopause Naturally: Herbs and Hormones

I was working with a patient for many months. We were trying to get her night sweats under control so that she could sleep. The lack of sleep was disrupting her daytime life with fatigue and brain fog. After many trials with many herbs, I brought up the possibility of bioidentical hormones to manage her menopause symptoms. She wanted to know if they were safe. After reading the results of the Women’s Health Initiative study back in 2002 she had concerns. They had shown a relationship between hormones and increased cardiovascular and cancer risks.

A wonderful article published in Integrated Healthcare Practitioners goes through what we currently know about the research.

While it concludes that we need more research done, especially comparative studies, it does point to some small studies done that support the use of bioidentical hormones over synthetic versions. They show less side effects and better safety profile for bioidentical estrogen and progesterone.

So what order should therapies occur in to treat menopause symptoms naturally?

  1. Follow good nutritional guidelines – a whole food, plant based diet.
  2. Move your body – daily exercise is helpful for symptoms and for prevention of cardiovascular disease and fracture risk.
  3. Herbs and vitamins – often these are enough to keep symptoms at bay. Sage, Black Cohosh and Soy all have evidence to support their use.
  4. Bioidentical hormones – when other interventions cannot provide the relief needed, adding some progesterone with or without estrogen can yield fabulous results.

How long have you been suffering with menopause symptoms? Is it time to get your sleep, sex and sanity back?

To see if naturopathic medicine could help your menopause symptoms, book a free meet-the-doctor session using our online booking system, or call the office at 705-792-6717

Celiac vs gluten-sensitivity

There are a lot of people who are not diagnosable in terms of celiac but know that eating gluten creates an array of symptoms.

These people are gluten sensitive and in 2011 it was defined at the 11th International Celiac Disease Symposium.  This is different from having a wheat allergy (positive IgE antibody) or celiac (positive blood test and biopsy) in that there isn’t a full blown immune response going on.  But the way that a gluten free diet aids these people is indistinguishable from celiac or wheat allergy.

Symptoms of all three conditions are remarkably similar.  Here are the symptoms of gluten sensitivity as presented at the symposium:

  • abdominal pain
  • eczema or rash
  • headache
  • foggy mind
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • depression
  • anemia
  • numbness in legs, arms, or fingers
  • joint pain
  • (these are listed in order of frequency that the symptom is seen)

Once celiac and wheat allergy have been ruled out, then eliminate gluten from the diet.  Within a few days to weeks, symptoms should dissipate.  The increased quality of life can be overwhelming.

It is nice that research is finally supporting what so many clinician’s have seen in their practices for years.  My son is gluten intolerant and it’s made such a difference for his skin, and digestion to be on a gluten-free diet.

To learn more about how Naturopathic Medicine can help, please visit the digestive complaints page of the site.  Then book yourself in for an assessment so that we can get you feeling well again.

Yours in Health,

Kerri Fullerton