First and foremost let me explain the different stages of menopause and what change of life symptoms can be expected with each stage.
Early to Mid Perimenopause
Hormonally this is a time of estrogen dominance and too little progesterone. Common change of life symptoms may include; shorter menstrual cycles, occasional irregular cycles, heavier flow, dysmenorrhea (lack of bleeding), PMS, headaches, breast tenderness and often fibroid growth is common during this stage.
Hormonally this may be a time of lower estrogen or erratic hormonal shifts from high to low estrogen. Progesterone tends to be low especially during anovulatory cycles. Common change of life symptoms may include; irregular cycling, heavy flow, extended flow, headaches, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and mood swings.
Menses and bleeding have stopped for more than one year as a result of decreased ovarian function. Natural menopause occurs at an average age of 50 to 51. Change of life symptoms may include; hot flashes, sleep disturbance, fatigue, lower libido, mood swings, vaginal dryness and atrophy as well as increased incidence of urinary tract infections.
Many of these change of life symptoms, including one of the most annoying, causes for hot flashes, can be attributed to lower levels of progesterone with accompanying estrogen dominance. The following herbal supplements for hot flashes, perimenopause natural treatment and natural hormone supplements have been taken successfully in all stages of menopause for centuries:
Chasteberry contains phytoestrogens that help balance female hormones. Chasteberry has shown to ease PMS and menopause discomfort. This herb does require several months of intake to become effective. Vitex agnus or Chasteberry reduces hot flashes, enhances pituitary function and is believed to alter FSH and LH secretion. Chasteberry is required in every woman’s menopause regimen where there is a hormonal imbalance, as it works via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to stimulate releasing lutenizing hormone secretion, indirectly elevating progesterone levels. Chasteberry promotes the corpus luteum, thereby helping many change of life symptoms including irregular cycles, acne, fluid retention, and prior to menopause, assists with PMS and fertility.
Black Cohosh or Cimicifuga reacemosa root, primarily promotes estrogen and is an excellent component to Chasteberry as a result. Black Cohosh contains phytoestrogens that supply estrogenic sterols, the building blocks for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Clinical studies have shown that women who took Black Cohosh as a natural hormone supplement, experienced the same reduction in change of life symptoms as those taking Premarin, a synthesized pharmaceutical from mare’s urine. The phytoestrogens in Black Cohosh bind to cell estrogen receptor sites and activate the components of estrogen action. In addition, this herb has antispasmodic properties and acts as a nervine.
Don Quai is a Chinese herb that contains phytoestrogens and maintains estrogen levels. In other words this herb enhances estrogenic effects when estrogen levels are too low and compete when levels are too high. Don Quai is one of the premier herbal supplements for hot flashes. In addition, Don Quai, as a natural hormone supplement, increases energy and reduces fatigue, which are signs of a hormone imbalance.
Natural estrogen is made from yams and soy and is chemically exactly the same as what we make in our bodies. Even small doses of plant estrogens derived from soy and yam prevents bone loss and reduces hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, nausea and headaches. One study showed the use of a cream made up of the extract from Doiscorrea, wild yam plant, which contains natural progesterone, increased bone density an average of 25% in women. Wild yam cream improves bone-building osteoblasts, the cellular structures responsible for increasing calcium in our bones. The saponins in Wild yam are used in the pharmaceutical industry as a starting point in the chemical synthesis of steroid hormones.
Evening Primrose Oil
With regards to evening primrose oil and menopause, many women swear by this natural hormone supplement. Evening primrose oil contains the fatty acid GLA, which converts into hormone-like prostaglandins. Evening primrose oil for menopause is excellent for cramping, irritability, headaches and water retention.
The change of life symptoms don’t have to be a major inconvenience in your life or something you dread. You can lessen and even prevent many of the associated symptom discomforts through the use of safe, natural hormone supplements. Menopause can be a stage in your life to set long-term health goals as well as a time for emotional and spiritual growth and should not be looked at or experienced as a disruption in your life’s cycle.
Dr. Foster graduated from an accredited naturopathic medical university in 2000. Dr. Foster has been successfully treating disease, ailments and conditions through the use of botanical medicine, vitamins, nutrition, homeopathy, Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for over eleven years. Dr. Foster believes her patients are unique in their own body physiology and should be treated as such. What works for one individual may not necessarily work for another. It is a fact that when the human body becomes out of balance, it leads to “dis-ease.” We also know the human body has the innate ability to heal itself if provided with the right environment and nutrients.