Five Tips for Choosing Effective Relief for Menopausal Symptoms

An estimated 6,000 women in the U.S. reach menopause every day. Hormonal changes in the body cause hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue and other unpleasant symptoms. Often these symptoms are so severe that women are ready to try anything to get some relief. However, conventional medicine does not offer many choices besides hormonal therapies with serious side effects such as risks of cancer, heart disease, blood clots, stroke. The latest statistics from IMS Health show a steady downward trend in their use from 2006 to 2010.

Deanna Minich, PhD FACN, CNS, vice president, scientific affairs at Metagenics, Inc., a nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine company, compiled a list of five helpful tips women should consider when choosing an option to help relieve their menopausal symptoms:*

1. Know your symptoms and medical history. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms or to the same degree, and your symptoms may change over time. The type and severity of your menopausal symptoms may also affect available choices for relief. Some women may not be eligible for certain conventional options based on their age or menopausal phase. Some may also have an increased risk of adverse events to certain options due to personal or family health history.*
2. Research conventional options and understand the risks. Menopausal hormone therapies are not recommended for all women or for milder symptoms, and are typically recommended at the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time possible due to concerns of adverse events. And several other commonly recommended conventional options lack supported data on efficacy and safety in use for relief of menopausal symptoms.
3. Explore natural approaches for menopausal relief. Phytoestrogens (e.g., soy, flax, hesperidin, flax, hops, kudzu, red clover) and non-phytoestrogens (e.g., black cohosh, traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic botanicals) are widely recommended, but may not offer the same degree of menopausal relief or be an appropriate choice for all women. However, a special and well-researched extract of Siberian rhubarb known as ERr 731™ (the active ingredient in Metagenics’ Estrovera™) offers a safer and well-tolerated approach that has also demonstrated comparable efficacy to hormone therapies for relieving hot flashes in placebo-controlled studies–without the associated risks. ERr 731 has also shown significant relief (compared to placebo) for other common menopausal symptoms.*
4. Consult your doctor. Having an open dialogue with your physician is a vital step in the decision-making process. When considering a natural option–even those that may be available over the counter–consult a professional with experience recommending these approaches so protocol adjustments can be made if needed to find effective, personalized relief for menopausal symptoms.*
5. Listen to your body and track progress. After you’ve done your due diligence by researching all available choices and talking with your doctor to develop a program, notice how your body reacts to it. Keeping a hot flash diary can help you identify if the recommendations are working effectively.* If you experience adverse effects, it may necessary to revisit other options. The body is an important indicator of whether you’ve made the right decision, so pay close attention to what it’s telling you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

Acupuncture is the safest natural treatment method available to provide relief from perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Acupuncture balances hormones in women before and during menopause. Second Spring Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine clinic specializes in menopause and offers a variety of natural methods to help balance hormones.