Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Countless women find that alternatives to HRT are effective in relieving night sweats and hot flushes as well as the mood swings and depression associated with the menopause.

Last year, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists gave warning that many herbal remedies and supplements with purported benefits have not been properly tested and may interact with other medication.

As one of the plant compounds called phytoestrogens, isoflavones are known to act in a similar way to the female hormone oestrogen in some parts of the body.

“Giving women vitamin C with bioflavonoids has been shown to help reduce hot flushes,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of The New Natural Alternatives to HRT.

Maintaining a proper balance of dietary fats can help to prevent much of the bone loss associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to a study by scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine last year.

Researchers found that diets with a low ratio of omega-6 fatty acids (found in grains and meat) to omega-3 fatty acids (found in nuts and fish oils) minimised the osteoporosis brought on by oestrogen deficiency.

“We found that higher fitness levels enhance the effects of shorter durations of hormone treatment and offset the mental declines associated with long-term use,” Professor Arthur Kramer, a psychologist, said.

Results of small-scale trials in the treatment of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, fatigue and mood disturbance, appear to be helped by homeopathy.

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