Here are a few of my favorite things
By: Elisa S. Lottor, Ph.D., N.D.
Menopause occurs on every level, body, mind, and spirit. While some women sail through Menopause others languish on the shoals for ten or more years or even for a lifetime with symptoms.
In my 25 years of practice as a Naturopathic practitioner I have treated hundreds if not thousands of Menopausal and Perimenopausal women. Although I have treated each woman individually I have enclosed a number of recommendations for the most common symptoms in an attempt to steer women in the right direction.
Whether a woman opts for HRT, she may still suffer from a host of health problems which include but are not limited to fatigue, depression, hot flashes, insomnia, and memory loss etc. Although there is not a "one size fits all" approach I have found a number of natural remedies to be of enormous help in alleviating symptoms.
By far the most common complaint that I have heard in my practice or as a medical advisor to a women's support group is fatigue. This can occur for a number of reasons, chief of which is adrenal exhaustion or adrenal insufficiency. Addressing this through appropriate botanicals can sometimes bring about dramatic results. Some of the supplements I have used are:
- Freeze dried adrenal complex
- Natural Progesterone
Insomnia is the next most common symptom. I often start with Natural Progesterone if a woman is still menstruating and or Natural trans-dermal tri-estrogen and progesterone if she is not. I also carefully examine the diet re: sugar, excess caffeine, (yes even diet sodas), and inclusion of enough unrefined carbohydrates. After that I have used a good Calcium and Magnesium taken at bedtime as well as Tryptophan which is now available over the counter. I have also used the homeopathic remdies: ingatia, coffea as well as Nux for busy minds that just won't relax. For women who get up many times I have found that using supplements that control hot flashes often help. Because even though a woman is not reporting them, they can be sub-clinical. Hot Flashes can be controlled by an anti-inflammatory such as curcumin, and specific bioflavinoids. For many women who choose not to take HRT I have recommended Perque's Pain guard Forte as well as a product from Germany called Kilmadynon by Bionorica with excellent results.
While I mentioned the adrenals earlier I need also mention the liver which also needs addressing as all of the blood is filtered through the liver and because of our modern civilization we often experience "liver congestion" or stagnant "liver chi". I use a number of botanicals including Milk Thistle nux vomica, chelidonium or Heel Hepar Compositum. A "congested liver" is one of the reasons many women experience "rages", hot flashes, insomnia, constipation, and blood sugar issues.
For blood sugar issues, I not only support the adrenals as I mentioned earlier, but use a combination of botanicals that include GTF chromium Vanadyl Sulfate. I have also used Maitake SF-Fraction for blood sugar issues ranging from hypoglycemia to Type 2 Diabetes and other insulin resistant conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome with excellent results.
Memory loss is often another complaint beginning in Peri-menopause and often lasting through Menopause. My book Female and Forgetful is a good place to start to understand the many factors that contribute to "age related cognitive dysfunction" but off hand the following supplements are also important:
- Gingo Biloba
- Phos. Serine
- Phos. Choline
Because a "one size fits all" approach is not appropriate for everyone's symptoms, I individualize my approach, but wanted women to know there is help out there if we widen our horizons to include the wealth of integrative medicine that is slowly becoming more mainstream.
Dr. Lottor is a Board Certified Naturopathic Physician, lecturer, and writer who has been practicing in Southern California for 25 years with offices in West Los Angeles and Oxnard. She is the author of "Female and Forgetful" available through Amazon.com or LEF.org. For more natural protocols for specific conditions check out: www.drlottor.com or email Dr. Lottor at: firstname.lastname@example.org