Bioidentical Hormones Hibbing MN
Saint Paul, MN
By Vicky Uhland
Although Mary Saracino and Barbralu Cohen have never met, they have much in common. They’re both Coloradans in their 50s who embrace the unconventional, particularly when it comes to health care. They’re as likely to visit an acupuncturist as a gynecologist, or to pop a homeopathic arnica tablet (Arnica montana) instead of an aspirin.
So when Cohen, a 55-year-old editor in Boulder, felt the pounding of her first menopausal migraine, and Saracino, a 50-year-old Denver-based novelist, experienced her first hot flash, they decided to treat their menopausal symptoms unconventionally by following a natural treatment plan. In doing so, they chose a path taken by many American women. Since a landmark study in 2002 found that hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—the conventional, synthetic way of treating menopausal symptoms—could cause serious health risks, women and their healthcare practitioners have been searching for safer, natural and more effective remedies.
According to the government-sponsored Women’s Health Initiative study, women with an average age of 63 at the start of the trial who took synthetic estrogen plus progestin for five years had a 26 percent greater chance of breast cancer, a 41 percent greater risk of stroke, and a 29 percent higher likelihood of heart attack, compared to women who took a placebo.
Those findings heavily influenced Cohen and Saracino. Cohen already has risk factors for cancer—both her mother and father survived the disease—so she’s adamant about avoiding anything that might be carcinogenic. “There’s no way I’d use HRT,” she says.
Saracino doesn’t like the idea of treating menopause as if it were a particularly virulent strain of flu—suppressing the symptoms and waiting for the whole “nasty condition” to go away. “My motto is I don’t want to pathologize menopause,” she says. “When traditional HRT came out, I think the theory was that [women] shouldn’t have these symptoms, that there’s something wrong with me because I’m having hot flashes, so I need to take this pill so I don’t experience what my body needs to experience.”
Cohen and Saracino have tried several different natural alternatives to HRT. Here’s a look at some of the remedies they and other women have turned to in their quest to manage their menopause symptoms.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s body stops producing estrogen and progesterone and is generally defined as the time after 12 months have passed since her last menses. Even though the hormone shutdown happens gradually—the entire process can take 10 years or more—bodies used to a reliable supply of hormones since puberty don’t take kindly to deprivation. They produce withdrawal symptoms such as hot flashes, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, memory loss, vaginal dryness and, sometimes, uterine fibroids.
HRT was designed to lessen that withdrawal by giving the body small amounts of hormones, says Tori Hudson, ND, director of A Woman’s Time clinic ...
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...