When it comes to managing your menopause in a way that suits your needs, there are two camps of thought. The traditional (or allopathic) medicine camp versus the alternative and complementary camp.
Most people tend to stick to one or the other. I would urge you to avoid choosing one specific camp and limiting your choices to just that one arena. Instead I suggest you look at all the options for your menopause.
Nothing in all of the options is perfect and nothing by itself, will serve all your needs. The more open-minded you can be about mixing and matching from both camps the more successful you will be in managing your menopause.
What you need to know is there are options and that you are aware of what these are, and the capabilities and limitations of them all.
Let’s get started!
Simple fact is your diet has more of an impact on your health than anything else in your life. What you put in determines what you get out of your body.
The biggest barrier to a healthy diet is lack of education. In today’s world we are bombarded with hundreds of diets and exercise plans. The problem is that most of them have been designed for young men and not hormonally challenged women.
The truth about a healthy diet – the kind that can prevent disease and keep you in the best of health consists of nothing but whole fresh plants, and nothing that comes from an animal. That means nothing with a face, or a mother.
Why plants? Because the degree of how healthy your diet is boils down to one simple thing called transit time. Transit time is the time it takes for food to go from your mouth to the toilet. Animal products have a transit time of three to five days. As they journey through your digestive tract they leave all sorts of waste products called “free radicals” that your body cannot digest. These products cause many of our modern health issues. Alternatively, foods that consist of plant products have a transit time of one day or less.
Unfortunately we have become accustomed to the mantra of moderation, which really means we allow ourselves to believe if we eat in moderation it’s going to be a healthy diet.
Lifestyle Is such a common word and encompasses so many different things. All our behaviour on a daily basis creates our own individual lifestyle, the good and the bad. Ideally the goal is to adopt as many habits that you can that contribute to a healthy lifestyle, and to make them Habits!
Sadly much of what we consider a healthy lifestyle doesn’t match our social lives and well, we all love to have fun, but at what cost?
The list of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle is endless, but here are a few of the more common ones. Your wakeup time, bedtime, what you eat, how often you eat, your alcohol intake, your exercise, your sun habits, what you do to relieve your stress… I could go on and on, but I think you get what I’m saying. There are four elements however that will have a positive impact on almost everything you do:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Appropriate body weight
- Refraining from smoking.
Vitamins and minerals have their place in menopause support. There are a variety of both, that constitute important options for managing your menopause. Your body has an ideal level of each vitamin and mineral that enables it to function at its best.
Botanicals and herbs
Botanicals and herbs constitute a large category of the menopause options. If you chose to use botanicals and herbs to manage your menopause, expect to use different products for every symptom of menopause, there is no botanical or herbal product that can alleviate all your symptoms. You owe it to yourself to find a healthcare provider who has the knowledge and experience you need to assist you with the management of your menopause.
Synthetic hormones implies that the product is the result of a process which involves combining substances. Most hormones that women take are made in a factory. Censetin falls into this category, it’s synthesised from plants. Premarin also falls into this category. It’s extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. This is an example of a natural substance of animal origin converted into a pill.
When you are making your choice of menopausal help, you may find that you prefer products derived from plants, speak up and tell your healthcare provider what path you want to go down.
The distinction between natural and synthetic applies to every category of hormone in the realm of menopausal options. One isn’t good and the other bad. Options are good and one doesn’t have to be superior to the other. The only thing that matters is how they work for you.
Bioidentical hormones tend to produce fewer side effects due to the fact that your body recognises them as less foreign and metabolises them more easily. Bioidentical hormones are actually natural in another sense. They may originate from plants which are found in nature, but they are modified so that they are no longer in their natural form.
It’s your body, it’s your choice
Menopause is a balancing act
The decision as to which category you prefer is very much dependent on your individual choice. If your preference is for putting substances into your body which are easiest for your body to handle, then go with bioidentical hormones. If your preference is to use natural products which have not been modified, go with botanical or herbal products. If you prefer to use products that have specific standards for testing, go with pharmaceutical products. The choice is up to you.
Menopause is a balancing act from start to finish. This doesn’t mean that you are on your own.
My interaction with each patient is a partnership of mutual respect and my goal is to provide you with information to make your journey through your menopause and the rest of your life easier and as healthy as possible. I want you to have the fundamental knowledge so that you can participate to whatever extend you desire and to empower you to manage your menopause in the way that’s best for you.
Menopause is about empowerment. You have the power and wisdom to consider your choices and to make wise decisions. When it comes to menopause, IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU.
This article is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.