The Best Ways to Regulate Menopause

Menopause

Menopause, also known as the climacteric, is the time in most women's lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. R

 
Bone loss due to menopause occurs due to changes in a woman's hormone levels.

Bone loss due to menopause occurs due to changes in a woman's hormone levels.

 

Basics

 
 

Menopause (climacteric) typically happens between age 49 and 52. R

Menopause is usually a natural change. R

At the physiological level, menopause happens because of a decrease in the ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. R

Adaptogens

 
 

There is not a lot of consistent evidence for alternative therapies such as coumestrol, femarelle, or black cohosh. R R R R

The effect of soy isoflavones on menopausal symptoms is promising for reduction of hot flashes and vaginal dryness. R R

Adaptogens

Maca

  • May alleviate discomfort felt by perimenopausal women. R
  • It has a balancing effect of Maca-GO on sex hormone levels. R R
  • Reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. R
  • Maca did not exert hormonal or immune biological action in the small cohort of patients studied; however, it appeared to reduce symptoms of depression and improve diastolic blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women. R

Shatavari

  • Enhances immune function, increases corticosteroid production, and promotes cell regeneration. R R
  • Has Antioxidant qualities. R

Licorice

  • It’s an anti-androgen - reduces levels 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that facilitates conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). R R R R

Ashwaganda

  • Regulates Testosterone, but can have effect on the thyroid if taken too long R R R R

Valerian Root

  • May help with hot flashes. R 

Chasteberry

  • Acts on the pituitary gland to regulate various hormones like estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, and prolactin. R R R R

This is a good combination supplement for menopause.

Hormone Replacement

 
Vaginal canal: normal vs menopause

Vaginal canal: normal vs menopause

 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of estrogen in women without a uterus and estrogen plus progestin in women who have an intact uterus. R

It can be useful for hot flashes. R

It can increase the risk of stroke and blood clots. R

It should be used for the shortest time and lowest dose possible. R

Genetic polymorphisms in estrogen receptors may change the metabolic response to HRT. R

Also estrogen therapy has shown to be effective in reducing tooth and gum diseases in postmenopausal women. R

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

 
The domain structures of ERα and ERβ, including some of the known phosphorylation sites involved in ligand-independent regulation.

The domain structures of ERα and ERβ, including some of the known phosphorylation sites involved in ligand-independent regulation.

 

SERMs are a category of drugs, either synthetically produced or derived from a botanical source, that act selectively as agonists or antagonists on the estrogen receptors throughout the body. 

Two common SERMs prescribed are raloxifene and tamoxifen.

  • Raloxifene exhibits oestrogen agonist activity on bone and lipids, and antagonist activity on breast and the endometrium. R
  • Tamoxifen is in widespread use for treatment of hormone sensitive breast cancer.
 
Structural basis for the mechanism of estrogen receptor agonist and antagonist action. R

Structural basis for the mechanism of estrogen receptor agonist and antagonist action. R

 

Medications

Some of the SSRIs and SNRIs appear to provide some relief. R

Low dose paroxetine has been FDA-approved for hot moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. R

They may, however, be associated with sleeping problems. R

Gabapentin or clonidine may help but does not work as well as hormone therapy. Clonidine may be associated with constipation and sleeping problems. R

More Research

  • Osteoporosis can be minimized by smoking cessation, adequate vitamin D intake and regular weight-bearing exercise. The bisphosphate drug alendronate may decrease the risk of a fracture, in women that have both bone loss and a previous fracture and less so for those with just osteoporosis. R