Naturopathic approach to managing menopause

Today, many menopausal women are seeking safer alternatives to the standard “treatment” for menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While this search for alternatives is certainly a positive beginning, it needs to be taken a little further. What needs to be considered is that hormonal health depends completely on the overall health of the individual, on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Naturopathic doctors offer safe and effective ways to support the transition into menopause by creating health with appropriate diet and lifestyle choices, natural remedies, exercise, rest and relaxation, and spiritual practices. Once a woman begins to work towards achieving optimal health and becomes healthier, she will likely find that any unwanted symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be handled very easily and effectively with nutrition, exercise, and botanical and homeopathic remedies.

Conventional Western medicine takes the “reactive” approach, not doing much about your health until symptoms or disease hit, at which point you begin the search for an effective treatment. Naturopathic medicine aims to take the “proactive” approach, by making health care choices that promote optimal health, and that are specifically intended to prevent disease from occurring.

To better understand hormonal health, we must look at some of the factors that influence it. The hormones that regulate the reproductive cycles and transitions, such as menopause, are produced by the organs of the endocrine system.

Our adrenal glands are part of this endocrine system, and their health is vital during the transition years to menopause. Firstly, the adrenals secrete both female and male sex hormones, the estrogens and androgens, and become the prime producers of estrogen and progesterone during the transitional years, when the ovaries “go on vacation”. Secondly, the adrenals are responsible for the “front-line” work of adapting to stress. In today’s world, most women have some degree of adrenal compromise. Women are generally working a full time job, raising children and juggling hundreds of other demands of daily life. Stressed-out adrenals compromise their function to secrete estrogens and androgens.

In addition to responding to stress, cortisol has many other functions in the body. It regulates other hormones, glucose metabolism, immune system, cardiovascular functions, the body’s use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, our ability to adapt to stress depends on the optimal function of the adrenal glands.

Tips To Support the Adrenal Glands:

Tips to Manage Stress: