Ask the Expert: Menopause
Q: Help! I’m in menopause and I’m trying hard not to return to HRT therapy. However, the recurring hot flashes, moodiness and my lack of sex drive are a huge concern, any suggestions?
A: More and more research is under way regarding estrogenic plant compounds and their benefits relating to menopausal symptoms in diet plans. Red Clover, an isoflavone rich compound known to reduce hot flashes is the most widely used aid throughout the world, which may well be a testimony to its efficacy. All natural substances may take time – up to weeks or 2 to 3 months as well as a commitment to work towards using natural versus hazardous, synthetic based HRT products. Over a 3 to 4 month period, used daily, 44% of women found relief with Red Clover.
Red Clover has also been shown to reduce vaginal dryness as well as to increase HDLs, the good blood fats that protect your heart.
Black Cohosh is another helpful herb, which tends to exhibit anti-estrogenic activity, which is often beneficial for the large percentage of women who are burdened with excess estrogen generally stored in excess body fat. Black Cohosh has also been found to be beneficial for reducing hot flashes, improving mood and insomnia.
Chaste tree berry helps to stimulate up regulation of the progesterone receptors, which may help one to achieve hormonal balance, while Korean Ginseng aids in lifting mood and decreasing stress hormone levels.
Often herbal formulas are found to contain all three of the above components. As a clinical nutritionist, I recommend one at a time used over a three to four week cycle to ascertain its efficacy.
Deborah Arneson, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist and consultant, is president of Nutrition Consultants of Healing Quest Center, Inc., and producer of Health Quest cable show, which airs Thursdays at 8:30 pm on Channel 19 or 21. If you would like more information regarding your path to health, please call Healing Quest Center at 312.664.7979.