Naturopathic Medicine And The Treatment Of Menopause

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Learn About How Natural Medicine Can Help Treat Menopause

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct practice of medicine that uses natural medicine to holistically treat many types of illnesses.

Naturopathic doctors receive training at a post-graduate accredited 4-year naturopathic medical school, in-residence, hands-on medical program.  There are approximately 6,000 naturopathic doctors practicing in the United States.

An increase in the use of naturopathic medicine has developed out of people’s interest in safe and effective health care.

It is beautiful to think that they use treatments based upon the earth, which has evolved with humanity for millions of years.

One of the conditions that naturopathic medicine addresses is menopause, the natural aging process of the female body.

The Rise of Natural Medicine For Menopause

Nearly 1.3 million American women begin menopause annually. Pre-menopause or perimenopause gives many sufferers a variety of physical, emotional, and mental symptoms before the full onset of this common medical condition.

In the past, women typically started to exhibit symptoms of menopause between the ages of 45-55.  Now women aged 32 to their early 60s have symptoms of perimenopause.

There are several reasons for the onset of perimenopause outside of its natural occurrence. Anti-hormone medications, environmental toxicity, stress, malnutrition, chemotherapy and radiation, and the removal of one’s ovaries can bring about the onset of perimenopause.

NDs or naturopathic doctors diagnose, address, and treat women holistically. They look at a patient’s lifestyle, medical, and genetic history, among other factors, so that they can provide the assistance and support a woman needs during this transitional time.

They use medicines made from botanicals and nutritional supplementation. They also offer lifestyle coaching and bio-identical hormone therapy to address the myriad issues related to perimenopause and menopause.

The key here is that every woman is different, and holistic health options offer solutions catered to individuals and their lifestyles.

Symptoms of Menopause

Hormones fluctuate rapidly during perimenopause, which affects the menstrual cycle and can lead to unpredictable and troubling symptoms. Some of the symptoms include:

1. Irregular Menstrual Periods.

The time between periods may be shorter or longer, and the flow of blood may be less dense than usual or more substantial.

Spotting may occur randomly, and missed periods can happen periodically. Unusually heavy bleeding, however, requires medical attention.

2. Hot Flashes and Nocturnal Sweating

These symptoms can vary in intensity and can be exacerbated by the environment, stress, alcohol consumption, and diet.

3. Skin Irritations

A woman’s skin may become dry and develop brown spots, may easily bruise and wrinkling may increase.

Nearly a third of the skin’s collagen (a component of skin) is lost during the first years of menopause.

A naturopathic doctor will help you revitalize your diet and weigh out your options so that you can be more comfortable in your skin again.

4. Depression

Depression and anxiety, along with moodiness, can increase.

A woman may be much more irritable and anxious and/or have panic attacks during this time. These symptoms may or may not be due to hormonal changes.

Either way, your body is changing, and it can be frightening, naturopathic doctors understand, and will work with the healthiest options possible to ease your symptoms.

5. Increase In “Bad” Cholesterol.

Changes in estrogen affect a woman’s LDL or bad cholesterol levels. This, in turn, leads to other risks, such as heart disease. To make matters worse, “good” cholesterol or HDL may decrease.

The problem with the increase in LDL and decrease in HDL is that is compounds the ratio between the two. Typically, health professionals look at more than just a patient’s cholesterol numbers; they look at the ratio or relationship between the two.

It’s Time To Treat Menopause, Naturally.

The whole-person or holistic approach of naturopathic medicine uses natural therapies and treatments in order to lessen the symptoms of menopause. These natural treatments, in turn, positively affect the health issues related to menopause.

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) will spend up to 1 and a half hours with their patients during the consultation. They use this time to assess the patient’s mental, emotional, and physical condition along with potentially screening for genetic and environmental factors.

NDs apply their knowledge of botanicals, nutraceuticals, and nutrition to address the issues of perimenopause and menopause in an individualized context.

Some of the plant-based medicinal treatments and compounds include wild yam and black cohosh to reduce hot flashes and mood swings.

NDs also use stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga and meditation, to help alleviate mild depression and short term memory loss.

Naturopathic medicine is at the forefront of medicine in addressing health issues common to many, including perimenopause and menopause.

Connect with Karen Threlkel, ND today, and breathe vitality.

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National University of Natural Medicine Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from UMD. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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