Using Algorithm In MenopauseTreatment

If you’re confused about the treatment options for your particular menopause symptoms, now there’s an authoritative guideline, an algorithm, for your doctor or health professional to use.

As estrogen declines in our middle years, the symptoms of discomfort vary greatly from woman to woman and often evolve slowly through a complex range, which if left unchecked, could lead to osteoporosis, bone fractures, and heart disease. It’s this complexity per woman that makes it such a challenge for health professionals to advise and prescribe just the right treatment.

The algorithm available now was developed by eight, internationally renowned scientists and women’s health experts, led by Dr. Lila Nachtigall, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, New York University’s School of Medicine and Dr. Nancy Durand at the University of Toronto. It prescribes a hierarchy of treatment options, based on whether you are mildly, moderately, or severely symptomatic. Treatments include:

• Changes in lifestyle, including exercise, avoiding caffeine, giving up cigarette smoking, and more.

• Complementary alternative therapy using dietary supplements, like patented red clover.

• Regimens, in which several therapies are used in conjunction with one another.

With so much to consider now regarding hormone replacement therapy, some research indicates that North American use of botanicals has increased by 380 percent in the last 10 years. Plant estrogens, called isoflavones, are particularly helpful. These isoflavones are able to mimic the effects of estrogen because their structures are remarkably close to those we produce naturally and the body accepts them as such. Researchers found that women from countries with diets rich in isoflavones, such as Asia, experience a significantly lower rate of hot flashes during menopause.

Isoflavones are found mainly in legumes, such as lentils, split peas, chickpeas, broad beans and soy. Not all legumes contain all four of the most important isoflavones however. Red clover does and as a result of several successful clinical trials, it is now standardized as a valuable treatment option. Red clover (sold as Promensil) contains all four of the necessary isoflavones and contains 10 to 20 times the quantity found in soy, making it an effective remedy for menopause symptoms. Sold in the form of Promensil After-Menopause, this botanical is particularly effective for post-menopausal women, or when estrogen reaches its lowest level.

When deciding about over-the-counter botanicals, be sure to check labels, or ask the pharmacist which ones are credible and substantiated by scientific research in terms of efficacy and safety and which ones aren’t. In Australia, for example, all black cohosh product labels are required by law to caution consumers about the potential for liver damage. If you want to know more about how to treat your particular menopause symptoms, including dietary supplements, be sure to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

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