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September 13, 2011 at 10:36 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

The Top 12 Natural Treatments for Menopause - A Doctor Review

By Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, MD More Blogs by This Author

Perimenopause, the time around menopause, can be trying with different women experience varying degrees of the annoying symptoms associated with it. Luckily, there are a large number of products out there for menopause.  Here are my thoughts on them.

Natural Remedies for Menopause

Soy: There is some good evidence that taking 20 to 60 grams/day of soy protein can help reduce symptoms.  Soy extracts of 35 to 120 isoflavones/day have also shown to be helpful.

Flaxseed: 40 grams/day may be beneficial, and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids & alpha-linolenic acids, which also have other health benefits.

Black Cohash: Very popular, but studies seem to show that some preparations work and others do not.  The best data is on an extract called Remifemin 20mg tab per day and CR BNO 1055 40 mg/day.  Other preparations have shown to not work as well.

Panax or Asian Ginseng: There is some evidence that it might be helpful.

Chasteberry: Has been shown to be helpful for premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

Kudzu, Alfalfa, Hops, and Licorice: Have been used but do not have much data on them.

Popular But NOT Recommended Natural Menopause Remedies

Red Clover: Used by some people, but in controlled studies show that they are probably not better than placebo.

Dong Quai: Commonly used, but studies show it probably does not help better than placebo, and it may be carcinogenic.

DHEA: There has been a lot of hype about DHEA lately, which is a precursor to the sex steroids testosterone and estrogen.  There have been conflicting studies if it actually helps with perimenopausal symptoms or not.  It can cause cosmetic side effects from the testosterone such as acne, hair growth. There are also concerns that the estrogen might increase the chances of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Warning

All of these natural products can stimulate estrogen receptors, if you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, it is best not to start these natural products without talking to your doctor first.

There are some women who end up using birth control pills or estrogen pills for the long term to help with their symptoms, but I would recommend trying the natural products first.  Also, if you do they them, I would recommend trying one at a time, and giving it enough time to really see if it is helping you are not.  
Stay Healthy,
Dr. Jeff M.D.

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3 Comments

  • Thanks Dr. Chamberlin for the tips. I agree natural is better then prescription any day. Also I notice a fan helps sometimes - when needed!

  • Thanks for this blog, not experiences anything at this time but when it does happen good to know....

  • Interesting article! I will look into the supplement.

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