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Alternative treatments of menopausal symptoms

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Several doctors have reported success in treating the menopause without drugs

Several doctors have reported success in treating the menopause without drugs. Nutritional medicine experts Drs Stephen Davies and Alan Stewart recommend that women undergoing the menopause have their nutritional status worked up and made adequate, plus add supplements of vitamins B and E, essential fatty acids (evening primrose oil and fish or linseed oils). Sometimes, the authors report, the worst of symptoms have to do with underlying candidiasis or the sudden emergence of food intolerances. In other words, your menopausal symptoms will improve once you sort out these conditions. They believe that HRT should only be given to prevent osteoporosis in women who have had both ovaries removed or have had severe osteoporosis at an early age.

For specific symptoms, Linda Ojeda, author of Menopause Without Medicine ,suggests the following (make sure to check with a knowledgeable practitioner before embarking on any supplement programme):Hot flushes

Take regular exercise.

Eliminate what she terms "triggers": sugar, caffeine, warm clothes, hot drinks, spicy foods, overheating.

Eat regularly to keep your blood sugar at a constant level.

Take one or more of the following supplements: vitamins E (250-400 IU in mixed tocopherols three times a day); selenium (l5-50 mg); vitamin C with bioflavonoids (l-3 gms per day in several doses); calcium and magnesium, l000 and 500 mg per day, respectively.

Sexual changes

Sort out the stress in your life.

Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and fried and highly processed foods.

In supplements, look to vitamins B, C and E, plus zinc, iodine, magnesium, calcium and copper.

Prevention of Osteoporosis

Cut down on red meat in your diet.

Add pulses, cereals, grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds to your diet.

Limit caffeine and alcohol.

Avoid processed fats and sugars.

Cut down on foods with phosphates.

Stop smoking.

Engage in regular, weight bearing exercise like walking or running.

Drs Davies and Stewart recommend a supplement of l to l.5 g of calcium gluconate or lactate with 0.5 to 0.75 g of magnesium oxide or aminochelate. Do not take excess vitamin D, which can be toxic.

For more information, see Ojeda's book (Thorsons, lb4.99) or contact the Women's Health Concern, P.O. Box l629, London W8 6AU (tel:07l 602 6669) or The Women's Nutritional Advisory Service, P. O Box 268, Hove, East Sussex BN3 lRW.

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