Alternatives to Estrogen Replacement

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A woman from Sweden was sitting on the beach in Key Biscavne, Florida (where I live and write in the winter). Upon learning from a mutual friend that I was working on a blog about menopause, she came over to my “spot” iO talk to me. I’ll call her Ursula. Ursula wanted to discuss ali, the natural ways to stay healthy and relatively symp-tom-free. Ursula had a “mindset need,” not a medical need, to pass through menopause without medicine. She is a health-food devotee and a daily exerciser who includes strength, flexibility, and aerobic regimens in her fitness program and who takes a day off from exercise reluctantly, if she is obliged to do so.

Ursula was interested only in homeopathic medicine. She related what she had been doing to follow her own carefully designed route through her symptoms and to surmount each obstacle to feeling good as it crossed her path. Ursula looked great! She said she felt great, too. Yet, in light of all the talk of ERT and the many different approaches her friends had taken to ward off menopausal symptoms, she expressed some ambivalence about her chosen methods.

We talked about the fact that not all women need to take estrogen; that some women cannot take estrogen because of current or chronic medical conditions; and that many women, like Ursula, choose not to take estrogen because they do not want to “interfere with nature.” Still others might like to take ERT, but are fearful of doing so. With those categories in mind, let’s look at some alternatives to ERT.

Natural alternatives to ERT abound. According to Dr. Susan Lark’s The Menopause Self Help blog, vitamins and minerals obtained through appropriate and careful dietary selections sometimes with supplements added can help to alleviate and may even prevent mar.y mild menopausal symptoms. For example, she writes, potassium and magnesium aspartate can improve energy levels in menopausal and postmenopausal women. That is very significant information, considering that 56 percent of the women who completed our program questionnaires indicate that they have experienced lower energy levels since the onset of menopause.

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