Should You Take Bioidentical Hormones? Read This First.

By Rene Anderson

Bioidentical hormones have been in the news a whole lot lately, and there's still some controversy surrounding them. The main reason for this is because of the amount of dubious claims floating around on the internet. We scoured the reputable sites and journals and came up with 5 key facts you should know before diving into more research. Take a look.

#5: The Difference in Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Has to do With the Makeup of the Hormones.

If you have to remember one thing about bioidentical hormones, remember this -- they are chemically identical to hormones that our own bodies produce. That means that a large number of the hormones that are being prescribed (which are not bioidentical), are not the exact same as the ones you would naturally find in the human body anyway.

#4: There's a Perfectly Good Reason Some Aren't FDA Approved.

There are some bioidentical hormones made by large pharmaceutical companies, and they have full FDA approval. But often, in order to make sure that the hormone matches up exactly with the one in our body, they are created on a case-by-case basis. As such, these specific concoctions are not FDA approved, as the resources simply aren't there.

#3: Make Sure Your Compounding Pharmacy is Reliable.

Make sure you deal with a compounding pharmacy you can trust. The PCAB (that stands for the Pharmaceutical Compounding Accreditation Board) is a good source for the best ones in the nation, and if your doctor has been working with a compounding pharmacy for some time, they'll be able to confirm its trustworthiness to you in person.

#2: Oprah is Taking Them!

There's no question that an endorsement from the reigning queen of television is a boon to any particular product, but in this case, Oprah herself is using bioidentical hormones, and has suggested they made a huge difference for her. Like anything she recommends, just remember that due diligence is always fundamental.

#1: Keep A Balanced Approach For the Best Results.

Even though bioidentical hormones are an exciting new alternative to traditional hormone replacement therapy, they (like everything else) are not something to solve all your problems. Keep focused on your complete health, from top to bottom, in all aspects of your life -- especially during menopause -- and don't think one pill will change everything. - 30307

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How to Identify the Signs of Menopause

By Kim Allarie

Approximately 70 percent of women who are approaching menopause have noticeable symptoms which are a consequence of changing hormonal levels. This is in preparation for the shutdown of the female reproduction system. As hormone production decreases, most women will begin to have symptoms even if their periods have not stopped. Following are the signs of menopause that you should be aware of.

Women generally start to experience the first signs of menopause anywhere between their late 30s and early 40s. This is the time when a woman's body cuts down on the production of progesterone and estrogen. This stage of menopause is known as perimenopause. Ovulation becomes sporadic because the ovaries stop releasing eggs. It's harder for a woman to become pregnant during this time since she becomes less fertile. Furthermore, pregnancy throughout this time has more risk linked to it.

Among the early symptoms of menopause is an irregular period. Normally the flow is either much lighter or much heavier than the woman has experienced up till then. Mood swings are also a sign of menopause. You might need to take antidepressant drugs to alleviate the problem.

Additionally, women frequently experience hot flashes. This is like a wave of heat that passes through her body at unexpected times, often while sleeping. Her face will become red and she will break out in a sweat. Other signs of menopause consist of sleeping disorders and an increase in abdominal fat. Sleeping disorders can result in exhaustion and depression and must be monitored by a health care provider.

The symptoms become more obvious throughout a woman's 40s. Some time soon after turning 50, the change is finished. As soon as a woman has made it through a full year without having a period, she has officially reached menopause. Fifty-one is the typical age when this takes place.

The symptoms of menopause are usually experienced during all the stages of menopause. Unfortunately, some women may suffer with them for the rest of their lives. Menopause is a one of a kind experience for each woman. There are those who are barely aware of the process. Others will have symptoms that disrupt their lives. If you've observed any of the symptoms of menopause, you need to seek advice from your physician. He or she will be able to advise you on how to deal with the various stages of menopause. There are lots of ways to alleviate the symptoms, including pain killers, lifestyle modifications and hormone therapy. - 30307

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Does Black Cohosh For Hot Flashes Really Work?

By Dani Bern

Black cohosh is a perennial member of the buttercup family which grows wild all through the central and northeastern regions of the United States. It has been used by Native Americans to minister to women's complaints for centuries. Of late studies have revealed that black cohosh for hot flashes, night sweats and other menopausal symptoms may possibly be one of the finest alternatives to drug treatments and hormone replacement therapies. Science notwithstanding, millions of women will attest to the usefulness of using this traditional cure as long as you follow instructions and do your inquiries first.

If, after chatting with your physician, your girlfriends, your mother, and perhaps even your sympathetic, yet anxious husband, you settle on that black cohosh for hot flashes is worth a test, you have a quantity of choices as to you how you may want to ingest it. As with any form of medicinal therapy, it's important to take only as much as required to gain relief, and only for as long as the treatment remains helpful. That said, you must know that the correct quantity considered necessary to chill out your particular "personal summer" will depend on a number of factors, such as body type and weight, diet, severity of symptoms, and the type of preparation you decide to use. From pills and capsules, to tinctures and teas, black cohosh has become quite readily available in many forms.

There are scores of sources existing that inform you how to make your own tinctures and infusions from the pieces parts of the black cohosh plant. On the other hand, before you go rooting through the forest for the raw ingredients, contemplate the hard work of committed lab technicians whose job is to make sure reliable levels of potency in uniform dosages. Scores of health shops carry tinctures, teas, and roots from which you can make a decoction. Instructions for use should be on the label, or check with with your health care provider to settle on how you will use them. Most experts have the same opinion that it could take up to three weeks before you sense wholly relieved of your symptoms, so don't give up after your first couple of hot toddys.

Black cohosh is also on hand as a standardized extract and can be purchased in pill and capsule mode, but be attentive that even though side effects are usually gentle, they can be more pronounced when using the extract as opposed to taking the cure as a tea. Check the label for instructions or ask the pharmacist about how much to take, and don't go over the top with it. You may also find quantities of black cohosh together with the listed ingredients of other over-the-counter treatments for symptoms of menopause. Again, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for the proper dose.

Black cohosh is classified as dietary supplement, so it is not regulated or approved by the FDA, although some doctors will inform you that may change in a little while, as physicians commence to prescribe black cohosh for hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause. It may well seem like something up-to-the-minute, on the contrary in fact it's been around for a long time, and for one for one simple reason: it has worked. - 30307

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Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Menopause

By Kim Allarie

There are many myths that surround menopause that are detrimental to women. These myths can cause women to fear entering menopause and cause problems with their relationships with their significant other. Here we look at the myths and the truths surrounding the change of life for women.

Myth: Menopause is not natural but is a disease. This is one of the biggest fallacies about menopause. Menopause is a normal and healthy part of life that every woman goes through. This can be a very challenging and frightening period in a woman's life. A woman needs to accept the changes that are taking place in her life and she also needs to be aware of the risks. If symptoms become too difficult to cope with she must be aware of what treatments are available.

Myth: Menopause can cause a woman to have mental problems that are akin to PMS. Menopause causes a shift in hormones (much the same as with premenstrual syndrome) and this can affect a woman's moods. However it is unfair and irrational to equate mood swings, which are a common symptom of menopause, with mental problems. Many women believe the stereotype that their minds will somehow turn them into crazy individuals because they have begun menopause. This is not the case at all. Those women who experience mood swings that interfere with their lives can seek out methods of relieving stress in their lives and can find ways to communicate what they are feeling to others.

Myth: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is dangerous and should be avoided. When HRT was first introduced, many women were excited about a treatment that could help relieve many of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany menopause. However the bubble burst shortly afterwards when a highly publicized research study revealed that HRT came with some serious potential risks to women's health. HRT is still rather controversial although it can be an effective treatment for menopausal women who are experiencing hot flashes and vaginal dryness, among other symptoms. Many doctors are cautious when prescribing the treatment for their patients. Some of the potential risks of the therapy include an increase in rates of breast cancer, blood clots and stroke.

Myth: Women lose their libido after menopause and are no longer desirable. The shift in hormone levels does affect a woman somewhat but many women crave intimacy every bit as much after menopause as they did before (and some more so!) Women continue to feel desirable and confident about their bodies after menopause has come and gone. Some menopausal women will experience dryness and slight discomfort, but for many women, no longer having to worry about periods or contraception can make their intimate relationships even more fulfilling. - 30307

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Menopause? Finally...Natural Solutions For Menopause Relief

By Keith M. Henry

Many plants have medicinal properties that reduce menopausal symptoms...

For is a great example of a source with healthy plant estrogens. Soy has been recommended for female health for years as a means to stabilize and maintain hormonal harmony as well as promote breast health and female reproductive health. In fact, there are many.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh is in all probability the most well known herb that is used during the menopause years. Some doctors are now suggesting it for their patients who want more natural relief from menopausal symptoms.

Black Cohosh helps to balance estrogen and curtail mentluteinizing hormone to help subdue these symptoms. Black Cohosh has been studied chiefly in is used mostly there to treat hot flashes.

It is among the few natural herbs for menopause that have shown a positive effect for the women undergoing this difficult stage in life. It will relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and mild mood changes.

Dong Quai

Donq Quai is a friend to the female reproductive system, and it is used in traditional Chinese as such--

Dong Quai is used by natural practitioners to boost blood flow, and thereby help relieve hot flashes and lubricate the vagina...

Another huge feature of Dong Quai is that it has properties that can also help sooth menopausal rheumatism. Dong Quai is also rich in magnesium which can help to deepen sleep upset by night sweats.

Dong Quai relieves some of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome even as it relieves the normal symptoms of also shows itself to be a general tonic to the female system.

Red Clover

Red clover is imbued with a hormone- like substance and has shown its ability to lessen some menopause symptoms; red clover also appears to be helpful for preventing osteoporosis as a result of its estrogenic effects.


Wild yam is also an alternative. It can be found in many types of progesterone creams. With Wild Yam, women experience fewer and less intense hot flashes, the number one complaint among menopausal women.

Wild Yam extract is a very helpful herb for women and works synergistically with progesterone.


Phytoestrogenic herbs, the class to which Black Cohosh falls, are crammed with phytoestrogens, these are a lot like estrogens They can increase low estrogen levels by replacing some of the missing estrogen hormones.

Phytoestrogens are estrogens that are found in some foods. These estrogens are of 2 varieties--lignans and isoflavones.

Phytoestrogen herbs are those that contain estrogenic properties that helps produce estrogen in a lady's body like Black Cohosh and Dong Quai. There also are other useful herbs that may be used, particularly when properly mixed that may produce great relief to the sufferers of menopause. - 30307

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Good News for Menopause: Prescription Medications Help!

By Kim Allarie

There are many prescription menopause drugs that can help to lessen the symptoms of this phase of a woman's life. Some of those symptoms that cause such distress include hot flashes, fast heartbeat and high blood pressure, mood swings, trouble sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, depression, irregular or heavy periods and many others. The reason they take place is because of hormone changes or lack of hormones associated with the onset of menopause.

Hot flashes are almost certainly one of the most aggravating symptoms that transpire throughout the change of life. This is when a wave of heat comes over the woman, commonly in the face and chest area, which causes flushing, sweating, heavy breathing and the feeling of being thrown into a furnace. The heart might race and hot flashes can last from 3 minutes up to 30 minutes. They can come up at any time throughout the day and sometimes even at nighttime.

There are a few medicines in the antidepressant department that can aid in easing the symptoms of hot flashes and of course they also help with the symptoms of depression that often accompany menopause. These medications include Effexor and Prozac, both of which also help with mood swings. Other medicines used for menopause are Zoloft, Norpramine, Tofranil and Aventyl. All will help to manage depression and some also aid in relieving hot flashes. Some women get confused easily throughout menopause and these medications also help out there.

Some women experience high blood pressure throughout menopause, even if they have never had it before. Clonindine is the drug that is normally prescribed in these circumstances, because this drug also aids in stopping hot flashes. There are some nasty side effects such as insomnia which can compound sleep difficulties that are already associated with going through menopause. Conversely, this drug can also cause you to become sleepy when you don't want to be.

In the'70's artificial estrogen and progesterone drugs given to menopausal women were found to be associated with endometrial cancer, then to breast cancer, heart problems and strokes. This spurred a search to try to find other methods to treat menopausal symptoms utilizing more natural ingredients.

The result was the creation of Bio-Identical Hormones for use in treating menopausal symptoms. These are hormones that are molecularly the same as the hormones that are produced in the body. Medical professionals can write a compounded prescription that's tailor made to the woman which balances all three hormone categories within the body: estrogen, progesterone, and androgen. Although there is not any actual medical proof that these things work, women who use them will tell you that they do.

Another alternative is to give over the counter menopause medication a shot. Some of the natural, herbal products are quite effective at managing menopausal symptoms without the negative reactions you may experience with prescription menopause medications. - 30307

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Guide To Menopause

By Donna Caruthers

Menopause is often a difficult time for many women, because of the symptoms that go along with it. These symptoms often include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and sometimes sexual issues. The severity of these symptoms can vary from mild to quite severe. Menopause generally occurs in women sometime between the ages of 48 to 55.

When a woman's ovulation and menstruation cycles cease, this is when menopause occurs. There are a number of hormonal changes that take place in the body during menopause, which are what cause the various physical and emotional symptoms to occur. There are usually some early indications that menopause is about to begin, such as irregular periods that fluctuate between a heavy and light flow, and hot flashes might begin to occur. This transitional stage is known as perimenopause, which precedes the actual onset of menopause. Perimenopause is common around the age of 40 to 45. However, this timeframe does fluctuate, and some women actually experience symptoms as early as age 35.

There have been studies that seem to indicate that various factors in a woman's life can bring on menopause earlier than normal. Increased stress levels, as well as the various environmental toxins that are ever-present are often to blame, as is the fact that women often smoke. Smoking as a general rule is thought to bring on perimenopause approximately two or three years earlier than what would be considered normal for a woman.

Some symptoms can be especially troubling and uncomfortable for some women, such as the hot flashes and night sweats. Hormonal changes in the body are responsible for these types of symptoms, and they can even cause sleeping problems in some women. Menopause symptoms, especially if they are severe, can increase a woman's stress levels. There are also often changes in a woman's libido levels during menopause. Hormone changes in the body can cause vaginal dryness and irritation, which can make sex painful. This often has the end result of reducing a woman's desire for sex. Another factor that can enter into a woman's sexual desire is the mood swings that are common during menopause.

In many cases, there is not a specific need for medical treatment for menopause, because it is simply part of the body's natural aging process. However, when there are severe symptoms, there are types of prescribed medications that can help alleviate these symptoms. If symptoms are milder, women often choose to manage menopause by living a healthy life, reducing stress, and managing symptoms without medical treatments. Light exercise is often helpful, due to the physical benefits as well as stress reduction and mood enhancing benefits of exercise.

To deal with severe symptoms, doctors often prescribe hormone replacement drugs. These drugs are effective for many women, but do have the possibility of side effects, including water retention or the increase in certain types of symptoms. There are both synthetic and natural hormone treatments available, which a woman can discuss with her doctor if she feels they might be beneficial for her. - 30307

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