How To Choose Between Hormones and Herbal Remedies for Menopause
Both hormone-replacement therapy and herbal remedies for menopause can work - and both can fail.
In this blog we'll cover:
- What are the best menopause supplements?
- Which work better - herbal remedies for menopause or HRT?
- Which is safer, herbs or hormones?
And what you need to know to get the results you want with one or both - without the side effects including:
Find your way around the video:
0:43 The two things your body needs to find hormonal balance
1:08 Why adding more hormones isn't the whole answer
1:15 The second thing your body needs - to support higher hormone levels
1:33 How to use herbs vs hormones to get those two things
1:45 How to get the first thing with herbs or HRT
2:05 How to get the second thing with herbs vs HRT
2:22 Possible ways to avoid side effects from HRT
2:30 How to find the right herbs
3:45 Which is safer herbs or hormones?
4:15 Safety and HRT
5:40 One other big safety issue to know about with prescription meds for menopause
6:35 Are herbal remedies safe
7:50 Do herbal remedies work?
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The two things your body needs to do:
To balance hormones and get relief from menopause symptoms (and post-menopause signs of aging) there are TWO things your body needs to do.
#1. Have high enough levels of all hormones. Many menopause symptoms and signs of aging after menopause are due to hormone levels being too low.
Many women think this is all there is to it - but it's NOT. Just adding more hormones isn't the whole answer.
#2. Once you have hormones available, your body needs to be able to manage them effectively. Your body fine tunes and balances your hormone levels relative to each other - because the ratios of one hormone to another are the KEY to feeling better.
What does this mean in terms of HRT vs herbal remedies?
Hormone replacement - and herbs can both give you support in raising hormone levels.
But only herbs can also help with the activation, micromanagement, and detoxification of hormones. The right herbs can support your own endocrine system in managing those hormones... HRT does not give this type of support.
And I find that women who get side effects from HRT, or get symptoms of estrogen dominance when on HRT often are not detoxifying hormones out of their body well!!
If you're taking hormones - you want to know that if you take a little too much of one - you can get rid of it!
How to use this to your advantage:
So my suggestion is start with herbs.
Use herbal remedies for menopause to support getting your hormone management system tuned up and your hormone detoxification flowing smoothly.
And see if your hormone levels increase enough with from the herbs.
For many women this is all they need to reduce menopause discomfort and keep hormone levels high enough for optimal health. And it's the most natural, safest route. Something you can do from the comfort of home - and that's affordable. No prescription needed.
But if you do this and find some of your hormone levels are still a little too low, you can (with the help of an experienced healthcare practitioner and some lab testing) add in the tiniest bit of BHRT (bio-identical hormone-replacement therapy) to bring your hormone levels up the rest of the way.
Because your body's hormone balancing and detoxification mechanisms are supported by the herbs, your body will know just what to do with these new hormones.
I believe this is why I find the women in my practice who use BHRT and herbs together with herbs have better results and less side effects from the BHRT.
And I find my clients who find herbs alone are enough (about 80%) get great results as well.
So that's part ONE of this video, which works better HRT or hormones.
Now let's dive into part 2, which is safer?
Safety Part 1 - Is HRT Safe?
Which are safer - herbs or hormones?
There's been controversy for years about the safety of HRT - and I don't think we really know the truth yet, so it's wise to be careful.
The original form of HRT - premarin - was found to be unsafe.. But for the past few years it's been thought that BHRT has more benefits than risks. However a new study came out recently showing there may still be an increased risk of breast cancer in women who take HRT for more than one year, and the recommendation is to take it only when necessary and at the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time. CLICK HERE to read about the study. Some of the women in the study were using traditional HRT (not BHRT) - but some were using topical creams only!
There's no doubt that keeping your hormones levels high enough has health benefits. But I believe if you can do this with herbs (or mostly with herbs,) it's the safest route.
Quick mention - safety and bone health medications
Step one in keeping your bones strong is keeping your estrogen levels high enough. And in part 1 of this blog we covered using herbs and/or BHRT as a way to support keeping your hormone levels high enough.
There's also some great food & vitamin support you can do for bone health, click learn more about that in my blog: How To Do Bone Health In Menopause Right
But what are your options if you need more help with your bones and preventing or reversing osteopenia or osteoporosis?
Medications women take during & after menopause for bone health can be a huge safety issue.
I'm going to put all the information you need - and great options for bone health in another blog video... but I wanted to make a quick mention of this here, since it's such a big safety issue when it comes to medications used during & after menopause.
I want to mehtion bisphosphanate medications like Fosamax.
These medications have been shown to have serious side effects and have been shown not to work for their indended purpose of decreasing the chance of breaking a hip.
While studies have been done on herbs to support bone health that are just mind blowing in terms of how well the herbs worked without side effects. So look for a separate video & blog article with all the details of herbs vs medications for bone health. When it's published, I'll link to it here. But please don't miss that video if you need support for bone health.
Safety Part 3 - Are Herbal Remedies Safe?
Chinese herbs have been used for thousands (yes THOUSANDS of years.) I've also been studying them and using them extensively myself and with my clients in my private practice for over 15 years. If there were risks or side effects we'd know about them by now.
That being said - it's important to use correctly chosen herbs at the right dosage... And it's important to get herbs from a reputable supplier, so your herbs are high quality, effective, and free of pesticides or contaminants.
There are also some people, for instance women taking Coumadin, a blood thinner medication, who need to be careful with any change in their diet that concerns plants. Even eating too much kale after not eating it for a while can be dangerous for these women. Herbs are plants too. So while not all herbs are contraindicated, they should only be used under the close supervision of an herbalist and a doctor.
So, when used correctly, high quality Chinese herbs have proven to be one of the safest and most effective systems of healthcare available.
Do The Herbs Work?
And I get asked - but do the herbs work? I have to say yes, because I've experienced their help myself in the most dramatic way possible. I had two women just this week who, when they stopped by my office to refill their herbs, said they feel panicky if they run out - because the herbs work so well - and they don't want those night sweats and mood swings back!
I'm going live in my fb group later this week to talk about my experience and some of the real women's real stories I've seen hundreds of times over in my private practice over the last 15 years. When the video is live I'll link to it here. To show you how the herbs have worked for real women.
And if you want to try the herbs for yourself, I'd love to show you how. But it's a little more complicated than what I can cover here so...
Use the button below to sign up for my hour-long masterclass on using Chinese herbs during & after menopause. It's totally free and all online.
Both BHRT (bioidentical hormone-replacement therapy) and herbal remedies for menopause can both work, but start with herbs.
- They may be safer
- And they can help both with supporting healthy hormone levels and with hormone management
If you do use HRT make sure it's bio-identical, and make sure it's in conjunction with herbs for the best results with the least side effects. Also talk to your doctor about using the smallest dose for the shortest time and only use BHRT under the supervision of a highly trained medical professional and in conjunction with lab testing.
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Peace & Wellness
This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/