Managing Menopause Naturally with Vitamins for Women

Menopause is a normal biological process in a woman’s life, marking the natural transition between fertility and age-related non-fertility. Menopausal symptoms, in particular hot flushes and night sweats, can vary in their duration and severity and typically begin for women in their late 40’s to early 50’s, often leaving them hot and flustered.

Menopause, hot flushes and night sweats

Hot flushes and night sweats are caused by changing levels of hormones in the body, particularly declining oestrogen levels during the peri-menopause, menopause and the post-menopausal phases.

Peri-menopause is the period of time, usually 4-10 years, before the onset of menopause that tends to affect women in their early 40’s.

Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation for at least one year and usually occurs anywhere from around 45-55 years of age.

Post-menopause follows the menopausal phase where the ovaries stop producing oestrogen and while the adrenal glands and the conversion of androgens within fat cells produce small amounts of oestrogen.

As a woman approaches peri-menopause, declining oestrogen levels have a direct effect on the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for temperature control. Low levels of oestrogen trick the hypothalamus into believing the body is overheating. This triggers a cascade of biochemical processes to try and cool the body down by dilating blood vessels, resulting in hot flushes and night sweats.

Hot flushes and night sweats are the number one complaint for women experiencing menopause and are characterised by sudden, intense feelings of heat in the face, neck and arms

Excessive sweating

The frequency, duration and severity of hot flushes and night sweats varies greatly between women. Some women experience mild hot flushes and night sweats every now and then, while other women experience severe hot flushes and nights sweats all day and all night. Avoiding well-known triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, stress and excessive heat, can help to prevent hot flushes.

Top 5 herbs for hot flushes and night sweats

  1. Sage has been used for thousands of years and is traditionally used to relieve excessive sweating, night sweats and hot flushes associated with menopause.
  2. Pueraria (Kudzu), provides isoflavones (phytoestrogens), helpful in managingheat and dryness, improve libido throughout menopause and may help preserve bone health in postmenopausal women
  3. Chaste tree, also known as Vitex, helps support normal healthy hormone balance, helps relieve hot flushes and maintains healthy moods.
  4. Dong Quai may help relieve hot flushes and sleep disturbance in pre- and post-menopausal women.

These herbs have traditionally been used to help relieve a wide variety of menopausal symptoms, especially hot flushes, excessive perspiration, night sweats, sleeplessness, dryness, nervous tension, headaches, and joint and muscle pain.

Oestrogen Metabolism – the good, the bad and the ugly Vitamins and supplements for Men and Women

Our exposure to oestrogen begins in foetal development and too much oestrogen, or the wrong ratios of oestrogen, can lead to hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Supporting phase I and phase II liver detoxification processes can help support healthy metabolic pathways of oestrogen in the liver.

Oestrogen is a steroidal hormone produced from the building blocks of cholesterol and testosterone.

Oestrogen accelerates and stimulates cell growth in all oestrogen sensitive tissues and, while the majority of oestrogen is produced in the ovaries/testes, fat cells, adrenal glands, the liver and breast tissue can also produce oestrogen.

Symptoms of estrogen dominance:

Women:                                                                                     

  • PMS
  • Weight gain
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Abnormal menstruation
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia

Men:

  • Enlarged breasts
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Low libido
  • Increased Fat around the abdomen
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Overly emotional

Xeno-oestrogens found in the environment

Xeno-oestrogens, also known as ‘endocrine disrupters’, are profound hormonal disruptors that mimic the activity of oestrogen in the body. Xeno-oestrogens can be found in our environment in pesticides, herbicides, drugs, fuels, perfumes, cosmetics, and plastics e.g. dioxins, phthalates andPCBs.

Controlling oestrogen

Healthy oestrogen levels are controlled and finely balanced by positive and negative feedback loops between the brain and the ovaries/testes. Excess oestrogen occurs when either too much oestrogen is produced, excess oestrogen is not cleared effectively from the body, or through exposure to xeno-oestrogens.

Phase I and phase II liver detoxification

One of the most important functions of the liver is to break down and remove excess hormones from your body.

Any impedance of the detoxification process can cause estrogen dominance. Just think of the guy with “man-boobs” who abuses alcohol. His liver function is impaired, and estrogen is excessive. The biology behind this example can be explained with the liver’s two-step detoxification process, which filters hormones and toxins in the bloodstream. In phase I, the liver converts substances into toxic free radicals before they are converted to a water-soluble form in phase II. If phase II isn’t operating sufficiently, the toxic free radicals build up. Both phases must be in balance so proper elimination of waste can occur.

Health hazards of excess oestrogen

High levels of circulating oestrogens or unhealthy oestrogen ratios can increase the risk of cellular proliferation, (cell proliferation is increased in tumours) so it’s important that oestrogens are broken down efficiently and effectively for elimination.

Certain herbs and nutrients, including Broccoli sprouts, Rosemary, St Mary’s thistle, quercetin and glutathione can all help to support phase I and phase II liver detoxification processes for healthy metabolism of oestrogen in the liver.

Talk to the Naturopaths and Natural Health Consultants at Go Vita Tanunda for professional advice.

GOOD FOR YOUR GUTS

We know Licorice as a delicious sweet treat, the herb itself has very different benefits. As a medicinal herb, licorice root has long been valued for the profound and positive effect it has on your digestive system.

Licorice has been used in many forms over the centuries. It is known that the glycyrrhizin in licorice root can cause high blood pressure. A procedure developed to remove this compound from licorice provides a new safer form known as DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Anti-inflammatory DGL is highly effective for soothing digestive disturbances, particularly gastritis and peptic ulcers.

The mechanism of DGL in peptic ulcer treatment is that it stimulates and/or accelerates the factors that protect against ulcer formation. Specifically, DGL improves both the quality and quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract. The licorice produces a thick protective mucus gel that covers the lining of the stomach wall providing welcome relief for heartburn sufferers too.

Chewing DGL between or twenty minutes prior to meals seems to produce positive results as it must mix with saliva to promote the regeneration of salivary compounds that stimulate the growth and regeneration of stomach and intestinal cells.

DGL may also prove useful in eradicating Helicobacter pylori. Patients with duodenal and gastric ulcers may test positive to this bacterium.  Stress and anxiety were thought to be the main cause of ulcers, but H. Pylori causes damage to the stomach lining and DGL can combat this damage.
 
Licorice is also one of a group of herbs that has a marked effect upon the endocrine system. It was traditionally used as an adrenal tonic. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, similar to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, these glands have the task of responding to any stress the body is under, whether it is study, work or life.  
 
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may help relieve:

  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Gastritis
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Peptic ulcers

Licorice supplements contraindicate with anti-hypertensive or diuretic medications. Do not take if you suffer kidney insufficiency, liver cirrhosis or are pregnant.

The Unexpected Benefits of Going to a Naturopath

The human body is an amazing thing. It is made up of about 200 kinds of cells, each with a job to perform. Cells form the tissue of your beating heart, the hormones that control your moods, and the chemicals that trigger thoughts in your brain. Trillions of cells are performing processes during every second of your life.

Whenever something causes these processes to become unbalanced, the body no longer performs to precision. You may feel specific symptoms or an overall feeling of not being well. A naturopath uses natural resources to help the body restore balance so that you can achieve optimal health. These “resources” often include herbs, but they also extend to meditation, counselling, and other alternative treatments.

The Role of the Naturopath

A natural health provider, or naturopath, has in-depth knowledge of the tools he uses. This knowledge includes an understanding of natural resources such as herbs, and their innate properties. A skilled naturopath has a strong desire to improve the way you feel in body, mind, and spirit. He understands the impact that your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms have on your life.

Prevention is also a large part of naturopathy. The naturopath can look at the morphology of your blood or your genetics to assess your risk for health conditions in the future. He takes a more personalised approach to determining the types of treatments and therapies you need to achieve your best health and general well-being in both the present and the future.

What a Naturopath Can Do for You

Naturopathy is often used to complement medical treatment for chronic conditions. It may also lead to relief for symptoms of common conditions like allergies, food intolerances, digestive disorders, skin disorders, and stress. These conditions are often difficult to pinpoint. While most are not life-threatening, the symptoms you live with each day can greatly affect every area of your health and keep you from enjoying activities that are important to you.

The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

Some of the conditions that cause a loss of well-being require some trial and error to detect. Many conditions cause similar symptoms in spite of being quite different from one another. This is why self-diagnosis is never a good idea, especially if you are already on medications. Making a wrong assumption or mixing homemade remedies or OTC medications with prescription medications can result in serious complications. Instead, you should put your care into the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced naturopath who knows how to find the best solutions for you.

What to Look for in a Naturopath

There are many levels of naturopathic care providers with varying areas of study. Some of the most important features to look for in a naturopath are training, experience, and the areas of specialty that pertain to naturopathic treatment.

Peter Balogh N.D. more than meets the criteria as a safe and trusted naturopath. He is a certified homeopath with an advanced diploma of nutritional medicine, diploma of natural science which includes herbal medicine, and an advanced diploma of nutritional medicine.

Pete has been providing compassionate care for more than twenty years. He has built a successful practice and the variety of services he offers continues to grow.

Probiotics – Balancing Intestinal Flora

Healthy intestinal flora

Herbs of Gold Probiotic + SB is a room stable probiotic complex that restores healthy intestinal bacteria and helps maintain healthy digestive function.

  • Restores healthy intestinal bacteria
  • Healthy digestive function
  • Immune support

Human intestines contain almost 100 trillion viable bacteria. These live bacteria, which make up 30% of the faecal mass, are known as the intestinal flora. For our well-being, it is most essential to maintain an appropriate balance of intestinal flora. An abnormal or damaged gut flora can be the source of serious illness, including auto-immune disorders and dangerous food allergies.

Role of Intestinal flora:

The gastrointestinal tract is a complex system that allows the body to digest and absorb food while moving wastes for excretion. For the intestinal tract to function properly, normal flora must be present. Intestinal flora are types of microorganisms known as probiotics that live normally as part of the intestinal tract. These organisms have several functions that help the body, but also gain benefits from their hosts. Intestinal flora are found in both the large and small intestines.

Intestinal flora and the immune system:

There is a crucial relationship between intestinal flora and your immune system. It is the first line of defense between you and anything dangerous you happen to swallow.Intestinal flora strengthen the physical defenses of the gut wall and regulates the inflammation and inflammatory immune response. Some types of normal intestinal flora work to protect the body against certain kinds of infection. This may be through inhibiting the growth of harmful organisms that can cause infection.Alternatively, some types of intestinal flora prevent infection by creating an intestinal barrier. 

Balance of intestinal flora with pribiotics:

Pribiotics, which means “for life” can be defined as live organisms that assist with the processing of food. Pribiotics can be beneficial to improve the digestion. Re-establishing of intestinal flora with the probiotics can help to maintain a normal healthy response to allergens.

Danisco® probiotics:

Danisco® is a pribiotic that is used by the people worldwide. It employs patent stabilisation technology ensuring that their pribiotic do not require refrigeration, they can bestable at room temperature. Herbs of Gold chooses several pribiotics on the basis of their ability to survive stomach acid and therefore reach the intestines, where they colonise and adhere to the intestinal wall. These are mentioned below:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14
  • Bifidobacteriumlactis BI-04
  • Lactobacillus plantarum Lp-115
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Boulardii), often known as SB

From all of these pribiotics, SB is fully resistant to antibiotics while others are 50-77% are resistant to antibiotics. Pribiotics majorly helps to improve the better digestion, to build the immunity and resist the infection. 

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