The Baby Boomers' Menopause Handbook
Making Your Own Choices through the Other End of Puberty
By Carolyn Agosta
Published by CA Publishing, Ink,
Menopause is a time of shifting and diminishing hormones. Because of the food you eat, the environment in which you live, the amount of stress in your life, heredity, your hormones may be out of balance. Simply picking up a prescription from your doctor does not resolve anything…in fact this can complicate your life.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you are dried up or useless or finished. This is as far from the truth (and reality) as it can be. Menopause is not a disease! It is a phase in a woman’s life marking the cessation of periods and the beginning of a wonderful new life. Simply replacing estrogen (and adding progesterone because the FDA and AMA say you need to do so) is not the answer. Menopause is a time of learning for women: learning about your body, what your body needs, and understanding the messages it gives you. It can be a tremendous time of healing.
While my book provides much more detail, here are supplements that can help your body gently make the hormones it needs.
- GLA, contained in evening primrose, flax seed oil, borage oil, and black currant
oil, may be obtained from your local vitamin or health store. Take 1-7 per day of 325 mg GLA. There is no known toxicity and it can be taken away from food.
- Vitamin E can also help immensely. Be sure to buy a good quality E with mixed
tocopherals that has no fillers, i.e. Sugars, wheat, gluten, soy, corn, starch. Take with food. Note that E is a natural blood thinner and can be toxic. Up to 2400 mg is the maximum per day.
- Vitamin C is great - your body flushes out excess C. Take 1-3 grams per day. Again
watch for fillers. Ester C is much more digestible and it's a good idea to take it with food. Note that C is also a natural blood thinner.
- Geranium and clary sage oils are excellent for hormone balancing. Rub them on
your body, bathe in them. There are no dose recommendations and no known toxicity when used externally. (Women’s Harmony Blend by Jurlique is excellent.) When choosing an oil, ask to smell a sample of it. Compare different oils. Your nose knows the difference.
- Wild Yam Cream is more controversial among medical doctors. The issue is whether or not your body can make its own progesterone with wild yam cream (a precursor to progesterone). It’s believed by allopathic doctors that wild yam must be chemically processed to make it into progesterone to become useable by your body. That said, I can tell you dozens of stories about women who swear by wild yam cream (including my M.D.) and who have found it tremendously helpful in alleviating symptoms of menopause. (I am one of those women.)
- Hormone Replacement Therapy can be a choice. I recommend that it is not your first
choice. When taking a pill remember that it is processed through your liver – this is one of the problems with any kind of pill. One needs to consider the effect a pill, of any kind, has on your entire being. If you choose HRT, ask your doctor for a troche – which is placed under your tongue, dissolves slowly (in about 15 minutes). It's absorbed through the tissue in your mouth. With a troche, there is very little interaction with your liver. In addition, a troche is made at a compounding pharmacy; it can be designed just for your body. Many doctors do not use compounding pharmacies, do not know about them, don't want to take the time to design something just for one patient, and you will need to educate them. Two compounding pharmacies that I know of are: Reed’s in Tucson, AZ and Dollar in Santa Rosa, CA. Both take credit cards and will ship your order within 48 hours. And there are hundreds more around the country.
October 28, 2003