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Do herbal sups really make a difference

(33 Posts)
80sWaistcoat Mon 23-Nov-15 08:26:22

Just spent a fortune topping up on meno pace and Angus castus. (3 for 2 at boots) . I'm not sure how much difference they really make or if I'm just desperate to think they are. After trying AC on gps advice for The Rage, I think it's less bad than it was. Night sweats have come back though but how much worse would it be without meno pace?

Also on qlaira to manage cycle....

PollyPerky Mon 23-Nov-15 09:17:13

There is no scientific research showing any of this stuff works, except something on black cohosh.There's also some research showing acupuncture can help with moods. Are you able to consider HRT?

80sWaistcoat Mon 23-Nov-15 10:09:41

I've got nothing against HRT and can take it, but I tried it and found I got quite depressed. So switched to Qlaira, my mood is better and it manages the constant bleeding I was getting. GP says I can stay on that till I'm 40 (4 years) if I want = but can try HRT again if I feel its not working for me.

The supplements are really just supplementing that - I did wonder though if there was any scientific backing to it...

PollyPerky Mon 23-Nov-15 10:13:40

If you are only 36 now what have you been diagnosed as having? early meno?

80sWaistcoat Mon 23-Nov-15 11:00:26

50! not 40....

Just perimenopause.

opioneers Mon 23-Nov-15 11:06:46

Menopace plus really does work for me against the night sweats. If I miss two or three days they come back.

lorrainescottydog Tue 24-Nov-15 08:46:52

Lots of people find herbal therapies and other alternatives work well. I often check the ingredients, and then find a cheaper alternative.

The problem with finding scientific backing for 'alternatives' is that the alternative medicines industry doesn't have the billions that pharmaceutical companies has to do trials. One leading specialist did do a very small trial on one product, but the cost was only £100,000 (not out of his own pocket wink) and that's pocket change in research terms. Seeing as the guy makes a fortune from his private patients you wouldn't expect him to find in favour of an over the counter solution anyway. smile

Every day law suits are brought against pharmaceutical companies, over damage done by prescription drugs that did have scientific backing, not to mention the law suits that are settled behind closed doors. wink

Plus, you know pretty soon if something is helping or not, whereas if the hrt doesn't help you are often advised to try another and another and another. How long does that take? Also, the person who says they are a menopausal lady offering hrt advice could actually be a 6ft part time plumber called Dave. grin

I used a bedside fan, cooler bedding, and magnesium for night sweats. Now that's all over I sleep about 8 hours, but still use the fan if it's warm.

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 24-Nov-15 08:51:31

Don't know if it helps but I am vegan and I sailed through the menopause. I don't think it is anything to do with genetics as dm and other female meat eating relatives struggled horrendously. As anecdotal evidence I only know 1 other post menopausal woman and she like me had very few symptoms but all of my meat eating friends are struggling.

PollyPerky Tue 24-Nov-15 09:51:24

The problem with finding scientific backing for 'alternatives' is that the alternative medicines industry doesn't have the billions that pharmaceutical companies has to do trials.

Wow- talk about making claims for something and casting aspersions on medical professionals.

One of the largest companies making vitamins and supplements is Seven Seas. They are owned by the pharma giant Merck. I am sure at one point they were owned by Imperial Tobacco- about 35 years ago. So to say they don't have money for research....

Is it helpful (and legal?) to imply that a professor (Studd- we all know who you mean) was fiddling research on progesterone cream to find something that was in his own favour as a consultant? And then the National Osteoporosis Society published their own statement saying there was no evidence at all that OTC progesterone cream helped bone density.

Not sure which menopausal ladies are offering 'HRT advice', because the information I give is backed up by links to relevant mainstream information, and the suggestion to talk to the dr or ask to be referred. There are ladies offering advice on unproven and costly 'alternatives'.

Branleuse Tue 24-Nov-15 09:59:04

im not menopausal yet, but agnus castus has been great for regulating my hormones - to the point where id say it has been a lifechanger. I was able to reduce and come off antidepressants finally.

I think black cohosh is supposed to be better for menopause though?

misscph1973 Tue 24-Nov-15 10:02:12

Herbal supplemets can make a difference, but you need to know what you are doing. What strength is your Agnus Cactus? What are your symptoms, you mention the Rage and night sweats?

I am 42 and I am peri menopausal. I read Sarah Gottfried's The Hormone Cure and on my GPs advice I started taking St John's Wort + I added Agnus Cactus, Vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium (from the Hormone Cure). I also started a yoga class, hired a cleaner and had the big talk with DH (well, shouted at him for a couple of weeks untill he got the message). 3 monhths later and I am doing much better, although I am not out of the woods yet.

You need to combine the herbal supplements with life changes. I was really stressed, didn't sleep well and got terrible PMS (rage, anger, depression). I found that my daily life was causing me stress. I can't really afford the cleaner, but it so worth in what it has done for my sanity, my marriage and my relationship to my kids - and also my work, I get so much more done now (I'm self-employed), so I feel that the cleaner is a worth while investment. Work out what YOU need to do to make a positive change for your life style, and find out what herbal supplements can support these changes.

80sWaistcoat Tue 24-Nov-15 10:08:35

Got the cleaner already - best decision ever!

The agnus castus is quite possibly making a difference as is being on the pill. I've had a couple of months without appalling PMT which is good.

I'm taking promensil on the grounds its probably better than nothing, but am wondering about Black Cohosh instead. The night sweats still happen but not every night.

The pill is controlling the bleeding which is good. I'm far less anxious. I've got the energy to go back to pilates and yoga which I enjoy and I'm starting running again as I know exercise helps.

80sWaistcoat Tue 24-Nov-15 10:33:29

I think I'm wondering if I stopped taking them all - would I notice a difference - not sure I'm prepared to take the risk!

I do think herbal supplements can make a difference - and having the right diet, relaxation everything is all v important. Just trying to work out the right balance for me.

St John's Wort had a weird effect on me when I took it a few years ago - during what I now recognise was hormonal related depression.

PollyPerky Tue 24-Nov-15 10:42:47

My consultant favours an integrated approach and is more than happy - in fact it's his specialism- to suggest complementary treatments to women who don't want HRT, but is equally happy to write a prescription for HRT if they can't use herbal supplements for any reason, depending on each woman's unique medical history and preferences. I'd tried all lifestyle measures before starting HRT and I had other health issues which are helped by HRT.

You will never know if you are experiencing the placebo effect or if your symptoms would wax and wane anyway . Some herbs etc help women but the actual research is contradictory. You can't always mix them - St John's Wort is a classic example of a herb that cannot be taken safely with other medicines or some herbs. Black cohosh was linked to liver disease at one point. Dong Quai (Chinese herb) has supposedly been shown to help menopausal symptoms. But just like prescribed medicines I think the best results from any of this come from seeing a qualified practitioner, not buying over the counter.

lljkk Tue 24-Nov-15 10:49:51

Friend swears by having some soya daily because it mimics oestrogen chemically. I dunno but worth a try?

misscph1973 Tue 24-Nov-15 12:03:59

Well, it sounds like you have the lifestyle issues sorted, 80s. How is your diet?

Have you tried Evenng Primrose oil? A good vitamin B complex might also be good.

Also, I have heard that silk duvets are really soothing and cooling for night sweats. Apparently they are not as expensive as they might sound.

Polly I researched St John's Wort extensively before I started taking it, so I am quite surprised to hear that it is " a classic example of a herb that cannot be taken safely with other medicines or some herbs" - can you link to any reliable sources?

PollyPerky Tue 24-Nov-15 12:25:33

You will find that SJW is contraindicated when taking prescribed medicines and some OTC medicines and supplements. Here are some links- there are more but don't have time to find.

umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb-interaction/possible-interactions-with-st-johns-wort

www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20439590_6,00.html

www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/st-john-s-wort.html

misscph1973 Tue 24-Nov-15 16:46:57

Thanks, Polly. I don't take any medications, so I'm fine, but it's worth knowing - I would never have thought that a herbal supplement would be problematic with other medicines. Interesting that it can also make some medicines work better!

VulcanWoman Tue 24-Nov-15 16:59:32

I get the Meno pase ones, 3 months worth for £8.38 in Boots, I know they do more expensive ones but I'm just giving these a go to hopefully get all the vits I need anyway. Probably wasting my time.

Whatevva Tue 24-Nov-15 17:35:37

You shouldn't take St Johns Wort with the pill.

I had bleeding between periods on the pill - doctor unconcerned - had swabs done - and eventually it stopped.

Later, a study came out saying that it changed the enzymes in the liver, so that the hormones in the pill were being removed more quickly. Therefore it would appear my pills were not working properly which was why I was bleeding between periods. hmm. And now this is recognised as a sign that the contraceptive effect is being lost hmm. Fortunately, no extra little Whatevvas [phew]

I would imagine it is the same with any hormone pills - they will not be working properly.

lorrainescottydog Tue 24-Nov-15 17:49:56

The advice about the lifestyle changes is so true.

De-stressing your life as much as possible is a big help. Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and meditation are very popular activities. I walk a lot, as load bearing exercise is good for the bones.

Funnily enough, I also find exercise is great for lifting your mood (even when you're shattered). smile

PollyPerky Tue 24-Nov-15 18:33:29

That was lucky Whatevva smile

Here is the list from the link I left- moderate interactions..

www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/st-john-s-wort-index.html?filter=3&generic_only=

VulcanWoman Tue 24-Nov-15 18:41:37

Giving up coffee an alcohol seemed to have help with my palpitations.

VulcanWoman Tue 24-Nov-15 18:42:20

Also I do a good bit of walking.

Toria2014 Wed 25-Nov-15 09:28:49

I have recently started seeing a medical herbalist. Its still early days but she seems to know what she is talking about.

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