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Alternatives to HRT(3 Posts)
I would love to hear about non-hormonal alternatives that have worked for other people, as I'm still suffering hot flashes. Occasionally when when placed under the least amount of stress, I also experience the physical symptoms of anxiety without being at all anxious or worried. I've learned that this is due to low oestrogen levels.
First, I should say that I've only just discovered the menopause forum and tbh am really disappointed at the tone of a lot of the threads, which end up sounding rather like a visit to my GP (HRT is wonderful, alternatives are not proven, ergo 'they're all in your head dear' - a bit like most of my symptoms, according to the GP. If you take HRT and it is wonderful for you, that's fantastic, but please don't instantly shoot down others, like me, who can't or don't want to take HRT, and would like to know about alternatives, even if they happen to be not 'peer-reviewed'.)
So, these are the few things that have worked so far for me, I found them after scouring many forums on the individual symptoms. (I'm not suggesting they will work for anyone else, please research anything you decide to take carefully, blah blah...)
Very long, very heavy periods - Shepherd's Purse, a herbal tincture. I had a very heavy period that lasted about 4 and a half weeks, for part of which time it was incredibly heavy. The solution my GP suggested was worse than useless. Shepherd's Purse stopped it within a day and I took it on and off for two years to manage my periods.
Digestive problems - Silicol gel has been fantastic. I also take omeprazole (available over the counter as Nexium or 'omeprazole' at Boots) , which was enough for a long time. I started taking Silicol gel when my symptoms got much worse last year and omeprazole wasn't enough.
Full spectrum multivitamin - I started taking a A-Z multivitamin with a lot of micronutrients in and that helped with energy, etc.
I have a feel for what the scientific literature seems to say.
Regular exercise and all the healthy living habits (stop smoking, get to a healthy weight, good sleep hygiene, minimise caffeine, avoid over-dressing) are all known to lead to improvements - with hot flashes especially. Usually leads to Improvement does not mean guaranteed improvement or cure. I can't say whether any of them are as effective on average as HRT, though, I don't know if that comparison research has been done.
There is a lot of research about whether omega3 oils or other OTC anti-inflammatory agents might help... I'm not convinced, but taken with food, moderate doses, they shouldn't hurt, either.
I wouldn't ask for menopause support on MN. Because I wouldn't want to feel hassled if I didn't want to do HRT.
If you google " RCOG (royal college of gynaecologists' alternatives to HRT "there is a link to a leaflet they have produced. It shows what's been tested and what works and what may work.
There are a couple of herbs mentioned as well as things like acupuncture.
Obviously all of these work differently for people so it may or may not help you.
As a by the by I don't think any woman takes HRT lightly. I didn't. I'd tried everything else (bar herbs as they have side effects too) and I'm using HRT not 'only' for hot flushes but for long term protection of other organs and bones in my body because I believe it makes sense for me, given my medical history.
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