I hold my degree in pharmacy, as well as a background, and training in the use of supplements.
Balancing Hormones the Natural Way
Natural Treatment for Menopause, PMS, Insomnia, Anxiety, and Nervous Depression.
At the age of 40, I was suffering from night sweats, insomnia, and mood swings . I went to numerous doctors, took premarin (which is mares urine by the way), suffered panic attacks, racing heart beat, and actually felt worse then when they started medicating me. Every time, they just pushed another pill, for another side affect. Until I had, had enough, and went on a quest for knowledge, and understanding.
After being up all night, listening to everyone else snoring. A house full of males, with very little compassion for my plight, I started to research the subject. As my menopause was severe, due to a tubal ligation. Which, the doctors did not tell me, would throw me into early menopause. Nor did they stumble to it, just threw a pill at me, and collected a copay. Tubal ligation, and vasectomy, do have consequences. The procedures do disrupt hormone supply to the rest of the body systems.
These are all natural treatments for menopause, and PMS, with very few side effects: Cycle through these supplements until you find relief. Some will only need the cream, others may need all of the supplements. Each person is an individual, with different needs.
Menopause Soy isoflavones: 125-250mg per day, converts to estrogen in the body, but will not overstimulate the estrogen receptors, which causes cancer. Synthetic hormones.
Wild Yam: 275-550mg per day, converts to progesterone in the body.
Always take both, because you do not want to unbalance these two hormones. Natural medicine is about balance.
Phyto Estrogen cream. Contains much of the supplements listed for hormone imbalances. This cream provides both Estrogen, and progesterone in a cream.
Flax seed, or Fish Oil: Helps to balance hormone levels. 1000-2000mg daily. Flax seed oil helps to balance hormones, whereas Fish oil helps to Balance brain function.
PMS, and Andopause
Progesterone cream: 1/4-1/2 tsp applied to thin skin, as needed, for up to six times daily. For PMS. Alternate areas of application: such as the neck, inner thighs, breasts, and wrists. Males can use this supplement for male menopause, or andropause. Younger women, can use for PMS, combined with oral flax seed oil, it also helps to balance hormones. PMS, is caused by the opposite reason, as menopause, estrogen levels are too high. Progesterone cream, may be used to balance this problem. Derived from wild yam, no not yams in a can.
Flax seed, or Fish Oil: Helps to balance hormone levels. 1000-2000mg daily. Flax seed helps to Balance hormones, whereas Fish oil balances brain function.
Other Recommendations For Menopause
I have also used Black Cohosh liquid, on occasion. Found it not to be as effective as the topical cream. One drop under the tongue, two times a day.
The following supplements are natural treatments for insomnia. Do not take sleeping pills, as they are very addictive. Unless very severe, only you, and your doctor can decide.
Melatonin 5-10mg, and no, 3mg isn't enough. You can take up to 20mg if needed. Take this supplement two hours before bedtime. For faster relief, you can take quick dissolve, but it contains aspartame, which many people are allergic to. A way around this is to chew the pill, the effects will manifest within twenty to thirty minutes. Start with the lowest effective dose, increase accordingly, until desired effect is reached. You should awaken refreshed, not groggy. Adjust the dosage accordingly. Melatonin, is produced from tryptophan. We produce melatonin naturally, when darkness falls. As we age, production is decreased, whether due to diet, or because we don't utilize nutrients as effectively. Insomnia, has been linked to a B-6 deficiency, and the use of aspirin. The co-factor, B-6, is required to produce serotonin, thus a deficiency would result in insomnia. Stress depletes B complex vitamins.
***Note: DO NOT give children or teens melatonin. Numerous reports of overdose in children have come to light. If your child suffers from insomnia, seek medical advice. There can be an underlying medical cause. Which can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
Other supplements for insomnia include the following:
Calcium 1000mg, and magnesium 400mg at bedtime. Usually sold as a combination supplement. Take with a fat, or it will not be absorbed, such as a small amount of milk, or peanut butter. These supplements, are very relaxing to the central nervous system. Thereby calming the brain, when your day, or stress won't "go away". Also, will relieve acid reflux, chew one tablet at the first sign.
Foods high in tryptophan include: oats, brown rice, chicken, turkey, peanuts, and dairy products. Eaten at bedtime, will help with insomnia.
Tryptophan 500mg at bedtime. Do not combine with other SSRI's, St. John's wart, melatonin, or 5htp.
The drugs that deplete melatonin, taken long term, include: acid blockers, analgesics, antacids, SSRI's, antihistamines, blood thinners, and those for blood pressure.
How ironic is it, that insomnia is one of the side affects of SSRI's? As is anxiety?
For anxiety: GABA. mine was so severe they had me on Xanax, again very addictive. It only worked for about two weeks, then they had to up the dose. How about solving the problem, not making it worse. Anxiety is normal, while going through menopause. It is caused by dropping estrogen levels. Can also be caused from hypoglycemia. (see my article on IBS) This condition can unmask itself, if you are already predisposed, during menopause.
GABA- gamma-aminobutyric acid as directed on the label. Another amino acid, derived from protein, specifically, L-glutamine. Available through the Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon.com. Do not take with Xanax, but will help with withdrawals, if you are taking this useless drug. This drug is very addictive, depending upon how long, and the amount of milligrams taken. The higher the amount, the stronger the addiction. Usually, above two milligrams per day.
If, like me, they also put you on a anti-depressant, there are other alternatives to these pills of poison. Before it was all over I was suffering from seizures, which stopped after I got off of all the meds, so what does that tell you? They prescribe these meds like candy.
Tryptophan 500mg at bedtime. Do not combine with any anti depressant, melatonin, MOAI, or SSRI. Tryptophan is the only substance that actually produces serotonin. SSRI's only refire existing serotonin. If there is no serotonin to refire, then how could that help? Tryptophan is the amino acid contained in turkey, and why you become sleepy, and relaxed at Thanksgiving. Amino acids are the building blocks of all proteins. It is present in brown rice, turkey, and milk. This is why warm milk, at bedtime, helps with insomnia.
Do not take along with an SSRI, as this can cause serotonin syndrome. Do not combine with a MAO inhibitor, 5HTP, or saint johns wart. Quit taking SSRI for three days, and start Tryptophan. You will see insomnia slowly subside. Available through Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon.com or Health Recovery.com. Another wonderful Doctor, who runs a clinic in Minneapolis. Her book is Depression Free Naturally, by Joan Mathews Larson, and available through her website, or Amazon.com. There is a wealth of information in this exceptional book, not just depression, among the many topics discussed. Consult your physician before stopping your SSRI, never quit cold turkey. You are to taper off slowly, to minimize withdrawals, if they refuse to work with you, then it's time to find a new doctor.
A wonderful concoction to sip at bedtime: Mix a 1 tsp. of dried sage (available in the spice section of any grocery store) with a cup of hot water. If you have a history of seizures, do not take sage. Sage raises your estrogen levels, and has a calming effect on brain waves. Your hormones drop out at night, so its best to drink before bedtime. Pecans, also raise estrogen levels, keep a bowl of them at your desk, or table. They contain omega oils, the good fat your body craves. Chocolate, also raises estrogen levels, which is why we crave it when we are in PMS. Again, due to unbalanced hormone levels, not because he didn't take out the garbage.
Be wary of Herbal Medicines, as they are not for everyone. If you are allergic to pollen, I wouldn't take any herbal preparation, as most are derived from flowers. Chamomile especially, which could easily cause a problem, if say you have hay fever. Licorice raises blood pressure, so if you already have high blood pressure this could also pose a problem. (For alternative supplements see my article on high blood pressure)
If I would have continued on the road I was on, I would not have lived to see my oldest son graduate, and get married, or see my youngest grow to be a fine young man.
If you, or a loved one are addicted to alcohol, or drugs, be they street or prescription:
Dr. Joan Mathews Larson, has a hotline, and will work with you to get the right supplements for your certain situation. No, you are not weak, and no it's not a punishment from God. You are an individual, who just need the right information. What works for one person, may not work for you. Her Hotline is: 1-800-24-Sober. She operates a clinic in Minneapolis, Health Recovery Centers, devoted to helping people overcome their addictions, hormonal problems, and chemical glitches.
Holistic medicine is about balance. Life style, Heritage, environment, and nutrition.
Product Recommendations for Menopause
Symptoms of Menopause:
|Symptoms Vary By Person|
Symptoms of Depression
|Symptoms Vary by Person|
withdrawal from activity
feelings of helplessness
lack of motivation
sleeping too much
an "i don't care" attitude
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
|Symptoms Vary By Person|
Recommended Supplement for PMS, or Andro pause. (Male menopause)
Dr T on Osteoporosis, and Premarin, a synthetic hormone commonly used in the treatment of menopause
New information about Depression
Women Produce 30% less serotonin than men. Researchers don't know if it's hormones, or the lack of protein in our diet. That is why we are more prone to depression than men. This may also be why we crave carbs, and gain weight. Many carbohydrates in there whole form contain trytophan, and due to our over processed food supply, we are not getting what we need. Through over processing, tryptophan has been removed. Choose food in it's natural state. Tryptophan is present in brown rice, whole grain bread, and pasta, turkey, and chicken.
From Pub Med.Gov
Tryptophan and 5‐Hydroxytryptophan for depression
First published: January 21, 2002; This version published: 2009; Review content assessed as up-to-date: February 11, 2008.
Plain language summary
5‐HTP (Hydroxytryptophan) and tryptophan have been examined to see whether these treatments are effective, safe and acceptable in treating unipolar depression in adults. The researchers reported that the symptoms of depression decreased when 5‐HTP and tryptophan were compared to a placebo (non‐drug). However, side effects had occurred (dizziness, nausea and diarrhoea).
My Regime for Menopause
I have utilized many of the supplements, and Protocol mentioned in my articles, in the treatment of Lupus. An auto immune disease, that affects many systems, including hormones. I contracted the condition 20 years ago, after an allergic reaction to Augmentin. Prescribed for a severe sore throat, three antibiotics in one pill.
Among the most effective for me was magnesium, D3, and flax seed oil. D3 acts as a hormone in the body, and regulates immune function. Magnesium to ease pain, and muscle spasms. D3 to calm the immune system. Flaxseed oil, to help regulate hormones, and clear brain fog. Olive leaf, and grapefruit seed extract, as an anti infective. Cycling through each, one month at a time. Do not take both, as it is too strong. Choose 1 for each month. Taken for as long as infection is present. I ran a low grade fever for two years. A sign of infection.
Juicing was also beneficial, with fresh fruits, and vegetables. Adding more protein with yogurt, nuts, and seeds.
GABA, for anxiety, as needed.
There is no cure for Lupus, mine is currently in remission. I have experienced flares, when I don't take care of myself, but never as bad as the initial phase. I still maintain a basic supplement plan. A multi vitamin, no iron, D3, B12, and curcumin, as needed for pain. Sage tea if I have had a stressful day, very calming, helps with insomnia.
Report Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs
Always Check for interactions before starting any Supplements, or therapy
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 Sherrie Gill
Sherrie Gill (author) from Hobart, In on August 25, 2012:
I just recently recommended L-Glutamine for esophageal problems, difficulty swallowing, and ulcer, results where seen in 3 days.