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Alternative therapies for menopause.

 Alternative therapies for menopause.

Kass-Annese B.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA.

If a woman does not want to use, or cannot use, hormone replacement therapy, then she must consider other ways to address two issues related to menopause: reducing her risk of developing cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and other health problems that increase as women age, and symptomatology.

Risk reduction of an array of health problems can be achieved through diet, exercise, and stress management. The nutraceuticals of specific vitamins, minerals, phytoestrogens, and essential fatty acid supplementations are a vital component of the risk reduction health program. Risk reduction of osteoporosis can be enhanced specifically through the use of ipriflavone and a comprehensive "bone building" vitamin and mineral program.

Control of homocysteine levels for prevention of CAD, osteoporosis, and other health problems can be accomplished through B vitamin supplementation. The same interventions for risk reduction also may prove to be effective in prevention and treatment of menopausal-related symptoms, particularly when the B vitamins, magnesium, isoflavones, and essential fatty acids are used. If lifestyle interventions and nutraceuticals do not adequately address symptomatology, however, a woman has several alternative therapies from which to choose.

There are numerous excellent multiherbal and homeopathic therapies that can be purchased over the counter. A woman also can choose to be evaluated by an alternative therapy practitioner and have a program designed specifically for her health needs. Although there has been limited clinical research of herbal and homeopathic alternative therapies for the menopause, when taken according to directions and if no contraindications exist, they have the potential for being extremely effective and safe options

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