HRT , risk or benefit?

Blossom through menopauseHRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy has come under fire again. This ‘magic pill’ to stop those annoying hot flushes and reduce bone loss in menopausal women has been around for much longer than most people realise. The first experimental oral forms date back to the late 1930’s but in the sixties, after many concerns, new dosages were established, and further adapted over the years.

This time, research shows that it may increase the risk for breast and uterine cancer. In late 1999 there was a similar scare; it was concluded that HRT may play risk in heart attacks and blood clots. Of course, this creates a feeling of panic for women who have been prescribed HRT. It leaves them with the choice of stopping, and facing up to the symptoms of menopause again, or continue taking it, and being at possible risk. Hard decisions to make.

Menopause is regarded as a disease by the medical world. That’s why they have invented a pharmaceutical for it. In traditional cultures a menopausal woman is revered, and viewed as a woman of wisdom who deserves to be cherished. Often, these elders are the advice givers to the younger generation. Menopause is treated with herbs,  ‘sweat lodges’, and local remedies and is accepted as a normal stage of life. This is the time where a woman can sit back and reflect on her years as a mother or worker, this is the time where she can have a rest from all her hard work during her life, and ‘smell the roses’.

However, in our modern Western world we have no time for hot flushes. Women of any age going through menopause are often still working and you can’t have hot flushes in your office or job. It’s embarrassing, inconvenient and frustrating. With women generally opting for having children at a later age it may well be that a woman is not only dealing with hot flushes but teenage temperaments too. Or she may be going through a divorce, be made redundant and so forth…life is not traditional anymore and the answer for many menopausal women is HRT. And now the worry about it.

Menopause is not a disease. It is a phase of life. It causes symptoms, just like any other age change. (Remember those pimples you had as a teenager?) The symptoms vary per woman, and natural treatments can help ease them or even totally eradicate them. Some women find relief with herbal ‘over-the-counter tablets sold in pharmacies and health food stores. Responses vary per woman. Why do the tablets that work for your friend not work for you? This is linked to many factors. Your genetics, whether you’ve had children, and how many, your diet, your weight, your general health…these are all influencing factors when it comes to determining what works.

To get the best possible help and the right products tailored to your specific needs and symptoms, invest in a consult. It will be worth it and give you an  effective, safe and graceful solution to your menopausal issues. You’ll feel so much better for it, and you’ll work on long term health as well. Be smart, see a naturopath with special experience in the field: pick a mature aged female practitioner and you’re guaranteed to find a solution, compassion and support to help you ease through  this time in a healthy and happy way.

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