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A Holistic Approach To Hormone Replacement Therapy

There's a common misconception that once you begin menopause, you either replace your hormones, or you go without and endure things on your own. But the reality is you have more than just these two options. There are a lot of approaches that fall somewhere in between full, artificial hormone replacement and letting nature run its course. One such approach, which women are increasingly opting to take, is holistic hormone replacement.

With this approach, you do replace some of your hormones, but you do so in a way that supports your whole body, is a bit more natural, and incorporates other non-pharmaceutical treatments. So, what might a holistic approach to hormone replacement look like? 

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

If you choose a holistic approach to hormone replacement, then your doctor will likely prescribe bioidentical hormone supplements for you to take. These are hormones that have been designed to be exactly like the ones your body produces naturally. They are not equine hormones or synthetic plant hormones. Your body cannot tell the difference between bioidentical hormones and your actual hormones, which means it reacts to bioidentical hormones very predictably with fewer side effects. 

Depending on the nature of your symptoms, your overall health, and whether you've had a hysterectomy, your doctor may prescribe you either only bioidentical estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone.

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes are also often a part of holistic hormone replacement therapy. Your practitioner may recommend that you avoid certain foods that are known to be high in hormones, such as soy-based proteins. They may also recommend eating more foods that are high in iron and calcium. Doing so can help prevent brittle bones and low energy levels, which are two of the most common symptoms of menopause. By taking in more of these nutrients, you may be able to get away with taking lower doses of supplemental hormones.

Herbal Supplements

Your practitioner may also recommend taking certain herbal supplements as a part of your holistic approach. Sometimes, these supplements may be used in place of bioidentical hormones. Other times, they may be used in addition to bioidentical hormones so you can keep your dose of hormones lower. Common herbal supplements prescribed in menopause include black cohosh and raspberry leaves. Both are known to help with symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

Taking a more holistic approach is a good way to ensure your body tolerates hormone replacement well. Contact a company like Southern Integrative & Environmental Medical to learn more.