If you are beginning to experience the symptoms of menopause, then you may be interested in learning more about alternatives to conventional therapies. Chiropractic care is one option to consider.
This article will explore some of the basics of menopause as well as some of the research that shows that the use of alternative therapies for menopause symptoms is on the rise, largely a result of concerns about the dangers that Hormone Replacement Therapy. Finally, we will explore some of the reasons why so many women are turning to Chiropractic care for their wellness needs post menopause.
Menopause: Causes and Symptoms
Although the modern medical establishment tends to treat menopause like it is a disease, it is in fact a natural part of the aging process for all women. The standard diagnosis of menopause is when a woman has gone at least 12 months without a menstrual cycle. Although the average age of onset is 51, some women experience menopause much earlier or later.
Symptoms are very different from person to person. They can be mild to serious, in some cases affecting your quality of life. Typical symptoms may include:
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Vaginal dryness and/or itchiness or pain
- Changes in sleep, mood, weight
- Dry and/or itchy skin
The cause of menopause is your body winding down your fertility rhythm. Over time your ovaries will produce less of estrogen and progesterone, both of which regulate the menstrual cycle. Once your body stops producing eggs all together, you will no longer have a period.
If you have a total hysterectomy, that is if both your uterus and ovaries are removed, then you will likely experience menopause symptoms.
Despite the fact that menopause is not in and of itself a disease, it does trigger changes in the body that raise the risk for other conditions that can be a threat to your health and quality of life, including:
- Osteoporosis – A rapid loss of bone density that can lead to an increase in bone fractures.
- Cardiovascular disease – A once healthy heart can rapidly deteriorate if you don’t start watching diet and exercise.
- Incontinence and Urinary Tract Infections – Changes in the vagina and urethra can cause an increase in these conditions.
- Sexual Dysfunction – Decreased natural lubrication as well as sensitivity can lead to a decreased desire and/or pleasure in sexual activity.
- Depression and/or anxiety – Changes in mood can be a part of going through menopause for some women.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was once widely considered a safe treatment practice for women experiencing menopause. In fairness, there are benefits to replacing these hormones, including:
- Reduced hot flashes
- Improvement in vaginal dryness and discomfort
- Decrease in rate of bone loss
However, recent large scale clinical studies have also revealed serious side effects from HRT. HRT has become associated with significantly increased risk for:
According to the Mayo Clinic, women who go through menopause before age 40 or those who are experiencing bone loss that is not responsive to other therapies are the ones that may benefit the most from HRT. On the other hand, for healthy women who have menopause after age 45, the benefits of HRT may not be worth the risks.
Instead, it may be time to consider some alternatives to traditional menopause treatments. Before you start HRT, do some research and consult with a chiropractor. There are natural treatments for the symptoms of menopause that provide effective relief and overall wellness in many cases.
Natural Relief from Menopause Symptoms
Think that alternative medicine such as chiropractic care isn’t a good fit for menopause related therapy? Read on because the numbers may actually surprise you.
In fact, a 2007 study confirmed that as many as 45% of women aged 45-57 years use some form of alternative medicine. And, perhaps even more surprising to some is that the same study showed that women with menopausal symptoms were twice as likely to use holistic wellness services such as chiropractic care.
And, a survey of 886 women, 29.5% of whom used chiropractic care, showed that between 89-100% of those seeking alternative therapies for menopause found them to be helpful at relieving symptoms. Many of these women had a family history of breast cancer, likely choosing alternative therapies because of concerns that HRT might raise their risk for this deadly form of cancer.
In addition to seeking alternative forms of holistic medical care, increasing numbers of women have found natural herbs and supplements to be helpful in relieving symptoms. Some of these supplements have even been shown to be effective through research.
For example, some women have found Black Cohosh to be helpful for both sleep and hot flashes. Others have turned to St. John’s Wort for mood changes such as depression. Soy and several other foods have natural plant based estrogens which many women have found helpful in terms of relieving symptoms related to the natural decline in their own reproductive hormones.
It turns out that women have been using alternative therapies, such as upper cervical care, to alleviate the symptoms of menopause at fairly high rates. And, many have found such treatments to be helpful, without the risks that come with pharmaceutical drugs.
Upper Cervical Care of Glen Carbon
If you or someone you know is going through menopause or peri-menopause, consider booking a free consultation with an Upper Cervical Care Chiropractor.
If you live in the Greater St. Louis or Glen Carbon area, give our practice a call at 618-692-6992. Our Dr.s Thad Vuagniaux Matt Strazewski will take a detailed history to assess your health needs from a holistic perspective. They can answer your questions about natural alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy.
In addition, you may find that some symptoms, such as insomnia, pain, migraines or digestive problems may actually be related to your spinal health rather than menopause. This is particularly true of the top two vertebrae found at the base of the skull. These delicate bones protect the brain stem, a critical area for the central nervous system.
Even if you are healthy and in great shape, these vertebrae can become misaligned with age. Even very minor displacements can cause a wide range of symptoms that improve with a gentle correction.
You may be a gentle correction away from natural relief!