Naturopathic Doctors have as part of their tools for treatment access to Bio-identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) through specialty compounding pharmacies. This prescription access allows NDs to successfully treat even the most resistant menopausal symptoms such as vaginal atrophy and hot flashes.
Our Doctors always treat hot flashes with a complete integrated approach. Dietary factors can be triggers (caffeine) or assist in the reduction (flax, soy) of hot flashes. Exercise has been shown to reduce the severity of hot flashes, and examining the stress response can decrease the total number of hot flashes in a day. Herbs, when chosen with care, can also reduce hot flashes in many women.
Treatment-resistant hot flashes however, may require support that goes above and beyond what we can accomplish with diet and lifestyle measures. BHRT is a safe and effective treatment option after lifestyle measures have failed, when hormone levels are found to be significantly low on blood work, or when quality of life is severely impacted by lack of sleep. HRT in the past often focused on estrogen only (Equine estrogen from horses) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). In a large study following 1000s of women, there was about a 1% increased risk of cancer and adverse events in women using these hormones. In contrast, BHRT uses identical hormones to your natural hormones, and appear to cause less increase in cancer-causing estrogens and blood clots as seen with equine estrogen and MPA.
Bioidentical progesterone has been studied on its own for the treatment of hot flashes and loss of sleep due to menopause with very promising effect and safety. Taken at bedtime, progesterone improves anxiety, reduces hot flashes and increases good-quality sleep patterns when taken for as little as 4 weeks. Women who take progesterone short term continue to see benefits for months after discontinuing, especially when combined with other lifestyle measures for menopause.
Naturopathic Doctors are the experts in your hormonal symptoms. Have your hormone levels checked and your case taken to determine which treatments would best manage your symptoms.
Progesterone for hot flush and night sweat treatment–effectiveness for severe vasomotor symptoms and lack of withdrawal rebound. Prior JC, Hitchcock CL. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Oct;28 Suppl 2:7-11. Epub 2012 Aug 1. PubMed [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][citation]PMID: 22849758
Oral micronized progesterone for vasomotor symptoms–a placebo-controlled randomized trial in healthy postmenopausal women. Hitchcock CL, Prior JC. Menopause. 2012 Aug;19(8):886-93. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e318247f07a. PubMed [citation]PMID: 22453200