Almost more than any other medical subject, the topic of Menopause is full of misinformation.
Dr. Silvina Levis, director of the Osteoporosis Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researched the effects of soy, long believed to be a well-spring of bio-identical isoflavones, or plant-based estrogen.
But the controlled study found that the bean extract does nothing to alleviate the symptoms.
Not only soy, but flaxseed too was found to be ineffective for relief of Menopausal symptoms according to the Mayo institute.
The researchers found that in both groups, a third of the women reported a 50% decrease in hot flashes — which indicates that flaxseed works no better than a placebo and that hot flashes decreased with time.
The most common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, loss of libido and vaginal dryness.
What can you do to help the transition?
A SignatureMD concierge physician can take a complete medical history, administer an executive exam and analyze a full blood panel to determine where his patient is hormonally. This allows a personalized safe plan of action to beat the symptoms and restore normal function and improve overall well-being.
The process of menopause takes years, and it is important to invest in a personalized healthcare plan that monitors these subtle changes that can be uncomfortable at times.
And of course, exercise may be THE key in dealing with menopause, as studies show it can reduce hot flashes, insomnia, depression, normalize estrogen, prevent osteoporosis, improve mood and prevent cardiovascular disease (Preventive Medicine 1995, Maturitis 1995, Circulation 1999)
Most concierge physicians approach these changes with a whole body plan of action: Exercise, hormone therapy in extreme cases of Menopausal symptoms, antidepressants, yoga and acupuncture are some of the paths to relief. Many doctors are examining the benefits of bio-identical hormone replacements, though the benefits are more hearsay and hype than scientifically proven to be efficacious.
To protect against bone loss, women should make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D, get regular weight-bearing exercise and refrain from smoking or overindulging in alcohol. Taking bisphosphonates can also help maintain bone mass. Many women report that giving up coffee and dairy products can be helpful too.
Your concierge physician can keep you updated on any alternative menopause therapies that are found to be effective.
But each woman will experience this process differently, and the notion that there is a one-size-fits-all therapy is not correct, but working with their SignatureMD doctor to examine all options is the best plan to sail through these transitional years.