10 Feb How to Stop Hot Flashes Naturally during Menopause with Phytoestrogens
For many decades in the past, doctors looked at estrogen as the treatment of choice for women entering their menopausal years for the management of hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and the other symptoms of menopause. As a natural menopause coach, it is important for me to teach women how to stop hot flashes naturally during menopause with phytoestrogens so that they don’t have to go down the HRT road unless absolutely necessary because of its dangers and side effects.
Therefore researchers began to look at the effectiveness of phytoestrogens in the treatment of the symptoms of menopause.
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. There are several types of plants that have phytoestrogens in them, including all soy-related plants and the foods that come from them. There are also herbal products that contain phytoestrogens.
Research Reports on Phytoestrogens
Research studies have been looked at to see if women given phytoestrogens could have a resolution of their symptoms when given these products instead of traditional hormone therapy.
The studies all lasted longer than twelve weeks and included giving women soy extracts, soy products, red clover extracts, and other sources of phytoestrogens. There was no significant difference between giving red clover extract and a placebo in controlling hot flashes in two trials.
A few studies, found a slight lessening of the severity and frequency of night sweats and hot flashes but many got better by taking the placebo drug. There was no significant evidence showing that phytoestrogens could treat the symptoms of menopause in the same way that women with regular estrogen did.
Studies also looked at the usage of flaxseed, which is another type of phytoestrogen, for the treatment of hot flashes. A study out of the Mayo Clinic looked at thirty female participants and gave them crushed flax seed every day for six weeks to see if their hot flashes diminished. The average decrease in hot flashes was about 50 percent with a severity improvement of about 57 percent.
These types of natural treatments are assumed to be safe; however, these treatments also need to be put under the microscope to be studied to see if they are both safe and effective for hot flashes.
From the collected data described thus far, the safety and effectiveness has not been established. In the Mayo Clinic Study, half of the women had mild to moderate abdominal distention, while nearly thirty percent of participants had mild diarrhea. About 20 percent of participants withdrew from the study because of side effects from the flax seeds.
It should be noted that many plants with phytoestrogens in them contain very little of the phytoestrogen and they didn’t affect the body at all. Herbs, on the other hand, contain bigger amounts of phytoestrogens that can have an effect on the human body.
Phytoestrogens work by stimulating human estrogen and by mimicking estrogen. They may be of use in treating women who have deficiencies in estrogen because of menopause.
Phytoestrogens come in three basic types: 1) isoflavones, 2) flavanols, and 3) flavones.
The major food sources of these estrogenic compounds include the following:
The following foods groups are rich in phytoestrogens:
Nuts and seeds
Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds contain high levels of phytoestrogens.
The following nuts and seeds are high in phytoestrogens:
- sunflower seeds
- sesame seeds
Certain fruits are rich in phytoestrogens, including:
Certain vegetables are a good source of phytoestrogens, including:
- yams / sweet potatoes
- alfalfa sprouts
- mung beans
Soy and soy products are rich in phytoestrogens but I personally wouldn’t eat soy products more than once or twice a week. Make sure that the products you chose are organic and GMO free. Chose the fermented version over the unfermented version.
- miso soup
- miso paste
Some grains contain phytoestrogens. These include:
- wheat germ
The most common herbs containing phytoestrogens include the following:
- Black cohosh
- Red clover
- Dong quai
- Licorice root
The Use of Phytoestrogenic Herbs
These herbal remedies work by binding to estrogen receptors within the body so as to balance the estrogen levels in the body. If the estrogen levels are too elevated, the phytoestrogen replaces the stronger form of the human estrogen.
Phytogenic herbs are best used to manage the side effects of menopause and things like osteoporosis. They can be used as part of a healthy diet and can be beneficial to those women suffering from menopausal symptoms, which basically stems from a hormonal imbalance. They work by imitating the estrogen levels of the body and by balancing unstable hormones.
Women can naturally get more out of taking phytoestrogenic herbs. They can be used to treat headaches, mood swings, and hot flashes seen in menopause.
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