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Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2005 - Volume 98 - Issue 3 > Integrative Therapies for Menopause
Southern Medical Journal:
Featured CME Topic: Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Integrative Therapies for Menopause

McKee, Julie MD; Warber, Sara L. MD

Continued Medical Education
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Abstract

Menopause is a transitional time for women. This gives practitioners an opportunity to focus on recommending healthy lifestyle changes. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been the mainstay of therapy for menopausal symptoms. With recent research findings, women and their physicians are seeking alternatives that do not carry the risks associated with HRT. Exercise has been shown to help some women with symptoms of hot flashes, as have relaxation techniques and deep breathing. Dietary changes to incorporate whole foods and soy are thought by some to help with menopausal symptoms, and are recommended because of a positive impact on heart disease and obesity; soy isoflavones may also help with menopausal symptoms. Botanicals such as black cohosh and red clover have been shown in some studies to decrease severity and frequency of hot flashes. We recommend that HRT be prescribed when other measures have failed to adequately control symptoms. Bioidentical hormones are preferred in our practice.

Key Points

* This report is a topical review of several therapeutic approaches to menopausal symptoms.

* The focus is on holistic and integrative medicine therapies, including mind-body skills, exercise, dietary changes, nutritional supplements, botanicals, and bioidentical hormones.

© 2005 Southern Medical Association

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