Menopause is a normal part of the aging process that affects women in their 40's and 50's.
The definition of menopause is the cessation of the menstrual cycle. It is not a disease condition, although is often thought of and treated as a disease. A woman becomes postmenopausal after going an entire years without a menstrual cycle. However, a woman may experience signs and symptoms of menopause years before the menstrual cycle actually stops. This period of time is known as perimenopause.
The Naturopathic medical approach to the treatment of menopause is to decrease common symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, dry skin and hair, decreased concentration and memory, low libido, insomnia and joint pain. Naturopathic medicine also addresses other components of menopause such as the prevention of osteoporosis, heart disease, and other conditions associated with lower estrogen levels. These goals are accomplished with natural treatments that don't increase the risk of other life threatening conditions such as stroke and breast cancer.
A comprehensive individualized treatment program starts with a thorough health history. It is important to identify risk factors for osteoporosis, stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer. Next comes identifying symptoms related to menopause and determine the symptoms are not related to an overlooked health condition. Conventional medicine may offer hormone replacement therapy and other drugs to address symptoms and prevent disease. A naturopathic treatment plan will utilize natural treatment options that address the whole person. An individualized approach must be embraced by both the patient and doctors.
Categories of naturopathic treatment intervention include:
- Diet and nutrition
- Stress management
- Botanical medicine
- Nutritional supplements
- Bio-identical natural hormone therapy
The naturopathic treatment interventions address the whole person treating not only symptoms of menopause but also prevent diseases associated with menopause. Naturopathic treatments are safe and effective in relieving hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood changes, dry skin and hair, decreased concentration and memory, low libido, insomnia and joint pain. Due to the complex nature of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, herb-herb interactions and drug herb interactions, it is recommended that menopausal women seek the expertise of a naturopathic doctor and not treat symptoms themselves with over-the-counter supplements.
About Dr. Marianne Marchese:
Dr. Marchese is a clinician, author, and educator. She graduated from Creighton University in 1990 with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM). She completed a two-year postgraduate residency in Integrative Medicine and Women’s Health and a six-month post-graduate training in Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Marchese has been an adjunct faculty member at NCNM supervising women’s health and environmental medicine clinic shifts and later taught toxicology and nutrition at Life Chiropractic College. Currently she is adjunct faculty at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Tempe, AZ, teaching gynecology.
Dr. Marchese has had articles published in magazines, newspapers, and journals such as; The Arizona Republic, Raising Arizona Kids Magazine, Taste for Life Magazine, The Townsend Letter and Symbiosis Journal. She has been interviewed and quoted as an expert in many national magazines. She currently writes a column on environmental medicine for The Townsend Letter.
You can learn more about Dr. Marchese by visiting her website at www.drmarchese.com.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with a physician before embarking on a dietary supplement program.