CAN WE BALANCE OUR HORMONES NATURALLY?
It is an observation commonly made that tendon injury, diverse tendinopathies and joint pain (arthritis) become significantly more common as a woman transitions through Menopause and beyond. Rheumatoid Arthritis and conditions like rotator cuff and tennis elbow have a noticeably increased incidence in women over 45yrs old – and it seems they are very much more prone to such effects than men of the same age. The culprit seems to be the decline in circulating Oestrogen.
Annoying as it may be to have to add one more burden of Menopause to the list (low levels of Oestrogen can result in moodiness, low libido, hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, bone loss, vaginal dryness) it is important to understand the way that Oestrogen is implicated in this region of disorders in order to know how to act preventatively or to respond to the symptoms if they do occur…
Research indicates that Oestrogen is, among many other things, a regulating factor in the health of connective tissue, bone and muscle and, like any regulating factor, it needs to be available within a certain range of concentration – not too much and not too little. Oestrogen improves muscle mass and strength and increases the collagen content of connective tissues. Where Oestrogen improves function in bone and muscle, in tendons and ligaments it decreases stiffness and this can influence performance and injury rates.
So, where we see signs and symptoms of declining Oestrogen levels, what can we do?
First, get treatment from a qualified practitioner if injury has already occurred. In this regard you could look for Physio, Biokinetics, Chiropractic and (my obvious favourite) Acupuncture Therapy to assist you to resolution.
Second, whether injury is present or not one needs to take steps if you are (peri) menopausal and know there is increasing risk of declining Oestrogen levels. To this end there are both allopathic (HRT) and homeopathic (constitutional, biotherapeutic) solutions, but whichever choice you make there should be attention paid to sources of Oestrogen in our diet or available supplements.
Here we can look at increasing the consumption of PhytoOestrogens/Isoflavones which can be found in various but significant quantities in the following:
- Tofu and other soy products (edamame etc)
- Nuts and berries
- Sesame seeds/tahini
- Peaches and dried fruits
- Wheat bran
- Cruciferous vegetables
PhytoOestrogens are plant based Oestrogens which typically have fairly weak Oestrogenic actions making them relatively safe to consume.
For stronger actions we can consider herbal supplements (which by their nature are more concentrated than the food sources) such as Red Clover (Trifolium Praetense) and Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga Racemosa), although there are many other options.
It is important, as always, to be guided by a trained professional, whatever route you choose to deal with the onset of menopause or the management of symptoms that result…
Contact the staff at Thrive or your chosen Physician for further information or guidance.
BY: Dr Bruce Thomson – Registered Acupuncturist and Doctor of Homeopathy
firstname.lastname@example.org / Whatsapp or SMS 0837899328 for consultations. Medical aid rates.