Menopause is a good example of Western medicine's focus on disease, rather
than on health and wellness. In this case, a natural state-the end of
menstruation-is defined by many conventional doctors as a disease that must
be treated with medication. Women who don't take their estrogen pills,
Western medicine implies, will lose their femininity and their value to
society. Luckily, many women instinctively know better, and studies have
proven that there are extreme health risks with synthetic hormone
replacement. To these wise women, menopause is a time of freedom from the
menstrual cycle and the onset of wisdom and power. And it's no coincidence
that these women, who refuse to view themselves as "diseased," experience
far fewer (and sometimes none) of the problems usually associated with this
change of life.
Since attitude plays a significant role in the physical response to
menopause, it helps to understand the changes that are taking place. These
changes can start several years before menopause proper actually sets in,
with erratic periods or unusually heavy or light bleeding. This phase is
called perimenopause or premenopause and provides an opportunity to prepare
emotionally and physically for the larger transition to come. During
pre-menopause, the ovaries no longer ovulate on a regular basis. This is
the bases for the cycle changes and the beginning of symptoms such as hot
flashes. Menopause itself usually begins in the mid-forties to early
fifties. When the ovaries stop producing significant amounts of estrogen
and progesterone, the menstrual cycle ceases; a woman who has had no
periods for a year is said to be menopausal.
Women's reactions to menopause vary widely. Some enjoy the change, while
others suffer from problems like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, heart
palpitations, and mood swings, often for years. But if a woman is healthy,
active, and well nourished, her adrenal glands will usually response to
menopause by creating precursor hormones such as pregnenolone and DHEA,
which are then converted into estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And
if she takes natural steps to encourage this process, it is likely that she
can avoid harsh and possibly dangerous medications altogether.
The days of routinely prescribing synthetic estrogen, synthetic
progesterone, or both, should be over. Several studies, includes the
well-publicized Women's Health Initiative Study, which involved over 16,000
women, concluded that the "benefits did not outweigh the risks" of using
the combination of synthetic estrogen (Premarin) and synthetic progesterone
(Provera). A significant increased incidence of breast cancer and
cardiovascular disease stopped this study short of its completion.
There are also times when menopause really is a disorder or a serious
problem. If menopause arrives for unnatural reasons, such as from anorexia,
bulimia, or extremely intense exercise, the root cause must be treated so
that the cycle returns. When menopause is brought about by a hysterectomy
or removal of the ovaries, natural hormonal replacement therapy may be
necessary to counter the sudden depletion of estrogen and progesterone and
the resulting bone loss.
We believe that every woman must be addressed individually. Optimally, it
is best to get a hormone test done to find out which hormone imbalances you
may have. Saliva testing is a good option. For women with mild to moderate
symptoms of menopause, we generally recommend the use of diet, exercise,
and nutritional supplements, especially herbal and homeopathic remedies.
The beauty of this approach is that these natural supplements balance the
hormones that are already present in the body. In addition, the use of
natural progesterone appears to be very safe and effective when a stronger
approach is needed. Likewise, precursor hormones, such as pregnenolone and
DHEA, may be helpful.
For women with extreme symptoms that are unresponsive to nutritional
supplements, the use of natural hormone replacement may be required. This
is particularly true of women who had their ovaries removed at an early age
or for others with moderate to severe osteoporosis. This is, of course,
best done with a doctor who is knowledgeable in natural hormones.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements have shown to help Menopause:
Prescription for Natural Cures by: James F. Balch,
M.D. & Mark Stengler, N.D.
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Product - Take this
supplement as directed.. This proprietary supplement
has been shown in numerous studies to alleviate a
multitude of menopausal symptoms, including hot
Super Prescription #2
Progesterone Creme - Natural
- LifeSource Product -Perimenopausal
women should apply 1/4 teaspoon (20 mg) to the skin on
the inside of their wrists and forearms one to two
times daily, from days 14 to 25 of the menstrual cycle
or as directed by their health-care practitioner.
should apply 1/4 teaspoon (20 mg) to the skin on
the inside of their wrists and forearms two times
daily, three to four weeks of the month or as
directed by their health-care practitioner.
should apply 1/8 teaspoon (10 mg) to the skin on
the inside of their wrists and forearms once daily,
three weeks of the month.
Natural progesterone alleviates a multitude of
menopausal symptoms and may help bone density.
Super Prescription #3
Vitex - Chasteberry
- LifeSource Product -
Take 300 mg of an 0.5 percent aucubin extract daily.
Vitex relieves hot flashes and prevents a heavy menses
for perimenopausal women. Do not use it if you are
taking the birth control pill.
Super Prescription #4
Panax Ginseng – Korean Ginseng
- LifeSource Product -Take 600 to
1,200 mg daily. This herb supports adrenal function,
improves energy, relaxes the nervous system, and has a
Super Prescription #5 Hops (Humulus lupulus) -
Take 250 mg two to three times daily. Hops reduces
anxiety and tension and has mild hormone-balancing
Super Prescription # 6 Rehmania (Rehmania
Take 25 to 100 mg daily. This Chinese herb has a
cooling effect and reduces hot flashes, night sweats,
heart palpitations, and other common menopause
Super Prescription #7 Soy protein powder
(preferably fermented) -
Take up to 60 grams a day, as studies show that it
reduces hot flashes, Do not use it if you have a soy
Super Prescription #8
- LifeSource Product - Take as
directed on bottle.
Click here to see all products, articles and
studies for Menopause
Cessation of periods
- Vaginal dryness and thinning
- Night sweats
- Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
- Cold hands and feet
- Bladder problems, including incontinence
- Mood swings
Depression and anxiety
- Joint pain
- Skin changes (acne, facial hair, hair loss on the scalp)·
Root Causes of Early Menopause
- Extraordinary intense exercise or physical training
- Ovarian disease
- Surgical removal of the ovaries, usually as part of a hysterectomy
- Hypofunctioning adrenal glands
If you begin to incorporate these suggestions into your diet at the onset
of perimenopause, you will likely experience far fewer problems when
menopause begins in earnest.
Eat a diet loaded with plant foods, especially whole grains, legumes, fresh
vegetables, and fruits. These contain phytosterols, naturally occurring
nutrients that have a hormone-balancing effect. You'll also get the fiber
you need to keep your heart healthy and the nutrients that will encourage a
strong, vibrant response to menopause.
Japanese women have significantly fewer problems during menopause, thanks
to their consumption of soybeans, tofu, miso, and flaxseeds, all of which
are excellent sources of phytoestrogens. Add these to your diet, unless you
have a soy allergy.
Essential fatty acids protect the heart and promote smooth, radiant skin.
Good sources are cold-water fish like salmon, cod, and tuna, as well as
Vitamin E regulates estrogen production. Make sure to include cold-pressed
nut and seed oils in your diet, perhaps as a dressing for a green salad.
Consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds daily. They contain lignans,
which are phytonutrients that have estrogen-balancing properties and that
lower cholesterol. Take each serving with 10 ounces of water.
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours. You'll flush out
toxins and replace fluid you may have lost during hot flashes.
Foods to Avoid
To protect yourself against heart disease, reduce red meat and other
sources of saturated fat from your diet. Eat hormone-free animal products
to avoid causing a hormone imbalance.
Carbonated drinks also deplete calcium from your body, so you should avoid
Caffeine and alcohol aggravate hot flashes, so eliminate them from your
Keep your system clear of artery-clogging toxins by doing a three-day juice
fast once every three months. Regular fasting is especially beneficial for
women on hormone-replacement therapy, whose livers may be taxed with extra
· DHEA supports memory, libido, and mood. If your level of DHEA is low,
take 5 to 15 mg as a starting dosage, under the guidance of your doctor.
· Pregnenolone is a precursor hormone to make estrogen and progesterone.
Take 30 mg twice daily, under the guidance of your doctor.
· Adrenal glandular extract supports the hormone-producing adrenal glands.
Take 1 to 2 capsules twice daily on an empty stomach.
· For memory and concentration problems, take Gingko biloba. It increases
blood to the brain. Take 120 to 240 mg daily of an extract standardized to
24 percent flavone glycosides.
· Hormone-replacement therapy puts a great stress on the liver. If you
choose to take this medication, detoxify with milk thistle (Silybum
marianum). Find a formula that's standardized to 70 to 80 percent silymarin
content, and take 250 mg twice a day.
· Saint-John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been shown to fight
depression that comes on with menopause. Take 900 mg daily of a 0.3 percent
If you have heart palpitations, take motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) at a
dosage of 200 mg or 2 ml three times daily.
· Sage (Salvia officinalis) helps control the sweating associated with hot
flashes. Take a daily dose of 4 to 6 grams.
· Red clover (Trifolium pratense) has been shown in some studies to reduce
the symptoms of menopause. Take 40 mg one to two times daily.
· If you need to unwind and distress, find a quiet moment to drink a cup of
tea made from chamomile, peppermint, or passion flower. Each of these herbs
is relaxing and calming.
· Vitamin E-complex may help reduce the symptoms of menopause. Take 800 to
1,200 IU daily. Do not use this high of a dosage if you're on
· For mild vaginal dryness, use a lubricant from your health food store or
pharmacy. For severe vaginal dryness, have your doctor prescribe vaginal
estriol cream. Insert 1 gram nightly, containing 0.5 mg, for two weeks and
then as needed.
· A high-potency multivitamin provides a base of vitamins and minerals for
· Take a daily total of 1,000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium, or a
bone formula for bone health.
· For a more powerful relaxing effect, especially if you need to sleep,
drink valerian tea.
· Remember that one year with a single period must pass before menopause
can officially be declared. If a full year has not passed since your last
cycle, it's possible that you could still get pregnant. Take appropriate precautions.
· Don't smoke. Smoking is linked to premature menopause, as well as to
· Regular exercise improves general health, as well as many symptoms of
menopause. Non-impact workouts like swimming and cycling are good for your
cardiovascular system, but to prevent bone loss you'll need to include
weight-bearing exercise as well. Walking is one of the best all-over
conditioners, and weight lifting has been shown to increase bone density
and vitality even for people in their nineties.
· Acupuncture can be helpful for alleviating a variety of menopausal
symptoms, as can Chinese herbal therapy. See a qualified practitioner.
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