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health concerns

WOMENS HEALTH

  • Christine Youssef
    CHRISTINE YOUSSEF
    Naturopath, Herbalist, Nutritionist & Homoeopath
    Phone: 02 9501 0326

WOMENS HEALTH

    Common health problems in women include:


    BREAST HEALTH
    There are so many things we can do to keep our breasts healthy, and reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Here are 10 suggestions:

    • 1.
      Increase you intake of phyto-oestrogen foods and herbs... (see list in Menopause section)
    • 2.
      Reduce your intake of refined/white carbohydrates... when blood sugar levels increase, a protein called IGF-1 is released, which can increase the risk of cancer
    • 3.
      Decrease consumption of trans-fatty acids... processed fats found in biscuits, pastries, cakes, chips
    • 4.
      Eat your anti-oxidants... berries, cabbage, broccoli, green tea, tumeric, all coloured veggies
    • 5.
      Ensure adequate Vitamin D... 10-20 mins of sunlight per day is sufficient (don't slip, slop, slap ALL the time!)
    • 6.
      Eat more cruciferous veggies... broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy, watercress
    • 7.
      Don't burn meat during cooking... charred meat produces heterocyclic amines (a cancer causing compound)
    • 8.
      Avoid being overweight... body fat tissue produces oestrogen, and abdominal obesity causes elevated insulin)
    • 9.
      Exercise regularly... to maintain healthy body weight, and to help manage stress
    • 10.
      Minimise alcohol consumption... alcohol increases levels of oestrogen in the bloodstream
  • AND not to be overlooked ... check your breasts monthly, and ask your GP to check for you whenever you have a scheduled visit, or 1/year.

  • MENOPAUSE
    Fluctuating hormone levels, which may occur for a year or two before menopause, may cause:
        - Menstrual irregularity
        - Hot flushes
        - Headaches
        - Bloating
        - Bladder symptoms
        - Breast tenderness
        - Mood changes
        - Anxiety and tension
        - Poor sleep
        - Forgetfulness
        - Depression
        - Fatigue
        - Thinning and drying of vaginal tissue

  • DIET, LIFESTYLE, HERBAL MEDICINES & NUTRIENT THERAPY
    Phyto-oestrogens are plant compounds capable of binding to oestrogen receptors that can help balance oestrogen's effects, whether levels are too high or too low. That is, they have a regulating or balancing effect. These plants include:
        - Soy foods (non GM, and made from the whole soy bean, not soy protein isolate)
        - Flaxseed meal,
        - Fennel, alfalfa, parsely, red clover, oats, chickpeas, sage, broccoli
  • Caffeine, alcohol, and stress are the biggest triggers of hot flushes.
  • Wear layered clothing, exercise regularly, and keep hydrated with filtered water.
  • Dong quai, Chaste Tree, Black Cohosh, Zizyphus, Sage, Licorice, Wild Yam, Tribulus (Bulgarian best source), St Mary's Thistle, Wild Yam, and St Johns Wort, are but few of the wonderful herbs we can use to help manage the menopause transition.
  • Nutrients to consider:
        - Vitamin E
        - Magnesium
        - B Vitamins.
  • Homoeopathic treatment:
    Best to be individually prescribed, but Sepia is a commonly used remedy for menopause that works very well.

  • WHAT ARE BIO-IDENTICAL HORMONES?
    Hormones used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) are identical in chemical structure to hormones produced by the human body. They come from a natural plant source (either wild yam or soy). These bio-identical hormones produce the same physiologic responses as those of hormones produced by the body. These plant-derived bio-identical hormones are almost entirely without the side effects of synthetic or unnatural HRT drugs commonly prescribed.
  • Side effects of synthetic hormones:
    A study was completed by The Women's Health Initiative in 1991 to study combination HRT (ie synthetic oestrogen and progestin). The study involved 16,608 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years. The following summarises the study's findings as of 2003.
  • 41% increase in stroke rate
    112% increase in blood clots
    26% increase in breast cancer
    22% increase in cardiovascular disease
    37% decrease in colorectal cancer
    33% decrease in fracture rate of hip
  • Because of the increased risk of breast cancer, the study was ended 3 years earlier than planned.
  • When should BHRT be considered?
    BHRT is commonly used to help balance the dramatic hormonal imbalances during menopause and andropause.
  • Where can I get Bio-Identical Hormones?
    These formulations are prepared by compounding pharmacists according to your doctor's prescription. If your current GP is unable to provide a script, please ask us about GP's that we know can help you.

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