Friday, February 26, 2010

Natural Hormone Replacement for Menopause: Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer

Hormone replacement therapy is considered useful in alleviating symptoms of menopause and smoothen the transition from reproductive to post reproductive age. However, studies have shown that use of HRT for a period of longer than five years tends to double the risk associated with developing breast carcinoma. Discontinuing the use of hormonal pills can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer significantly.

Breast Cancer caused due to
Hormone Replacement Therapy and Menopause
Fall in the levels of estrogen, during menopause, is associated with a host of symptoms like hot flushes, night sweat, irritability and anger, mood swings and psychological depression. Hormone Replacement is prescribed when there is a significant drop in the normal production of hormones which in turn is associated with distressing symptoms.
The therapy is meant to complement the body’s production of estrogen hormone and reduce the negative effects associated with its deficiency. The threapy involves use of synthetic hormones to supplement the body's demand for these hormones. This therapy is most commonly recommended in the process of natural menopause, however other reasons include hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and oopherectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), which hampers the natural production of female sex hormones

Breast Cancer and Hormone Replacement Therapy
In a study conducted in at UCLA Medical Center at Los Angeles, it was observed that the overall rates of breast cancer have dropped considerably as fewer females opt for hormone replacement therapy. As per Dr Isaacs at the Lombardi Cancer Centre, the risk of developing breast cancer reduces considerably, especially after quitting HRT even after a long term therapy.

Diet for Menopause: Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
Vegetables and Fruits are
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
As an alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy, here are some foods that can help alleviate specific symptoms associated with menopause,
  • Soy is considered beneficial in reliving hot flashes among menopausal women. Soy and Tofu helps reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood and provides protection to the heart
  • Increase the intake of fruits like prunes, apples, grapes, strawberries, grapes, pears and tomatoes.
  • Vegetables also alleviate the symptoms associated with menopause. These include carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, beets, onions, cauliflowers and lettuce
  • Fruits and vegetables are loaded with dietary fiber, various vitamins and minerals which are effective in the management of menopause symptoms. These foods contain phytoestrogens (i.e. a structure which is similar to estrogen produced in humans) and helps reduce the discomfort associated with drop in estrogen levels in the body. In addition fruits and vegetables contain boron an essential mineral which reduces elimination of calcium from the body and in turn prevents osteoporosis in post menopausal females.
  • Avoid foods that are high in fats primarily saturated fats. Saturated fats are high in calories but low in nutritive value which increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders and atherosclerosis. Omega-3 fatty acids in olive oils, fish oils and canola oils are considered very beneficial
  • Reduce the intake of meat and animal fat. Instead increase the intake of lean meat and chicken. These foods are rich in proteins and concurrently lower in fat and cholesterol. In addition these foods are packed with Vitamin B complex which is beneficial in the management of post menopausal symptoms
  • Include flax seeds in your diet. Flax seeds contain higher concentration of phytoestrogens and is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. 

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