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Alternative Therapies really help for controlling Menopause Symptoms?

Alternative Therapies really help for controlling Menopause Symptoms?

Researcher Ann Nedrow, MD, and her team from Oregon Health & Science University performed an investigation to describe the occurrence of the use of alternative therapies for menopause symptoms and evaluate if they are really helpful.

Dr. Nedrow and her colleagues evaluated the results of complementary and alternative therapies for reducing menopausal symptoms.

Currently, a significant percentage of adults use alternative medicine, and a high percentage do not inform their health provider about their use of herbal supplements.

Dr. Nedrow notes that 42% of Americans used some kind of alternative medicine in the last year. Menopause symptoms are one of the most common reasons for seeking these treatments. Yet, 70% of menopausal women using them don't tell their doctors.

The group of investigators looked for English-language, randomized controlled trials and analyses comparing a complementary or alternative therapy with placebo or control for treatment of menopause symptoms. They found 70 studies that met scientific requirements, but none that had evidence  proving  an  alternative  o r complementary  therapy
70% of menopausal women using alternative therapies donít tell their doctors they are.
reduces any symptom of menopause. This doesn't mean the therapies don't or can't help relieving menopause symptoms. It only means there's no proof they do.

Categories of Alternative Therapies
Dr. Nedrow and collaborators note five categories of alternative/complementary therapies according to TheNational Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine:
  • Biologically based therapies. These embrace herbal supplements, animal-derived goods, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, diets, and functional foods.
  • Mind-body therapies. These center/ on the ways emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors affect health.
  • Energy therapies. These endeavor to make use of real energies, such as electromagnetic forces, or hypothetical energies, such as life-force energy.
  • Manipulative and body-based therapies. These contain chiropractic, osteopathy, massage, and other techniques.
  • Whole medical systems. These include medical systems outside Western medicine, such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine.
Lifestyle modification and mind-body techniques may have high safety profiles and result in further health benefits," Nedrow and colleagues state. Many alternative therapies used by menopausal women, such as massage, aromatherapy, yoga, and Ayurvedic therapy, need to be studied in randomized, controlled trials, they recommend.

The investigators conclude that although some studies propose some benefit of alternative therapies for symptoms of menopause, there are insufficient data to sustain the efficacy of these therapies. They include that many of these therapies need to be revised with meticulous controlled trials to evaluate their effectiveness and safety.

References: NEDROW, Anne, MD. Et al. Complementary and Alternative Therapies for the Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms. 2006

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