Complementary Therapy

The following has been compiled from the British Menopause Society recommendations and my own experience of prescribing.

Lifestyle can massively influence symptoms. Regular exercise, avoiding alcohol, well balanced diet and avoiding caffeine can all impact on symptoms.

Black Cohosh: A north American traditional herb can help with hot flushes but not as well as HRT. It does not help with anxiety of low mood. It can interact with other medication and there are unknown risks regarding safety and liver toxicity.

St John’s Wort: Can help with hot flushes or night sweats particularly in women who have had breast cancer or are at high risk. Safety and reliability are a concern and it has many drug interactions.

Isoflavones (red clover) e.g. Promensil and soya products (phytoestrogens e.g. Femarelle ) have unreliable results and probably show little value. They should not be taken in women with history of breast cancer.

Acupuncture. Studies show no difference in symptoms in women who receive acupuncture but there is a high placebo effect.

GLA Starflower oil . Can be helpful in PMS and breast tenderness.

CBT can alleviate low mood and anxiety and improve hot flushes and sweats.

Ginseng and Chinese herbal remedies have NOT been shown to help.