Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this
After battling with it for about 3 years now, IÂm up for trying darned near anything to combat the symptoms of menopause. I started out taking Estroven and for the first 12 months, it was like a miracle drug. I posted here about my success with Estroven in March 06 singing its praises and I still believe itÂs a great product. But a few months ago I began having problems again; waking up with night sweats, severe hot flashes several times a day, mental confusion, joint aches, etc. Apparently, the Estroven honeymoon is over, so I guess I built up a tolerance or something.
I changed my dosage around and even supplemented the Estroven with extra black cohosh, but it didnÂt seem to make much of a difference. Plus I noticed the bottle of black cohosh has a warning that says youÂre only supposed to take it for a maximum of 6 months with a three-week break in between- oops. IÂve been taking Estroven for almost 2 years solid. IÂm still taking Estroven Energy (because the regular and ES kind makes me sleepy) once a day, but hope IÂve now found something better and cheaper to replace it with.
A few weeks ago, a saw a news report about flax seed meal for menopause. They said a study had shown that 40 grams of flax seed meal a day was effective in reducing symptoms by 50%. So I figured Âwhat the heckÂ and trotted off to the health food store. I bought a bag of milled flax seeds with no clear idea of how to take the stuff. Well, itÂs the consistency of volcanic sand and tastes pretty similar, too... not very appealing. Thankfully, it has no real flavor, so I began eating little spoonfuls of flax seed chased down with milk or mixed with yogurt. The only side effect IÂve noticed is gastrointestinal upsets, so the downside is youÂve got to counteract that with antacids and/or anti-gas meds.
I started on it about a week ago, eating the milled grains (hulls and all) each morning. I had no idea how long it was supposed to take to have an effect, but just today, I realized I havenÂt had any waking night sweats for the past 2 nights in a row. Also in the past two days, the hot flashes IÂve had are very minor and not those horrible, debilitating, "stand in front of the freezer or IÂll die" type. I didnÂt know what to expect when I began this, so I really had no expectations, plus IÂm not one susceptible to the placebo effect whatsoever. ItÂs really too early in the game to make any firm assessments, but something is having a majorly positive effect and the only thing I can attribute that to is the flax seed. So today, IÂm making a leap of faith and am going to stop taking Estroven as a test. If this reduction in symptoms is due to the flax seeds, IÂll know for sure within a couple of days.
So has anyone else had any experience with taking milled flax seed for menopause? If so, I'd like to hear about the results. And I'll be sure to post a follow-up on what's going on with my bod in a week or two.