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Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Posted by andalusian (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 23, 07 at 16:18

After battling with it for about 3 years now, Im 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 its 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 didnt seem to make much of a difference. Plus I noticed the bottle of black cohosh has a warning that says youre only supposed to take it for a maximum of 6 months with a three-week break in between- oops. Ive been taking Estroven for almost 2 years solid. Im still taking Estroven Energy (because the regular and ES kind makes me sleepy) once a day, but hope Ive 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 what the heck 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, its 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 Ive noticed is gastrointestinal upsets, so the downside is youve 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 havent had any waking night sweats for the past 2 nights in a row. Also in the past two days, the hot flashes Ive had are very minor and not those horrible, debilitating, "stand in front of the freezer or Ill die" type. I didnt know what to expect when I began this, so I really had no expectations, plus Im not one susceptible to the placebo effect whatsoever. Its 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, Im 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, Ill 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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Well I hope that's what it is too. Sometimes I think though that its really just your hormones kicking in and out. The longer your in menopause the longer inbtw etc.
Still.....lets hope!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Well, I bought some milled flaxseed today to try out, and I'm really hoping it helps, although I'm a little nervous about it. My Gyn recommended AGAINST using Black Cohosh because she is of the belief that anything that works may very well have the same result as hormone replacement, and that is to increase your risk of breast cancer. But I'm getting desperate for a full night's sleep. I'm like a walking zombie these days. I took my first tablespoon full tonight and will report back in a few days when I see if it's made any difference!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

You might want to check and see if you need to wean yourself off of Estroven.

I'd suggest you get whole flax seed and grind them yourself, since they can go rancid so fast once they're ground up. I use a small coffee grinder.

Barbshot, I think MDs will knock any of the natural stuff just so they can keep selling their drugs. Just research whatever you're thinking of taking so you have a good idea of the pros and cons.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

ratherbegardening is right - buy whole organic flax and get a small coffee grinder to grind it. Or you can use the blender or a mortar and pestle. As to what to do with it . . . for now, try putting it on cereal. Or bake the whole seed into muffins, stuff like that.

Not only is flax great for menopause, it's a wonderful alternative for fish oils. The molecular structure of the omega 3 oil in flax is different from that in fish, but your body converts it to the same form. Whole ground flax seed fights inflammation that can lead to coronary artery disease and other vascular problems.

It's also full of fiber and confers all the benefits of a high proportion of fiber in the diet.

Grinding it fine takes care of the "volcanic sand" texture. (LOL by the way.) As for the taste, I've never cared for it either, but I throw it into steel cut oatmeal with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg and vanilla and ginger with bananas and maple syrup over the whole thing and you'd never know the flax seed was in there! And of course the oatmeal itself (the long cooking kind, it takes 35 minutes and is easy as pie) is good for many of the ills we experience at this time of life as well.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Wow, I wish these women would have wrote back if the flaxseed has helped. I am currently being treated for breast cancer and have to be careful what I take. My treatments are being done at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. They have Nuturopathics there to work with you. Mine has had me on Black Cohosh, Black Cohosh with Vitamin E, Pulsatilla and Lachesis....all with no avail. BTW, Black Cohosh is safe to take. I did have to stop the Vitamin E, as you can not take that with radiation, which is where I am now. I have an appointment with my Naturopathic physician on Wednesday and have printed this thread for him to look at and ask what he thought about it. I promise to repost.
I need some kind of help here, these flashes are severe and I have about 20 a day!
My Oncologists gave me a script for Clonazepam, but I didn't like what I read about the side affects and wanted to try natural methods first.
Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Ok, I have discussed with my naturopathic physician the use of Flax seed. He put me on 2 tbl sp of organic flax seed meal, twice a day. Along with 1 tbl sp of organic flax seed oil, also twice a day. So I do these in the morning and then an hour before bedtime. He also stated that it could take up to 3 months before noticing improvement. Keeping my fingers crossed!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Does anyone know if the ground flax seed works? Anything new since 08?


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Never-give-up,
The flax meal helps me tremendously. I had kind of slacked off on my taking it and was gone for a week end where I didn't have any of it with me, and my flashes came back with a vengance. I started right away taking it again, and boom, the flashes backed off again. It does not take them away completely, but they decrease in tensity and I have less of them. I also take clonidine, a perscription, that also is helping. Good luck to you.
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Lori, thank you so much for answering! How do you take the oil and meal?

If you don't mind my asking how are you doing with the cancer?

In Feb 08 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and in Sept 08 I was diagnosed with a totally different form of breast cancer. So, like you, there isn't much out there to help with the hot flashes. My oncologist put me on the Black Cohosh, but I can see that it is helping much. She wants me to try Gabapentin, but I don't want to because of the nasty side effects. I will have to look up the clonidine.

Thanks again!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Supposedly, I don't have cancer. I am NED (no evedence of disease). I was diagnosed just shortly after your first, finished treatment in Nov 08. Thank you for asking. How about you? Are you back doing treatment? I am so sorry they found more. Was it something they missed or mets?

Anyways, I don't take the oil anymore. Altho it was very good, tasted like a strawberry smoothie, a bottle cost almost $15 and only lasted about 3 weeks. I can't say that I have noticed a change since stopping it. The meal.....I buy Bobs Mill organic flax seed and grind it myself. I take 2 tblsp in the morning and 2 more before going to bed. I usually just put it in a little bit of juice and drink it all at once. I also put it in my cereal or in my ice cream. Some put it in cottage cheese or yogurt.

As for the clonidine, it is a medicine for high blood presure, which I do not have. We I first started taking it, it made a little tired. I did not like that, but was ok for at night! It doesn't have that affect on my now. But daytime hotflashes have decreased tremendously, especially if I stay busy. Nights are different story for some reason. I have good nites and I have bad nites.

Black Cohosh did nothing for me, then I tried it with Vit E, still nothing. My oncs nurse actually takes the clonidine too for her flashes.

I hope you find some relief. If you find something different that helps, let me know!

Good luck to you
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Lori thanks for the follow up information.

My situation is complicated to say the least. I had MS and Crohns Disease already when I was diagnosed with triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. The cancer being triple negative means that the majority of possible treatments wouldn't work on me. I could do the nastiest chemo and it wouldn't improve my chances of reoccurance enough to make it worth the risks, so I had a mastectomy and nothing else. The second cancer was DCIS combined with LCIS. I had a second mastectomy and that was all that was needed. Didn't require further treatment. I had a hysterectomy to improve my chances with the first cancer, so now I am in menopause. Yippee LOL.

I found a different brand of Black Cohosh yesterday that you take 3 times a day and some flax oil and will try that tonight. I grind my own flax seeds that I get from the health food store.

I just found this article at the mayo clinic that makes me doubt if the supplements will work, but I am going to try them anyway now that I have them already. I think I am going to get one of those cooling pillows next.

If I find anything I will let you know.

Good Luck to you too. I am really glad that you are at NED!

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hot-flashes/HQ01409


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

WOW, you have certainly been thrown an awful lot in life. Just not hardly fair. I am confused at your having a hyst. being triple neg. Seems to me, that if you are triple neg., you could do hormonal therapy, no? I have always thought and heard from breascancer.org that triple neg. responds better to chemo than those with ER+ PR+, which is what I am. My HER2 was neg. So no hormones for me. I am on a hormone blocker, Arimidex for 5 years.
Anyways, I looked at he link you provided and it pretty much summed up everything we have discussed! I am pretty sure you will find you get some relief with flax meal. But the majority of my relief, I believe, comes from the clonidine.
I look forward to hearing from you, and hoping you will have good news to report!
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I was not a candidate for any of the hormone replacement therapies, bioidenticals or herception. My only option was chemo with a 6 to 14% chance of benefit according to whether it was in the nodes. I have a 30 to 70% chance of relapse, again, according to whether or not it was in the nodes. Another big concern was how the chemo would affect the Chrones and Ms. It is a very long story.

We decided to do the hysterectomy because of family history and the fact that I had invasive cancer and didn't know if it had spread at the microscopic level and I didn't have radiation or chemo, again a long story with lots of complications.

I have to treat it as a just another chronic condition. If it comes back and we can cut it out--good, if we can't-- not so good. By the time I had the second mastectomy I had gotten a grip and (pardon my french) said to Hell with cancer and we put in a huge garden to have something positive in our lifes. I figure life is what it is. I can worry myself sick or just live my live as best as I can and that is what I am trying to do. Tomorrow may be a different story.

I am trying to find the right chilling pillow. Hopefully that will help some.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I ordered the pillow in the link below last night and will let you know how it works out. I also started the flax oil. The one I got is the actual oil that you take by the teaspoon. Yuck by itself, but not bad if you eat a couple of nuts afterwards as it has a nutty taste already. It is just the feeling in your mouth of taking a teaspoon of oil.

Hey, it is worth a try. I am going to our healthfood store today to see if they have any ideas.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://chillinpillow.com/shop/page/2?sessid=0y7s8C47RGjMNmzWr1tH78Y32hjmnEXVjMFdQ8GUCFYjlyjcsJAR6Xs04pdOgBax&shop_param=


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Praying praying praying you will get some relief. I feel your pain.......or should I say "your sweats"!

Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Lori I don't know if this is just a coincidence or if I am on to something. I have gone 2 nights without waking up with even one hot flash!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing different I can think of is I switched the brand of Black Cohosh, started the flax oil and increased the amount of flax meal. If it is just a coincidence I am still thankful for 2 nights of peace. The bedding wasn't torn apart either so I must not have tossed and turned so much. We'll see. Maybe it was your prayers, I'll send some your way too.

I talked to the people at the health food store and they gave me 3 possible things to check out. I don't see the cancer Dr. until next month and I'll ask then. If I remember right she told me last time that some herbs act like hormones so I couldn't take them. I don't know if these fall into that category or not. Thought you might like to look into these if you didn't already know about them.

Chaste Tree
Dong Quai
Nature's Way Dim-Plus


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Never-give-up,
I am so excited for you. May you continue to have flashless nights!
I have not heard nor tried any of the things you mentioned. At the cancer center I go to, they have Naturopathic doctors that work with you, that is how I am told what supplements to take. But I am going to look those up. I can also call one of the Naturopaths and ask.
I think it would be odd, that just changing brands of Black Cohosh would make a difference, but hey, who knows. I am thinking its the flax! But what ever it is, WHO CARES, it WORKS!
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Last night the hot flashes were back, but not as bad as before. I think the pillow will help when it comes.

It sounds like your cancer center is really forward thinking, I am really glad you have the extra support.

The Dr just told me to try Black Cohosh how it said on the bottle. The first one I found was 160 mg 1 x day. The second one is 300 mg 3 x day and also contains 60 mg of Black Cohosh Root Extract. Maybe that helped too, we'll see.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Flax meal has never gotten rid of my flashes, but lessened them. My sleep at nite, on an average, is usually 2 hrs at a time. Before starting on flax meal and the clonidine, I could have flashes every half hour.....and had as little as only 15 minutes between them! So for me, to get 2hrs is wonderful! I have also heard of women who have been givin Nuerontin for hot flashes. I believe that is a Rx for seizures!
I haven't called my cancer center yet on your new suggestions. Not sure when I will get a chance to do that. Out business is hitting our peak time and there just isn't time. And of course, there is just plain forgetting! I am sure you can relate to that!
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

OMG You must be really dragging in the morning! How long have you been going through this?

Gabapentin (Neurontin) is the medicine the oncologist wants me to try if the Black Cohosh doesn't work. I don't like the looks of the side effects.

I was Googling Nature's Way Dim-Plus to find out what was in it and found the info in the link below. I think it might be one of those supplements that would be a cancer risk for us. That website had LOTS of supplements that CLAIM to help with menopause symptoms. It seems if any of them worked the information would be out there as this is such a common problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.seacoastvitamins.com/product_info.php?products_id=1147


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

What were the side effects of the Gabapentin? You might want to compare those with the clonidine and ask your doctor about both.
Are you seeing any change at all with the flax oil?

Sometimes I can't go back to sleep very easily, and those mornings I am dragging. But if I can go back to sleep, I can have a normal day. I have been doing this for almost a year now. I am 50. Here is what I looked like right after being diag. last year, and what I looked like a month ago. My hair now is a little longer and very very curly! I have also gained about 10 lbs from the Arimidex (hormone blocker)
Photobucket


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I have hair the same length as your picture on the left but it is straight, no where near as pretty, and waaaaaaaay more gray. LOL I am 52 and I gained 10 plus lbs last year stuffing my face to make myself feel better.

I can't really say if the flax oil is helping or not. I have been having more hot flashes during the day and when I first wake up in the morning. It seems to be all over the place.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects of gabapentin are dizziness, somnolence, ataxia, fatigue, fluid retention, hostility, nausea and vomiting. Other adverse events associated with gabapentin include hypertension, anorexia, bruising, joint pain, motion sickness, and pneumonia.

Antiepileptic medications have been associated with increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. Anyone considering the use of antiepileptic drugs must balance this risk of suicide with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, or unusual changes in behavior.

The Doctors have tried me on so may drugs over the years. One made me violent another made me suicidal, so needless to say this drug makes me leery.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects noted with clonidine are tiredness, lethargy, drowsiness, constipation, and dry mouth. Headache, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness also occur with clonidine. Most persons who experience one of these side effects will usually note that the effects subside with more prolonged therapy or if doses are reduced (approved by the physician). Skin reactions including redness, itching, and darkening of skin, have occurred with clonidine patches.

Severe rebound high blood pressure can occur following withdrawal from clonidine. This reaction is more likely to occur if clonidine is stopped suddenly (without a gradual dose reduction). Symptoms can include increased salivation, nervousness, headache, heart palpitations, agitation, anxiety, sweating, nausea, muscle pain, and abdominal pain. Slowly reducing the dose of clonidine over several days will prevent this problem.

Mix any of these drugs side effects with what I have to deal with because of the MS and Chrones and who knows.....


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I have been thinking about what I wrote in the previous post and I am very sorry if it came off as insensitive (my saying that I still have hair). My cousin is going through chemo right now and has lost her hair. I don't know how it feels to do chemo or to lose my hair, I only how it feels to watch her go through it. I certainly hope that I didn't offend you.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

You did not offend me at all. In fact, it didn't even cross my mind until you mentioned it! I wish your cousin the best. You didn't have chemo? Or, you just didn't lose your hair from it? What treatment did you have for cancer?

The side affects you mention for the gabapentin, sound awful. As for the clonidine, I was tired at first, but not anymore and sometimes I get a dry mouth. But that is it. I was aware of the fact that you could not stop taking it suddenly, but I didn't know why......thank you!

Yesterday, we went to a home show here in AZ. I came across a vendor there that does acupunture. I am going to make an appt, but can't go for about 3 weeks, due to my schedule. She is also going to show me some other things to do that can help. I am really excited about going. The office is 2 and 1/2 hours away and that is why she is going to show me some things to do at home. Only going to cost $75. That is WELL worth it to me.

I am wondering if maybe we should email each other, instead making all these posts! My email is by my name if you want to.

Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I never had much luck with Estroven or any of the other natural hormone "replacements", in fact one gave me a bad case of acne. Ugh. Like we all need more things to deal with. Recently I have been hit hard by the usual hot flashes and night sweats and needless to say lack of sleep. I wasn't warned about the nausea either until recently that can come with a hot flash or without. I also have no thyroid anymore which I think may ad to the mix. Personally, I am trying to avoid taking hormones and would like to hope that all this will one day settle down on its own --I HOPE!!! I am now trying the ground flax as well. So far I have seen some improvement but it has only been a week. Seems if I slack off the usual 2 tablespoons for a day the night time hot flashes come back with a vengeance. I have discovered that the flax isn't so good on it's own, but it is great as a salad topping or in a fruit smoothie or even added to chocolate Slim-fast. I grind my own in a coffee grider and keep it on the counter so I don't forget to use it in something. I have 4 large bags of it so I sure hope it works!!! If not, I have lots of extra fiber in my diet and the EFAs won't hurt either. I wish all of us luck with dealing with this time in our lives.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Kansas,
You should keep it in the fridge or the freezer. It can go rancid. Its also good in cottage cheese, yogurt and ice cream! It won't get rid of the hot flashes, but it does reduce them, the frequency and intensity. At least it does for me.
Good luck
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

After reading this thread I decided to actually use the milled flax seed that's in my fridge. Put it in some soy yogurt last night and completely forgot about it.

That is until I came back to this thread today. Know what??!!! For the FIRST time in 2+ months I did not wake fully at 3:00 and 5:30 AM (the other day I woke 4 times during the night). I didn't even put it together until now!

And that was with only 1 Tablespoon!

Finally, one ray of light in this awful mess. I'll continue to use and see how it goes.

Oh, and don't forget about the message boards and resources on Power-surge.com. It is an outstanding site to learn, listen, and share with other peri and post menopausal women.

Sue

Here is a link that might be useful: Power Surge


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I am now taking 1 tablespoon of flax oil in the morning and one at night. 1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax seed in the morning. Black Cohosh root (Spring Valley from Walmart) 3 X day.

I haven't had any hot flashes at night since starting this regime!!

Also before when I woke up in the morning I immediately went into hot flashes. Then I found that if put one or both hands on the chillin pillow when I feel myself waking up it stops!!

Here is a link that might be useful: http://chillinpillow.com/shop/page/2?sessid=lVV3DHEfR6w1MyDTcPYpaPyg6Jyo3gR7yYgaK6QLrKlzwJ31UzeMo9ebACtJzcWQ&shop_param=


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

never-give-up
I am flabergasted, and so happy for you. NO FLASHES AT ALL, during the night? A whole night of sleep, without being woke up from a flash? Say it is true! I hope and pray it continues for you.
Sorry I have not answered your email yet, I will, I promise.
Take care
Lori


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

That is right, none what so ever at night. The day time is a different story. We still have some snow on the ground here. I went out back to shovel some out of my raised beds so they could thaw and ended up stripped down to a t-shirt and was soaked in sweat. Summer should be interesting. NOT.

I don't know if it is a fluke, or I have the right combination, but it is working at night for now.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

I've read that flax seed meal can reduce a breast tumor by one half!


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Has anyone used something called DIM (can't pronounce the actual name). It's a derivative of cruciferous vegetables that's supposed to balance out the "estrogen dominance" in the body. I've read good things about it, and it's sold in vitamin stores, Amazon, etc.

I'm game! Need something to help with the mood swings, weight gain, etc.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

According to a doctor I traveled with anything that stops the symptoms of menopause has hormones in it and is as dangerous a prescribed meds. Black Cohosh is a blood thinner and could be a problem, especially if you take aspirin or Omega 3.


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RE: Flax seed, Estroven and natural methods to combat this

Crushed flax seeds are helping me I think because after having no hot flahes for four nights in a row, I decided to stop the seeds and see what happens. WORST NIGHT EVER!! I went back on them in plain yogurt around supper time so we'll see. I can't do this for 5 yrs. though omg. I will die.


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