Functional Medicine For Menopause

  • Post author:

Women facing menopause often turn to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments for relief of various symptoms. CAM therapies have the potential to reduce stress and irritability caused by these symptoms.

Mind and body techniques such as hypnosis have been found to be beneficial for hot flashes, however more research is necessary to confirm their efficacy for other symptoms. Furthermore, higher quality studies are needed to assess the safety of CAM interventions.


Menopause is an inevitable part of aging, yet for some women it can be uncomfortable or even debilitating. It involves changes to your hormone levels that may negatively impact how well your body functions.

Menopause can bring on a range of symptoms, and not all are the same. Some people experience intense symptoms while others only mild ones. It’s important to remember that not all symptoms are due solely to menopause; some could be signs of another health condition as well.

Some of the most common symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, be sure to visit your healthcare provider for an evaluation and possible treatments.

Many women turn to alternative or complementary treatments as a way of relieving menopausal symptoms. These methods may include acupuncture, hypnosis, biofeedback and herbal products; though some have been scientifically proven beneficial, there is no proof of effectiveness from scientific studies and they can cause unwanted side effects.

Functional medicine for menopause takes a systems biology approach to diagnosing and treating the root causes of symptoms, rather than simply masking them with medications or supplements. Furthermore, this approach stresses the significance of nutrition, exercise and stress management to keep you feeling good throughout your menopause journey.

Cognitive changes such as memory loss and slowed processing speed are another common symptom of menopause, especially for women who have had a history of depression. If you observe any of these signs, it’s important to get screened for depression to ensure the best treatment options are available.

Fatigue can be a common symptom of menopause. While this is usually only temporary, if your fatigue becomes unbearable or disrupts your daily life, make an appointment with a healthcare provider to get it evaluated.

Menopause is one of the most significant milestones in your life and an ideal time to prioritize maintaining overall good health. Our complimentary Integrative Health Self-Care Guide can help you craft a program that will keep you feeling positive, healthy and fit during this exciting new phase of your life.


Menopause affects many hormones in the body, and these changes can be particularly dramatic for women. Sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone are especially affected by menopause, as are cortisol levels and thyroid levels.

Hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain as the body releases fat and increases fatty acids. Fortunately, this is not the only effect of menopause – diet and exercise play an integral role in helping women manage their symptoms and stay healthy during this transition.

Oestrogen is one of the hormones that decreases in concentration during menopause and it has been known for its effect on hot flashes, mood, sleep, libido and energy levels. Additionally, oestrogen helps menopausal women feel calmer by relieving anxiety, irritability and depression.

Functional medicine practitioners often recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which are exact replicas of the hormones produced during your fertile years. These medicines are composed of natural compounds with oestrogen and progesterone.

Research has suggested that taking bioidentical hormones during menopause may reduce your risk for developing heart disease and certain cancers. Unfortunately, this study was conducted several years ago on a much older population than today’s menopausal women are currently.

HRT (hormonal replacement therapy) can have detrimental effects on your brain if used for an extended period of time. Fortunately, the window of opportunity to receive oestrogen benefits during menopause is short; when administered early in the process, HRT can be an effective and safe way to slow cognitive decline and enhance memory.

L-theanine is an amino acid that increases GABA, serotonin and dopamine – all of which help to relax your nervous system, boost energy levels, focus and moods. It can be found in teas or supplements from companies such as Herb Pharm, Gaia Herbs and Mountain Rose.

Adrenal Support

The adrenals are essential in creating a balanced and healthy response to stress. They produce cortisol and DHEA hormones which regulate blood pressure, metabolism and energy levels.

Adrenal Fatigue can occur when the adrenals aren’t functioning at their optimal capacity, making life increasingly challenging.

Though there are natural treatments for this condition, the most effective approach to combatting it holistically. Eating less stress, engaging in meditation or breathing practices, and sleeping rituals can all help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Hypnosis has also been proven to reduce some of the most common menopause symptoms like hot flashes and irritability. For women who have not found relief through hormone replacement therapies, hypnosis may provide a viable option.

Herbal supplements can be an effective remedy for alleviating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Some common herbs used to combat this issue include Holy Basil, an effective anti-stress herb; and Ashwagandha which aids in DHEA production.

Red clover and motherwort can both help boost DHEA production when added to various dietary approaches.

Supplementing with the right supplements can be an effective way to get your adrenals back in balance. As always, consult with a physician or naturopath before adding any new supplement or herb into your regimen.

Functional medicine practitioners may suggest a combination of herbs, supplements and lifestyle modifications to treat adrenal fatigue. They’ll also ensure you take an entire spectrum of nutrients so your body gets enough essential vitamins and minerals it requires for optimal wellness.

In short, a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and regular exercise can do wonders to support your adrenals’ performance. Women who have a strong adrenal system tend to transition through menopause more smoothly than those without; however, everyone’s situation differs so it is important to tailor your treatment according to your individual health objectives.


It’s a well-known fact that your diet can significantly influence menopause symptoms. Eating nutritious foods helps your body stay functioning optimally and adapt to the changes it’s going through, while poor choices may trigger hot flashes or weight gain.

Eating a nutritious diet can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. Additionally, getting enough vitamin D, magnesium and other essential nutrients during menopause will help your body adjust to the changes brought on by this transition.

If you’re struggling with hot flashes or other menopause symptoms, discuss supplements and herbs with your doctor that could help. These could include phytoestrogens and other plant-based compounds.

These chemicals bind to receptors in your body and mimic oestrogen, helping reduce hot flashes. You may find them in certain vegetables, fruits and herbs such as soy.

You may wish to consider taking dietary supplements that contain isoflavones or other phytoestrogens, such as soy products and fish oils. These are generally safe options and can provide temporary relief from menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.

Hormone therapy is another option for treating hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Oestrogen and progesterone have been known to effectively relieve these discomforts, as well as prevent bone loss, reduce heart disease risk, and protect against breast cancer.

However, oestrogen therapy may have some potential negative side effects. You should discuss these with your healthcare provider to determine whether hormone therapy is suitable for you and whether there are any risks involved.

Bioidentical hormone therapies are natural hormones designed to mimic those produced by your body, making them generally safe and potentially more beneficial for health than synthetic or hormone-free alternatives.

Herbal therapies are becoming a go-to for women seeking to minimize or avoid the side effects of hormone therapy. While some herbal products are effective, others can be harmful or interact with other medications you’re taking. Be wary when selecting an herbal product for yourself!

Reflexology is a massage technique that stimulates certain reflex points on your hands and feet. This therapy, usually performed by an experienced therapist, may provide temporary relief from menopause symptoms like hot flashes, depression and fatigue.

For more information or if you would like to discuss treatment and management with Dr Stavy then please contact us via