“Talk with your health care providers. Tell them about the complementary health approach you’re considering and ask any questions you may have about safety…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Alternative Medicine Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Ayurveda/Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Bioidentical Hormone Therapy/Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Bioidentical Hormones
  • Chinese Medicine Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Chiropractic
  • Complementary Health Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Complementary Medicine (CM)
  • Complementary Medicine Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
  • Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH)
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Medicine
  • Herbal Treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy
  • Integrative Health Care/Medicine
  • Manipulative and Body Based Therapies
  • Massage/Remedial Massage
  • Meditation
  • Menopause/Perimenopause/Postmenopause
  • Mind and Body Approaches/Practices/Therapies/Treatments
  • Mindfulness
  • Natural Approaches/Practices/Products/Remedies/Therapies/Treatments
  • Naturopathy
  • Non Mainstream Health Care
  • Nutrition/Nutritional/Dietary Approaches
  • Osteopathy
  • Prayer
  • Psychotherapy
  • Qi Gong
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Relaxation
  • Remedial Therapy
  • Spiritual Healing
  • Supplements
  • Tai Chi
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Traditional Medicine
  • Yoga

Terminology

Can complementary and integrative health (CIH) mean different things to different people?

I think the term CIH can be like the terms dietary supplements, herbal medicine and mind and body practices and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term CIH what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk.

It can therefore be important when the term CIH is used to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing or not. On page one in Natural Therapies the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“The terms ‘natural therapy’, ‘complementary therapy’, ‘complementary medicine’, ‘alternative medicine’ and ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM) are often used interchangeably to describe a wide range of healthcare practises, therapies, procedures and devices that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine. These therapies include acupuncture, herbal treatments, homeopathy, naturopathy, nutrition, massage and traditional Chinese medicine”.2

Complementary Health Approaches

Is there an association between complementary health approaches and menopause symptoms?

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Mind and Body Practices the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) note:

“Only a small amount of research has been done on most mind and body practices for menopause symptoms. However, the limited evidence currently available suggests that some of these practices might help to relieve symptoms or make them less bothersome”.3

In Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment: Alternative Medicine the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Many approaches have been promoted as aids in managing the symptoms of menopause, but few of them have scientific evidence to back up the claims. Some complementary and alternative treatments that have been or are being studied include:

  • Plant Estrogens (Phytoestrogens)…
  • Bioidentical Hormones…
  • Black Cohosh…
  • Yoga…
  • Acupuncture…
  • Hypnosis…”.4

Menopause Symptoms

What are some complementary health approaches for menopause symptoms?

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms the NCCIH elaborate on:

Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause

  • “Natural Products…
    • Phytoestrogens
    • Black Cohosh…
    • DHEA…
    • Dong Quai…
    • Vitamin E…
    • Other Natural Products…
  • Mind and Body Practices…
    • Acupuncture…
    • Hypnotherapy…
    • Mindfulness Meditation…
    • Yoga…
  • Other Complementary Approaches
    • Bioidentical Hormones…”.5

In Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Alternatives the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

  • “Lifestyle Measures…
  • Tibolone…
  • Antidepressants…
  • Clonidine…
  • Bioidentical or “Natural” Hormones
  • Complementary Therapies…”.6

In Complementary/Alternative Therapies for Menopausal Women: Complementary and Alternative Treatments the (British) Women’s Health Concern (WHC) elaborate on:

  • “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)…
  • Herbal Treatments…
    • Black Cohosh…
    • St John’s Wort…
  • Isoflavones and Soya Products (Plant substances found in the diet including red clover supplements)…
  • Acupuncture…
  • Non Hormonal Prescribed Treatments…
    • Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) [Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Citalopram, Sertraline] and the Serotonin Noradrenaline Re-uptake Inhibitor/Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI-SNRI) [Venlafaxine]…
    • Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (Gabapentin)…
    • Clonidine…
  • Treatments for breast cancer Survivors…”.7

In NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms: Non Hormonal Treatments for Vasomotor Symptoms the Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) elaborate on:

  • “Lifestyle Changes…
  • “Alternative” or Herbal Therapies…
  • Vitamin E…
  • Antidepressants…
  • Gabapentin…
  • Clonidine…”.8

In Menopause Management the JH elaborate on:

“Management and treatment of menopausal symptoms depend on each individual woman’s experience. Healthy living, herbal and complementary therapies (including herbs and phytoestrogens), menopausal hormone therapy, or MHT (formerly called hormone replacement therapy, or HRT), or some non-hormonal prescription medications may assist with symptoms”.9

Natural Therapies

Is there an association between natural therapies and menopause symptoms?

In Natural Therapies the JH elaborate on:

  • “Complementary Therapy Use in Australia…
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture…
  • Alexander Technique…
  • Herbal Medicine…
  • Homeopathy…
  • Nutrition…
  • Osteopathy…
  • Remedial Massage…”.10

Herbal Medicine

Is there an association between herbal medicine and menopause symptoms?

In Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes: Do Mother Nature’s Treatments Help Hot Flashes? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

  • “Black Cohosh…
  • Red Clover…
  • Dong Quai…
  • Ginseng…
  • Kava…
  • Evening Primrose Oil…”.11

Dietary Supplements

Is there an association between dietary supplements and menopause symptoms?

In Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? the NAMS answer this question and elaborate on:

“A. No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement or herbal therapies have been found to be effective on menopause symptoms. After exhaustive research, NAMS has concluded that only the S-equol derivative of soy isoflavones may be an option, providing there is no history of soy intolerance or allergy, but NAMS advises its use only with caution. Equol is a chemical that has some effects that are similar to the hormone estrogen, but it is much less potent than estrogen. If you still want to try a dietary supplement other than S-equol for your hot flashes, you must continue only with the appropriate oversight of your healthcare provider”.12

Black Cohosh

Is there an association between black cohosh and menopause symptoms?

In Black Cohosh: What Have We Learned? the NCCIH elaborate on:

  • “Studies that tested black cohosh for menopause symptoms have had inconsistent results. The overall evidence is insufficient to support using black cohosh for this purpose”.13

Elephants

What may be some elephants in the CIH room?Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause

DotS the elephants in the CIH room may vary. In Complementary and Herbal Therapies for Hot Flushes | New: January 2018 the AMS elaborate on:

“Prescription drugs cannot be licensed until they have been shown to be safe and effective. This is not the case for over the counter remedies for menopausal symptoms. The AMS advocates that all therapies whether prescription or alternative should not be used unless there is good research evidence for effectiveness and safety in the short and long term”.14

Safe or Not

Are natural therapies safe?

In Safety of Natural Therapies the JH note:

“Natural therapies are often considered safe and harmless because they are ‘natural’. However, this is simply not the case. Just as there are risks and unwanted side effects to conventional medical treatment such as painkillers and prescription drugs, there can be risks and unwanted side effects to natural therapies. Generally, the risks are smaller when it comes to natural therapies, but they are real and need to be respected”.15

Effective or Not

Complementary and Integrative Health and MenopauseIs complementary medicine as effective as menopausal hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms?

In Complementary Medicine Options for Menopausal Symptoms: Main Points the AMS elaborate on:

  • “No complementary medicine is as effective as oestrogen therapy for menopausal symptoms”.16

Tips for Talking

What are tips for talking to health care providers about CIH?

In 4 Tips: Start Talking With Your Health Care Providers About Complementary Health Approaches the NCCIH elaborate on:

  1. “List the complementary health practices you use on your patient history form…
  2. At each visit, be sure to tell your providers about what complementary health approaches you are using…
  3. If you are considering a new complementary health practice, ask questions…
  4. Don’t wait for your providers to ask about any complementary health practice you are using…”.17

Questions To Ask

What are some questions to ask health care providers about CIH?

The (United States) Hormone Health Network’s Alternative Medicine for Menopause Symptoms: Questions To Ask Your Healthcare Team include:

  • “Which lifestyle changes can I make that will decrease my menopause symptoms without medicine?
  • Are there any alternative medicine treatments you would recommend I try for relief of my menopause symptoms?
  • Are there any alternative medicines I should not use because they could interfere with medicines I take?
  • Does my health insurance plan cover the cost of any alternative medicine treatments?
  • Should I see an endocrinologist to help me with my menopause symptoms?”18

Health Care Provider

What if I choose to use CIH?

If you choose to use CIH it may be in your best interest to also choose to talk with your health care providers about this.

In Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? How Can I Get Reliable Information About A Complementary Health Approach? the NCCIH elaborate on:

  • “Talk with your health care providers. Tell them about the complementary health approach you’re considering and ask any questions you may have about safety, effectiveness, or interactions with medications (prescription or nonprescription) or dietary supplements”.19

In Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? Take Charge of Your Health the NCCIH also note:

“Tell all your health care providers—complementary and conventional—about all the health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care”.20

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Complementary and Integrative Health and Menopause?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? How Can I Get Reliable Information About A Complementary Health Approach? Last Updated: September 2016. This Page Last Modified 06 September 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/decisions/consideringcam.htm Accessed: 09 October 2019
  2. Natural Therapies & Supplements. Updated January 2017:1. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Natural_therapies.pdf Accessed: 09 October 2019
  3. Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Mind and Body Practices. Last Updated: May 2017. This Page Last Modified 27 March 2018. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms Accessed: 09 October 2019
  4. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Alternative Medicine. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 09 October 2019
  5. Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Mind and Body Practices. Last Updated: May 2017. This Page Last Modified 27 March 2018. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms Accessed: 09 October 2019
  6. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Alternatives. Page Last Reviewed: 09 September 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/alternatives/ Accessed: 09 October 2019
  7. Complementary/Alternative Therapies for Menopausal Women: Complementary and Alternative Treatments. Reviewed: August 2017. Women’s Health Concern http://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/complementaryalternative-therapies-menopausal-women/ Accessed: 09 October 2019
  8. NonHormonal Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms: NonHormonal Treatments for Vasomotor Symptoms. Content Updated: September 2018. Australasian Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/600-nonhormonal-treatments-for-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 09 October 2019
  9. Menopause Management. Last Updated 26 September 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management Accessed: 09 October 2019
  10. Natural Therapies. Last Updated 01 March 2017 – Last Reviewed 16 December 2016. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/natural-therapies-supplements/natural-therapies Accessed: 09 October 2019
  11. Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes: Do Mother Nature’s Treatments Help Hot Flashes? North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/natural-remedies-for-hot-flashes Accessed: 09 October 2019
  12. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms? North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 09 October 2019
  13. Black Cohosh: What Have We Learned? Updated: September 2016. This Page Last Modified 29 November 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ataglance.htm#hed3 Accessed: 09 October 2019
  14. Complementary and Herbal Therapies for Hot Flushes | New: January 2018. Content Updated January 2018. Australasian Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org.au/for-women/information-sheets/734-complementary-and-herbal-therapies-for-hot-flushes Accessed: 09 October 2019
  15. Safety of Natural Therapies. Last Updated 27 February 2017 — Last Reviewed 10 June 2016. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/natural-therapies-supplements/safety-of-natural-therapies Accessed: 09 October 2019
  16. Complementary Medicine Options for Menopausal Symptoms: Main Points. Content Updated: January 2018. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/complementary-medicine-options Accessed: 09 October 2019
  17. 4 Tips: Start Talking With Your Health Care Providers About Complementary Health Approaches. This Page Last Modified 09 October 2019. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/ttt Accessed: 14 October 2019
  18. Alternative Menopause Treatments: Questions To Ask Your Doctor. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/menopause-treatment/alternative-medicine-for-menopause-treatment Accessed: 09 October 2019
  19. Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? How Can I Get Reliable Information About A Complementary Health Approach? Last Updated: September 2016. This Page Last Modified 06 September 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/decisions/consideringcam.htm Accessed: 09 October 2019
  20. Are You Considering A Complementary Health Approach? Take Charge of Your Health. Last Updated: September 2016. This Page Last Modified 06 September 2016. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/decisions/consideringcam.htm Accessed: 09 October 2019
Topic Last Updated: 31 October 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 09 October 2019
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