To help women choose the best treatment for their particular symptoms and situation, I have found that three different universal patterns exist which I have coined as “menotypes.” This article helps you find out as quickly and easily as possible what your “menotype” is and the approach that is most likely to help you.As well, for those requiring hormone replacement, I have included very specific information on bioidentical hormones.
Menotypes at a glance
Those women who fit the description of menotype A have an easier time than the other groups in deciding which course of action to take because A types really do not experience strong menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and so on. They do not have any signs of osteoporosis, and hormone analysis does not show a major deficiency. This group accounts for 5-10% of the menopausal women we see in our clinic (in other cultures it is much higher). Why should these women be put on hormones? For women who fit the symptoms of this category a completely natural protocol works well. A diet rich in plant foods, heart and bone protective supplements will be very effective.
Those who fit the profile of Menotype B have more choices to make. They’re experiencing some uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, possibly while trying to juggle a career and/or home life. Some say they feel scared, confused, and angry at the same time. They may be scared because the symptoms they’re feeling are stronger than they had anticipated or because they’re becoming aware of their increased risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. They may also be frightened they’ll get breast cancer—a condition that can appear regardless of menotype.
Confusion and anxiety may arise over deciding which approach to take toward relieving symptoms. A woman might be under pressure from her doctor to use hormone replacement or she may be unsure if the natural treatment she wants to use actually works.
A little more thought must be given when deciding what approach is best for women in this group. In our experience, this represents the largest menotype group, making up approximately 55-65% of menopausal women.
Menopausal symptoms of Menotype B are generally rated in the mild to moderate category. For some women in this group, symptoms are slight, such as the occasional hot flash, mild insomnia, or a reduction in libido. For others the symptoms are so pronounced that they interfere with daily activities. Women who fit this profile seek help for relief of symptoms. Natural therapies such as the well publicized herb Black Cohosh or Maca root extract are very safe and effective. Several other herbs we discuss in our book will help alleviate a multitude of physical, emotional, and mental symptoms commonly experienced. In addition, some women require the use of natural progesterone for substantial relief of symptoms. Proper dosing and testing are essential for optimal benefits.
The protocol for Menotype C’s very straightforward. Simply put, this category is for menopausal women who, for one reason or another, require hormone replacement therapy. Women who fit this profile have severe menopausal symptoms (extreme night sweats and hot flashes, mood swings, etc) and may also have a bad case of osteoporosis. This accounts for approximately 25-30 % of all menopausal women we see in our clinic. The real decision comes down to whether to use “natural” or “synthetic” hormones.
In general, it makes sense to use hormones that are identical to those you find in the human body (and not what you find in a horse), so we tend to favor “natural” hormones over synthetic ones. This refers to hormones that are exactly the same as what you find in the human body. You won’t hear much about natural hormones from the pharmaceutical companies as they are unpatentable (and much less profitable). However, they are available and we discuss where you can get them and how to best work with a doctor to use them. We feel that for every synthetic hormone available there also exists a much more compatible natural version. If you are going to take hormones it makes sense to go as natural as possible.