Natural health: Menopause and balanitis

There are many natural alternatives to assist women to adjust to the hormonal changes associated with menopause safely, quickly, and easily.
Natural health: Menopause and balanitis

Q. I have been taking hormone replacement for nearly 12 years, and have been working on cutting the dosage down for the past six months. I’m now at about half of the dose I was on before.

I would like to finish completely, but I don’t want a return of all the dreadful symptoms. What can I do to naturally support my hormones?

A. I am not surprised that you want to do anything you can to avoid a re-run of the symptoms — hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, headaches, mood swings, breast tenderness, weight gain, vaginal dryness, bladder problems, bloating, osteoporosis, decreased libido, and changes in skin, hair, teeth and nails are all common complaints associated with menopause.

HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is an area of great debate for many women who are either approaching or experiencing menopause.

With the promise of restored libido, improved complexion, and a means to end hot flushes, night sweats, irritability and depression, HRT has been welcomed by menopausal women and the medical profession.

However, long-term use of HRT has been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer and blood clots.

While this has prompted many women to discontinue the treatment, a number of these women have found a significant decrease in bone density after stopping HRT.

Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives to assist women to adjust to the hormonal changes associated with menopause safely, quickly, and easily.

There is a wonderful formulation called Sage Complex made by FoodScience of Vermont, that utilises a synergistic combination of herbs to address hormonal balance and relief of common symptoms.

Sage Complex contains wild yam, dong quai, red clover, agnus castus, sage leaf, Siberian ginseng, pomegranate extract, hops, kudzu, and fenugreek.

Not only will it address hormonal balance, it is also designed to help with bone density, gland support, adrenal support, stress reduction, reproductive tone, hot flushes and night sweats, and maintaining oestrogen levels.

I assume that you are working with your GP or chosen health professional to safely manage your dose reduction.

Sage Complex is available from Victoria Health, ( www.victoriahealth.com 00 44 1733 709 100) where 90 vegecaps costs £25 (€27.78).

Q. Do have any advice on the treatment of balanitis?

A. Balanitis is an inflammation of the glans (head) of the penis, usually accompanied by a red blotchy rash and sometimes a discharge.

While it can be uncomfortable and itchy for some, others don’t experience any great discomfort from it.

Some individuals express concern that balanitis may be sexually transmitted because it affects the genitals; the good news is that it is not an STD.

It typically occurs in uncircumcised males more often than circumcised males due to the dark, warm, and moist environment underneath the foreskin, which can be ideal for the overgrowth of bacterial organisms.

Irritant dermatitis can be an underlying factor — so while you may feel inclined to wash the area with soap, please refrain from doing so as this will only make matters worse.

The most effective treatment for balanitis is simply to keep both the glans and the foreskin clean and dry, practising good hygiene in order to prevent future occurrences.

The most effective way to keep the area clean is to slide the foreskin gently back until the glans is completely exposed then use tepid or warm running water without any soap. After rinsing it clean, carefully pat the area with a soft towel until it is completely dry before allowing the foreskin to return its usual position.

When urinating, gently slide the foreskin back so that it doesn’t get wet, and ensure the area is dry following urination.

It is important to consult your doctor if you experience any resistance or extreme pain when moving your foreskin as this can rapidly lead to serious complications.

Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard?

Email it to feelgood@examiner.ie

or send a letter to:

Feelgood,

Irish Examiner,

Linn Dubh,

Assumption Road,

Blackpool,

Cork

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a subsitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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