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The menopause from the perspective of complementary medicine

PD Dr. med. Daniela Paepke

PD Dr. med. Daniela Paepke

December 19, 2023

reading time

4 min

A FOKUS interview with PD Dr Daniela Paepke: Our expert shares her recommendations and practical advice for women in transition.

What treatment for hot flushes can be recommended from the point of view of complementary medicine?

First of all, there are lifestyle factors that can help with hot flushes. These include losing weight if you are overweight, regular exercise in daylight, avoiding hot or spicy foods and reducing alcohol and coffee consumption.

It would be desirable for those affected to try to find time for relaxation exercises every day. This could be meditation, yoga, gi gong or a walk through nature - the options are many and varied. In the morning, cold watering your legs can help you start the day. In the evening, a foot bath can alleviate the symptoms.

Medicinally, black cohosh is the first plant to think of for hot flushes, as is sage.

What treatment for sleep disorders can be recommended from the point of view of complementary medicine?

First of all, it is always important to ensure adequate sleep hygiene and to respect biological rhythms. If possible, you should always go to bed at the same time. The bedroom should be dark and cool and only used for sleeping. A television should not be in the bedroom. The last meal before going to bed should be a light meal. Alcohol also inhibits deep sleep and should therefore only be consumed in reduced quantities in the evening.

A sleep tea containing valerian, hops, lemon balm and lavender is recommended 30 minutes before going to bed. A warm foot bath with lavender can also provide relief. If this is not enough, anthroposophic combination medication, for example, can help. However, this should be prescribed by a doctor.

What do you recommend for vaginal discomfort during the menopause?

I can recommend using a lubricant during sexual intercourse. Vaginal laser therapy and various topical vaginal creams or suppositories can also help. However, these should also be used on the recommendation of a doctor.

What should be considered with regard to weight gain during the menopause?

You should avoid gaining more than 5kg during the menopause. If possible, remain as active as you were in your youth and eat rhythmically (in the sense of intermittent fasting). A Mediterranean diet is particularly helpful here. It is a good prerequisite for a healthy old age and a good prophylaxis for reducing the risk of breast cancer during the menopause.

Portrait photo of PD Dr Daniela Paepke

PD Dr. med. Daniela Paepke

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