Bioidentical Hormones

Post image for Food as Medicine: Omega-3s & Zinc For Itchy Skin and Scalp in Perimenopause

This is the first post in a new series I’m entitling “Food as Medicine.”  After several years of reading and writing about perimenopause, I’ve come to the conclusion that food is as important in managing the symptoms of perimenopause, as I believe bioidentical hormones are.

In fact, I would likely say that food is even more important.

Now, I’m not about to tell anyone to throw out their hormones. I’m certainly not going to throw out mine. But, in the coming months – and perhaps even years, who knows  –  I plan to devote a significant amount of time researching the benefits of food as medicine as another way to treat the symptoms of perimenopause.

I have been astonished a lifetime by the fact that food is and continues to be grossly under-represented and under-emphasized in the education and training of our physicians and medical professionals.

Thirty years ago when I was studying to become an RN (a degree I never finished), I was gobsmacked to learn in one of my clinical classes that Florence Nightingale was considered “revolutionary” when she suggested that sunshine, fresh air, clean sheets, and healthy food were needed to help heal the sick. Incredible isn’t it? How can something so obvious elude so many?

And yet, not much has changed in the past thirty years.

I think a big part of this problem lies with the insidious creep of the pharmaceutical companies which continue to increase in prestige and power, not just within the medical community, but in our culture as well.

There is a pharmaceutical fix for every ache, pain, or discomfort we might experience. And with every new medical breakthrough and discovery, there is a corresponding drug, medical condition, and television advertising campaign to go along with it.

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For women in perimenopause, the pharmaceutical industry sees an absolute gold mine.  We are perhaps the most sought after demographic when it comes to peddling drugs, treatments, and your garden variety snake oils.

Again, I’m not advocating we all throw out our hormones or anything else you might take to relieve your hormonal suffering. I’m simply suggesting that we need to give food and the benefits of food for improving our health and alleviating symptoms, a long, hard look.

With all of that said let’s begin the series with Omega-3s and Zinc as a food remedy for itchy skin and itchy scalp in perimenopause.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3s can be found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, or algae oils. Omega-3s  help produce an oil barrier for our skin, which aids in hydration.

Omega-3s also promote a healthy scalp, which reduces itch, which in turn promotes healthy hair, which also promotes a healthy scalp, and the healthy cycle continues.

I’m a personal fan of flaxseed oil for a source of Omega-3.  I love to add it to my green smoothies which I make with my Nutribullet.  Whole flaxseeds can be ground up in the Nutribullet for an added source of fiber as well.


Other sources of Omega-3s are sardines, soybeans, soy products, shrimp, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and even beef.  Omega-3 fatty acids are easy for me to incorporate into my diet because I happen to love oily fish.

However, if you do not, these other sources are good as well. And of course, you an always use omega-3 supplements too. Barleen’s makes an organic soft-gel in 1000 mgs, Deva puts out an organic vegan Flaxseed cap, and New Chapter also puts out a good supplement.

Zinc for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

Zinc is an essential mineral in our diet for the maintenance of skin, hair and nails. A deficiency in Zinc contributes to both itchy skin and scalp, dandruff and eczema.

And here’s the great news: All of the foods which I have listed as an excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are also excellent sources of Zinc as well.

For other sources of Zinc, you can eat lamb, oysters, wheat germ, spinach (which I also put in my Nutribullet green smoothies), pumpkin and squash seeds, and cashews.

Other Natural Remedies for Itchy Skin & Itchy Scalp in Perimenopause

DHSIn another post I listed some natural, non-food remedies for itchy scalp.  You can read that post here.

It includes a recommendation for a shampoo by a company called DHS.  They make an outstanding Zinc formula which I can’t say enough good things about.

It was recommended to me by my dermatologist and it is simply outstanding. I use it along with a baking soda/cider vinegar rinse that I discuss in the post.

And finally, in anther post I wrote on this topic a few years ago, I also make some recommendations on non-food solutions for itchy skin. However, rather than repeat myself,  I’ll direct you to that post right here.  

So that’s it, ladies!  My next post on “Food as Medicine” will be sources of food which can help with achy joints and muscles during perimenopause. Until then, don’t forget to join us at Facebook if you haven’t already!


Looking for Resources for Perimenopause? Look No Further!

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A lot of my readers ask for help in locating physicians, pharmacies, and recommendations for bioidentical progesterone (which I promote a lot here).  I almost always forget to direct them to my  Resources Page.  And unless you take the time to click through on some of my pages, you might not locate it either, though […]

February 15, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Estrogen, Uterine Polyps & Me

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UPDATE: A reader left a comment pointing out that this article wasn’t entirely accurate.  She herself had undergone a procedure to have uterine polyps removed and informed me that hers were so deeply embedded in her uterus, that there was no possible way for a routine gynecological exam to discover them. She also noted there […]

January 30, 2015 CONTINUE READING →

Bioidentical Progesterone for Insomnia: It Works for Me!

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I’ve been taking Prometrium, an FDA approved bioidentical progesterone, for the past month to help me with sleep, and to help with my night sweats and hot flashes. I told you all I would share my experience with you, and the jury is in: it works. I am taking 200 milligrams about 2 hours before […]

November 18, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

So Exactly “WHAT” are Bioidentical Hormones?

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I’m going to come clean and tell you that until the last couple of years, I really didn’t understand the difference between bioidentical hormones and what we call synthetic hormones. I also didn’t know that bioidentical hormones have actually been around for a very long time – like, nearly 100 years. Surprised?  I was too. […]

October 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

FDA Approved Bioidentical Hormones……Really?

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It does seem like an oxymoron to have the words “bioidentical” and “FDA approved” in the same sentence, I know.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably always associated anything that is FDA approved with pharmaceutical companies. You’ve probably also thought that anything produced by a pharmaceutical company couldn’t be bioidentical or natural either – and […]

October 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Prometrium: An Oral FDA Approved Bioidentical Progesterone

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It is no secret that I personally prefer bioidentical hormones for the treatment of symptoms of perimenopause as opposed to synthetic hormones and drugs. In fact, I sincerely believe that most women prefer natural, healthier, and less intrusive treatments as well. However, most bioidentical hormones are not FDA approved, and therefore, are not covered by most health insurance plans. Unfortunately, this […]

October 22, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Premarin, Prempro & Bioidentical Hormones

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If you are confused about the difference between synthetic hormones and bioidentical hormones, you are certainly not alone. The difference between the two is a hotly contested issue among medical professionals, and unfortunately, it is women suffering with hormone imbalance who are always caught in the middle. Some physicians will tell you flatly bioidentical hormones […]

October 16, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Dear Magnolia…….Bioidentical Hormones Have Worked for Me!

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I received this comment recently from a reader who identified herself as “Found the Solution.” I was so impressed with what she had to share that I wanted to feature her comment in this month’s “Dear Magnolia” installment.  “Found the Solution” encapsulates in her comment everything I have blogged about here at The Perimenopause Blog […]

October 15, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Hormone Replacement Therapy isn’t as Scary as You Think

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In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative study sent the medical professionals prescribing hormone replacement therapy to their patients into a bonafide tail spin. Terrified of putting women at risk for coronary heart disease, stroke or breast cancer, physicians abandoned HRT all together, advising their patients to do the same. Few would argue the value of the study. […]

October 1, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Are Lab Tests Accurate in Testing for Perimenopause?

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In Western medicine lab work is king. Blood work can tell you if you’re pregnant or if you’re not. You can determine if you’re diabetic or have kidney disease. If you have an infection, a high white blood cell count will tell all. And if law enforcement authorities want to determine if you are legally drunk, blood-alcohol levels can also send […]

August 11, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

DHEA: What is it & Why Should You Care?

If you’re anything like me, prior to perimenopause the only thing you knew about hormones was that you had them, and that about every 28 days or so, you had a deep and passionate longing for a luscious piece of chocolate and a high powered firearm with bulls-eye accuracy. In prior generations there wasn’t much talk about […]


Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part III

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This is the final post in Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s series on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.    If you wish to contact Dr. Mazzei or any of his colleagues in the Body Logic medical group, please see his byline at the end of the post.  As always, the views expressed in this post […]


Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part II

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Today’s post is a continuation of  Dr. Joseph Mazzei’s post on the relationship between estrogen therapy and breast cancer.  The views expressed in this post are not necessarily the views held by The Perimenopause Blog and are for informational purposes only. Please see your physician or healthcare provider for personal medical evaluations.  Let us continue our conversation from […]

June 29, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? Part I

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Today’s post is a guest post by Dr. Joseph Mazzei, a Chicago based doctor for BodyLogicMD, a medical group which sponsors The Perimenopause Blog. I asked Dr. Mazzei if he could give his opinion on estrogen therapy since it is starting to make its way back into the news once again.  In this post, Dr. Mazzei […]

June 24, 2014 CONTINUE READING →

Symptoms of Perimenopause Symptoms of Menopause

I thought it would be appropriate – and helpful – to follow up on a recent post I did on the difference between perimenopause and menopause and provide a list of the symptoms associated with each. Though the terms are often (and I’m guilty of the same) used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Perimenopause is a transitional […]

November 17, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Natural Therapies for Menopause & Product Giveaway!

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Today’s post is a guest post from Dr. Rawls, co-founder of the company Vital Plan and the non-hormone product HPA Balance® to treat perimenopause and menopause symptoms.  To participate in the giveaway either leave a comment on this post in the comment section, or join us at Facebook.  Either “Like” the post, or leave a […]

October 14, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

Maggie on the Radio!

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I was a guest on Hotze Wellness Radio on KSEV Radio in Houston, Texas, for the full hour yesterday, to discuss my role as a women’s health blogger, and advocate for women going through perimenopause. I tried not to think about how many people might be listening, and focus only on the doctor who was […]

October 4, 2013 CONTINUE READING →

What are the Risks & Side Effects of Prometrium?

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Prior to my taking Prometrium, an FDA approved, bioidentical, oral progesterone, I used bioidentical progesterone in a cream form, which I purchased from compounding pharmacies. I was careful to only purchase the highest grade and quality I could find (read: expensive), and used it happily for several years with no negative side-effects. Last year, on the […]

August 24, 2013 CONTINUE READING →