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What doctors want women to know about cannabis and menopause

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When it comes to Menopause And menopause, many suffer from symptoms that make them feel uncomfortable and even miserable at times. However, more and more people are finding a new way to cope: Some have found that marijuana can help with hot flashes, disturbed sleep, mood changes and Vaginal dryness and pain. While more people are comfortable turning to cannabis for help, there is little research showing if it works or how to use it.

Jennifer Lincoln, author of “Let’s Talk Down There: OB-GYN Answers All Your Burning Questions…Without Making You Embarrassed Asking,” told TODAY. “Really, we need more research on hemp and CBD.”

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers cannabis a Schedule one drug (meaning it has no acceptable medical use), she said, “It really restricts our hands and makes research very difficult.” There are treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration, such as hormone therapyIt works well with many symptoms.

Lincoln: “Historically, women’s health, and the things that affect women’s health, tend to be underresearched and underfunded, but we do know that there are good treatments for dealing with menopausal symptoms, whether it’s vaginal dryness, hot flashes, or mood disturbances,” he said. “It has been well studied. We know the doses and the combinations.”

However, many may feel that their symptoms are just a part of aging and do not seek help for them. Or they may try to discuss it but feel as though they are being rejected. This can contribute to people who are looking for cannabis for help.

Related:

Why do people in menopause turn to cannabis?

a Study from 2020 It was found that approximately 27% of menopausal people use marijuana to relieve symptoms. Another 10% indicated that they wanted to use marijuana to manage symptoms, while only 19% used conventional treatments.

“People going through menopause are left thinking, ‘Well, I don’t know where to go, so they try (hemp)’,” Lincoln explained. “I feel for them because they feel like no one is listening to them.”

Dr. Lauren Streicher, MD, medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual and Menopausal Medicine, is writing a series of books about menopausal symptoms. In her latest book, “Hot Flash Hell,” she explains how to use marijuana as a treatment for hot flashes in one chapter.

“What we do know is that there are a lot of women who use cannabis to relieve menopausal symptoms, and they have absolutely no direction,” Streicher told TODAY. “Not much research has been done.”

I looked at what experts know about cannabis and applied it to the way some might want to use it for menopause.

“Any information I provide is based on the science behind cannabis rather than[a study]in which we took 1,000 menopausal women with hot flashes and gave half of them cannabis,” she said. “We don’t have those studies.”

Streicher also began surveying people to understand the symptoms that cause them to use cannabis.

“In general, the two things that cannabis is used for are hot flashes and sleep, and of course they go together,” she said. “It’s the hot flashes that in most cases keep women awake at night.”

When I say, ‘Who directed you to what you should take? More than 50% say ‘Nobody. I was just trying to figure it out on my own,” Streicher continued. “In here lies the problem.”

For example, people sometimes take in foods that can take several hours to work. When they don’t feel the effects fast enough, they may show more. This may mean that they are taking too high a dose. In other cases, they don’t take enough because they don’t realize how their bodies process cannabis.

“No one is directing them that they are metabolizing much more slowly, which will affect not only what they should eat, but how and how much they should eat,” she said. “That’s the direction I’ve been trying to give in my class as best I can say, ‘Well, if you’re going to do this, I don’t want you to get in trouble. ”

Talk to your doctor first

Experts agree that if people take cannabis for any reason, they should tell their doctors. It can interact with some medications and affect how much sedation one may need, for example.

“Please tell us,” said Lincoln. “We’re here to help, and we don’t judge you when you tell us you’re using this or that. It’s just like with any other supplement. It’s very important to know what you are up to.”

She added that there is one symptom of menopause that people should definitely talk about with their doctors and not try to treat themselves.

“Which bleeding “After you’ve officially gone through menopause, we need to know that you’re at high risk of developing uterine cancer,” Lincoln said. “That doesn’t mean that’s what it is. I don’t want to scare you from getting treatment. But we need to check on you.”

Streicher said she hopes more people will talk about menopause so they understand what it is and what treatments are available.

“Their doctors don’t bring it up. They don’t. And if they bring it up to him, a lot of times women have a non-expert doctor.” She never finished menopause. You enter menopause and you go into menopause until you die.”

This article was originally published TODAY.com 

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