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Women can find help for their special concerns through supplements.

Janet Breitkreutz was worried. Her 16-year-old daughter, Kristen, was experiencing severe cramps nearly every month during her period. As the mother of an active girl, Janet knew that this monthly disturbance could affect her daughter’s schoolwork.

“Kristen is very academically focused. She is in 11th grade, but is taking academically challenging programs for 12th graders. Kristen is tough and motivated, she goes to class no matter what—such pain once a month has to be a distraction.”

This was not something new. Kristen had been experiencing cramps since she started her monthly cycle, and Janet had tried a number of things to help.

“We did give Kristen some painkillers, but they only helped a little. The pain was truly awful. She has severe cramping for as long as three days—sometimes so bad she can hardly walk. Once, she went to a teacher interview and could not even walk back to the car—her pain was so bad. I didn’t know what to do.”

An AIM Member from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Janet keeps up to date on current products, and when AIM released RevitaFem™ Cycle I, she decided to have her daughter give it a try. “She took it for a month,” Janet remembers, “and had no cramping. What a relief! We weren’t sure if it was just a ‘lucky’ month for us, but when she stopped taking it, the cramps came back. I’m sure it’s the product that is making the difference.”

Another woman, in a different situation, also discovered the benefits of RevitaFem™, but this time Cycle II. L.C. in Texas was put into a “chemical menopause” due to a medical situation. Her symptoms were terrible: “I had everything from the hot flashes to the night sweats and just generally not feeling good at all,” she remembers. “There were times that I wanted to crawl out of my skin!”

L.C. knew about AIMRevitaFem™ Cycle II, and decided to give it a try. After consulting with her chiropractor, she began taking three tablets, three times a day. As she says, “The difference was like night and day! Almost all symptoms went away, with the exception of not being able to sleep at night. But I started using AIMRenewed Balance™ and started sleeping the whole night through.”


The role of hormones

It is no surprise to Andrew Myers to hear these results. A naturopathic physician and vice president of product development and chief science officer at AIM, Dr. Myers is well aware of how herbal ingredients, such as those found in the AIMRevitaFem™ products, can help women.

“In terms of herbal medicine and traditional approaches to medicine, herbal medicines deal very well with women’s healthcare issues, as many of the herbalists through history have actually been women. And today, science is bearing out much of what these wise herbalists have known for ages—that herbs can help.”

What Myers and others who educate themselves on herbs and women’s health know is that many “traditional herbs” play a role in hormonal balance—something that plays a central role in concerns revolving around the menstrual cycle and menopause.

According to Myers, “when a woman has too much estrogen relevant to her progesterone, the two hormones are out of balance and she has what is known as estrogen dominance. This can result in uncomfortable symptoms, both in younger women and those undergoing menopause.”

Briefly, when estrogen dominance exists, menstrual irregularities may occur in younger women and menopause systems in women at this stage in life. These irregularities include cramps, PMS, inconsistent timing of the period, and inconsistency in the menstrual flow. For menopausal women, the all-too-familiar hot flashes, sweats, and mood swings may occur.


Lifestyle changes

Many women achieve some relief from their PMS or menopausal symptoms through lifestyle changes. Because estrogen can be overproduced due to obesity, losing weight and regular exercise may provide some relief. Sugar may also play a role in PMS. According to a study in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine (83:82), women with PMS consume three times as much refined sugar as those in other groups. Other ways to help with the estrogen/progesterone ratio is to consume high-fiber foods, and there are many studies that note that those who eat a high-fiber, vegetarian diet have fewer PMS symptoms.

A healthy diet also helps with menopause. To combat hot flashes, avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and chocolate. Eating more soy-based foods is also beneficial, to both menopausal women and younger women. Soy contains weak plant-derived estrogens known as phytoestrogens, which help balance your hormonal levels.

Soy is a central part of the AIMRevitaFem™ products. Both Cycle I and Cycle II contain a proprietary soy isoflavone/wild yam base, which provides these important phytoestrogens.

According to Myers, the wild yam helps with progesterone levels and the soy helps with hormonal balance, and more. He notes that “soy is a great plant-based medicine that comes to us from Asia. In Asia, women who eat a high level of soy products have fewer problems with things like hot flashes and PMS, as well as bone and cardiovascular health issues. So this soy/yam base really benefits both age groups.”

Myers goes on to note that “both younger and older women have issues of hormone balance. For younger, menstruating women, the issues occur within a 30-day pattern, as opposed to changes as they get older. So, one of the things these women need is additional support in terms of the balance between estrogens and progesterone, which the soy and wild yam provide. For menopausal women, the formula again targets hormonal balance, but keeping in mind the hormonal changes are continually happening and their levels, especially estrogen, are actually decreasing—it’s not just a 30-day thing.”

To make the two AIM RevitaFem™ products even more effective, different herbs are added to each formula to target the concerns of either PMS or menopause. Myers notes that “the Cycle I formula contains chaste berry extract, which helps the body regulate hormone levels through communication between the brain and the ovaries. Dong quai has balancing effects and helps to improve well-being. Licorice root has a mild effect in terms of hormone balancing, but also helps with some key issues in terms of PMS, especially with water retention issues. Finally, dandelion acts on the liver, helping to improve its function, specifically in improved clearance of hormones.”

Myers considers this a great all-around formula: “This formula combines herbs that actually help to balance hormone levels, support and promote the function of hormone production, and have an effect on the liver to help in terms of hormone clearance. This is always an issue for women who are menstruating and looking to clear those hormones on a monthly basis.”

The Cycle II formula is just as comprehensive. In addition to the soy/wild yam combination, it contains black cohosh, kava kava, Siberian ginseng, and hesperidin.

According to Myers, black cohosh extract is recommended in Germany for menopausal issues and has a potent hormone-balancing effect. He notes that “it gives women a more rounded, a more gentle transition as their hormone levels change through the change of life.”

Kava kava has relaxing effects. This targets the nervousness or anxiety associated with the change of life. Siberian ginseng helps women adapt to change and to stress. Again, Myers comments that “it helps us to provide a foundation for well-being and energy and helps keep you smooth and well-rounded during that time.”

Finally, Cycle II contains hesperidin, which is a flavonoid and antioxidant specifically found in concentration in the ovaries. Myers notes that as women go through the change of life, there may be changes in the ovaries in which they need a little more nutritional support, and hesperidin helps support this.


The bottom line

Today, women deal with a lot. The stress of work, the stress of family, making sure that they’re healthy—this all impacts their health. One of the best things women can do is be proactive in making healthy lifestyle decisions and using nutritional supplements.

As Myers says, “Women’s healthcare issues are very important. In fact, in our medical culture, women’s healthcare issues haven’t been dealt with as well as I believe they should have been. Traditional formulas, such as those found in the AIMRevitaFem™ products, are of particular importance to me because they give women an option. They offer them a natural, safe, and effective alternative to other treatments that may have some risks or side effects associated. They will help with long-term health, because that’s what you really want. You want to have quality of life, both now and as you age.”

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