Many women transitioning into menopause seek relief from its symptoms through methods of treatment and management that do not include hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Much research is being conducted regarding the safety and effectiveness of such alternative treatments, but conclusive evidence is lacking. You must discuss alternative treatment plans with your doctor. Do not embark upon the development of a treatment plan without medical advice.
The following are a few options that show promising potential for treating menopausal symptoms in a fairly safe and useful manner:
These are considered to be effective in treating menopausal symptoms, although research is fairly inconclusive.
Some of the most popular herbs used are:
Black Cohosh, which comes from the roots and leaves of the snakeroot plant. It is used to boost hormone levels (it mimics estrogen), treat hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. It is considered to be rather safe as long, as no liver problems are present. It comes in the forms of tea, extracts, or pills.
Phytoestrogens are found in green tea, soy beans, nuts, and many vegetables. They are used to boost hormone levels and are considered safe when there is no familial history of breast cancer. Phytoestrogens come in the forms of tea, extracts, or pills.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a supplement to natural steroids produced by the adrenal glands. It is considered as a treatment for all menopausal symptoms, but research is vague and generally not conclusive. For this reason, DHEA is not considered a safe treatment, especially without further favorable research. It is only available in pill form.
Healthy lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes are the most favorable approach to treating the symptoms of menopause.
The two most widely used areas of change are:
Dietary changes that:
Limit caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Instead drink plenty of water.
Increase intake of fruits, vegetables, high-calcium foods, and omega-3 fats.
Decrease intake of high-fat, high-sugar and saturated fats (packaged foods).
Eat smaller, more frequent meals, especially small meals in the evening.
Daily exercise plans that include:
Walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics
Cardio and resistance weight training
Yoga – promotes relaxation and emotional health
Some women have found that more contemporary approaches, such as acupuncture and paced-breathing work better for them in addressing the symptoms of menopause, but such approaches should only be used with a doctor’s recommendation.
In summary, the treatment and management of menopausal symptoms can be greatly enhanced by adopting some or all of the above recommendations. You, and everyone around you, will benefit from these investments in the management of your menopausal transition.