Since the early 2000s, we’ve known that hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats carries some big risks, including an increased risk for breast cancer and heart disease. Even so, doctors have still continued to push hormone therapy as the most effective option.
But is it? Studies have actually found that the difference between hormone therapy for menopausal women and an alternative medication are so slim as to be irrelevant.
That means you have options! As with most things, it’s a good idea to start with the treatment that is least invasive/has the fewest side effects, and go up if you decide you really need to.
For women dealing with menopause (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings) there are several natural strategies to try first:
-Drink lots of water. Your body doesn’t stand a chance of regulating itself if you get dehydrated, and those temperature swings will just feel worse. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can cause dehydration (and carbonated beverages which can speed bone loss).
-Try natural supplements targeted at helping your body balance itself; Adrenal MGR provides nutrition for your adrenal glands, which can help pick up the hormonal slack as your ovaries slow down, many women experience balance with evening primrose oil, or you can really get specific with Welltrients for Women which is designed to fulfill the needs of mature women.
-Focus on a healthy diet (lean, low in processed sugar)—you want your body to function optimally, and that means 1) adequate nutritional support 2) not clogging things up with junk.
-Try exercise. Women who exercise regularly report fewer mood swings and improved sleep!
If natural isn’t working, talk to your doctor. Before trying hormone therapy, look into some of the alternative, safer medications. If you do try hormone therapy, be aware that current recommendations advise starting at the lowest dose.
What are your worst menopause symptoms, and how do you treat them?