While some women are able to undergo the menopausal transition without incident, most will experience some combination of all 34 menopause symptoms. In fact, up to 70% of women experience menopausal symptoms.
The duration varies; for many women the symptoms cease after the occurrence of menopause (typically in the mid to late 50´s), yet other women will continue experiencing them well into old age. Though these menopausal symptoms may be unpleasant, it is important to remember that menopause, rather than being an illness, is a natural, normal change in a woman´s body.
Fortunately, as menopausal symptoms are a consequence of fluctuations in hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, it is possible to come up with a menopause treatment for this imbalance. Though it used to be in vogue to prescribe hormone replacement therapy as a menopausal treatment for this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, along with heart disease and blood clots, have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic menopause treatment option.
Many agree that the most effective treatment for menopause is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative
menopause treatment options. Three approaches for treating the 34 Menopausal Symptoms:
Three levels of approaches can be considered as treatment for menopause.
These are categorized as:
- Lifestyle Changes,
- Alternative Medicine and
- Drugs and Surgery.
It is recommended to begin with the least risky option, lifestyle changes, before progressing up to the next stage of menopause treatment. Drugs and surgery should be used only in extreme cases.
1: Lifestyle Changes:
This primary level of menopause treatment involves the least amount of risk, though conversely it requires the highest amount of self discipline. Many times some simple changes in lifestyle can reap huge benefits in fighting menopausal symptoms, and achieving a higher overall level of health.
Fundamentally, techniques for stress reduction, such as yoga or meditation, combined with regular exercise and an improved diet, can be a great natural menopause treatment.
Diet in particular is key. Studies have shown that diets rich in foods that promote estrogen levels (such as soy, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams) are great menopause treatments.
Simple Lifestyle Changes:
- Avoid caffeine/alcohol
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night
- Intake vitamins B,C,D,E
- Practice breathing exercises
- Eat a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Stay hydrated
Making lifestyle changes is easier said than done, especially if one is accustomed to a certain routine. These changes will help alleviate many symptoms, but they do not address the problem directly at the hormonal source and so further treatment may be necessary. Alternative medicine has proven to be an excellent menopause treatment in a safe and natural way.
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2: Alternative Medicine:
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat all 34 menopause symptoms. This level of approach can involve several different therapies. Herbal supplements are the most prominent, though in addition women may turn to such menopause treatments as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, aromatherapy, or hypnosis.
All of these treatments can be valid and effective, though most women find that herbal supplements are the easiest menopause treatment to follow, as the other menopause treatments require a greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal supplements are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
In the case of herbal supplements, there are two types of herbs that can be used for treating the 34 menopause symptoms: phyto-estrogenic and non-estrogenic herbs.
Phyto-estrogenic herbs (e.g. Maca) contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, provide a menopause treatment for hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body.
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A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will most likely be the best treatment for menopause.
However, for some women the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary.
In taking the leap into pharmaceutical options, side effects are inevitable, yet sometimes menopause treatment can be worth it if the benefits will outweigh the risks.
3: Drugs and Surgery:
Interventions at the third level of menopause treatment involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for treating the 34 menopause symptoms in the US is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This may be a quick and strong menopause treatment that combats hormonal imbalance; but, unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different types of cancer among women, as the following study has proven.
In 1991 the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States. The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible benefits and risks associated with use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a menopause treatment.
This study was canceled in July 2002, after it was proven that synthetic hormones increase risks of ovarian and breast cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes.
The findings on this menopause treatment were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and to this date have not been disputed.
If symptoms are at the level of severity that a woman is still considering this final option of menopause treatment, it is wise to speak to a healthcare professional for guidance.
These three levels of menopause treatments are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different menopause treatments at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of symptoms.
Today more and more women find that dealing with menopause symptoms is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
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