When it comes to menopause treatment options, most people instantly think of hormone replacement therapy or prescription remedies, but for some women, these symptoms may be treated effectively with natural therapeutic protocols and without the use of medications at all.
Menopause is a natural life stage that impacts women who reach their late forties or early fifties. The event occurs because reproductive and sexual organs, like the ovaries, gradually diminish and eventually cease production of important hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. In rarer instances, said occurrence might happen earlier in life and be elicited by hormonal imbalances caused by various illnesses like immune disorders or cancer. Regardless of the precipitating factor, systemic hormonal decline ultimately results in a lack of menstrual cycles and a loss of the ability to conceive or bear children.
Hormonal decline often precipitates numerous physical and mental manifestations. Common symptoms include perspiration (especially at night), skin flushing, hot flashes, varying degrees of insomnia, skin ailmentslike acne, vaginal discomfort, fatigue, mood swings, loss of hair, increased body fat, weight gain and diminished libido (sex drive).
Several medications might be administered to afflicted women. Commonly prescribed drugs might include antidepressants (for those experiencing significant anxiety or depressive episodes) and sleeping preparations (for those dealing with insomnia). However, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is arguably the most often prescribed.
In HRT, individuals are administered synthetic variations of substances such as estrogen and progesterone. Certain women who have undergone HRT have witnessed an improvement to specific menopausal manifestations. However, the therapy can prove risky. Some patients have experienced blood clots, and scientific researchers have asserted that the remedial endeavor might increase one’s risk of developing specific kinds of cancer. Those with cardiovascular diseases, bleeding disorders and liver problems and those who have been diagnosed or are at an increased risk for developing cancer should avoid HRT.
Natural Remedial Measures
With the associated risks and potential for side effects elicited by prescription drugs, many women opt to attempt to control menopausal symptoms with natural methods.
These efforts include the following:
- Altering Dietary Habits – The foods women consume can affect hormonal regulation significantly. Such products include produce, fish and fiber-laden foods. Menopausal women are encouraged to avoid or significantly limit their intake of items that could precipitate hormonal fluctuations like frozen, processed or canned foods, various meat products, as well as items containing high sugar levels.
- Refraining From Specific Vices – Menopausal women are strongly encouraged to refrain from smoking or drinking excessive quantities of alcohol. Both alcohol and nicotine contain chemicals that can precipitate hormonal imbalances.
- Augmenting Diet Using Nutritional Supplements – Several dietary supplements contain ingredients known to contain natural hormone-boosting properties. These products include ginseng, clover, St. John’s wort and extracts from the maca plant.
- Exercising – Physical activity elicits numerous health benefits. However, in menopausal subjects, it stimulates hormonal production, which could reduce incidents of bothersome symptoms like insomnia, nighttime perspiration and hot flashes.
- Maintaining Proper Hydration – Diminished systemic concentrations are believed to cause dehydration. If severe enough, this medical condition could precipitate fatigue and render the body more susceptible to ailments like infections. Menopausal women are encouraged to consume anywhere from eight to twelve glasses of water per day.
- Reducing Stress – This task may be difficult. However, chronic or severe tension precipitates the bodily release of “stress hormones,” such as adrenaline and cortisol. Elevated blood concentrations of these chemicals cause a decrease in bodily levels of reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone. In menopausal subjects, this can make a bad situation much worse and precipitate exacerbations of menopausal symptoms. Ergo, menopausal women are encouraged to identify and partake in relaxation techniques (deep breathing exercises or yoga, for example) or taking up an enjoyable hobby.