Alternative Treatments for Menopause
Menopause can be categorized as the natural end of a woman's reproductive life. Menopause may come with many side effects but there are certain natural ways to treat the symptoms of menopause. At one time hormone replacement therapy was the standard treatment for menopause, however recent studies have shown the synthetic estrogen and progesterone found in HRT's significantly increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Because of the serious side-effects of HRT's, more and more women are turning to natural alternative treatments for menopause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.
Diet to Help Menopause Symptoms
Your diet is a powerful tool in your quest to control the symptoms of menopause. Foods to avoid include high amounts of caffeine in foods as well as carbonated beverages. Limit your consumption of beef, pork and even chicken as they contain high amounts of saturated fats which decrease your body's ability to metabolize estrogen. Excessive amounts of sugar will limit your liver's ability to metabolize estrogen as well as impairing your immune system, so find healthy alternatives to sugary snacks. Increase your intake of foods which contain phytoestrogens such as soy, and include grains, oats, wheat, brown rice, tofu, almonds, cashews, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis. Regular exercise is also a good way to decrease the amount of circulating LH and FSH by nourishing your hypothalamus and raising your levels of endorphins. Even 20 minutes of exercise three times per week can significantly reduce menopausal symptoms.
Supplements for Menopause
Other natural supplements can also help the symptoms of menopause, such as red clover isoflavone supplements which have a positive effect on the rate of bone loss as well as improving cardiovascular health. Red clover isoflavones may also decrease the incidence of hot flashes experienced by women in menopause as well as lessening the occurrence of night sweats. Calcium, vitamin E, and Vitamin C can also reduce hot flashes and night sweats and decrease the fragility of capillaries. Black cohosh is frequently recommended, as well as Dong Quai, evening primrose oil, and ginseng. Omega-3 fatty acids are well-known to have a favorable effect on heart health by thinning the blood, decreasing the growth of plaque in the arteries, decreasing cholesterol, and decreasing inflammation. Eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines can be excellent choices for dietary foods that increase omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flax meal and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3s.
Long considered one of the best alternative treatments for menopause symptoms, natural progesterone can help relieve many of the more troublesome menopause irritations. Natural biodentical progesterone is made from soy and wild yams, and has essentially the same molecular composition as the hormones your body produces naturally. Natural progesterone cream can be applied and rotated between three to five different areas on your skin, including the bottom of your feet, palms, chest, breasts, neck, back and face, and should be applied after you shower or bathe. Use some of the daily allotment of cream in the morning, and another portion at night, before you go to bed. An added benefit of using progesterone cream before bed is that you will sleep better and be more relaxed. Implementing a healthy diet, regular exercise and natural herbal supplements into your life can greatly reduce the menopausal symptoms which keep you from living your life to the fullest.