Finding a treatment for hormone imbalance is one of the most important things you can do as a woman going through the menopause life transition. Treatments are divided into three categories: lifestyle changes, herbal supplements, and medications. Each treatment uses a different approach and has a unique effect on the female body. Read on to learn more about these treatments and how long you should use each to treat your menopausal symptoms.
Long-term Commitment: Lifestyle Changes
The first way to treat menopause symptoms is to make a long-term commitment to your health and well-being by making simple lifestyle changes. Maintaining a regular exercise regime, eating a well-balanced diet and limiting the intake of caffeine and alcohol are all great ways to start curbing the symptoms of menopause and bolstering your immune system. Make sure you are in this relationship for the long haul to reap maximum benefits and reduce risk of postmenopausal risks like osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer.
New Relationship: Herbal Supplements for Menopause
In recent years, more and more women have turned to herbs for menopause as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Popular herbs for menopause include: black cohosh, ginkgo biloba, dong quai, red clover, and vitex chasteberry. Because herbs are natural, most experts believe they have fewer side effects and risks than hormone therapies. However, as these herbs have not been studied extensively for long-term side effects, usage of herbs for menopause should be limited.
Brief Fling: Hormone Therapies
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) works to treat menopause symptoms by introducing synthetic hormones into the body. They have been championed for curbing symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. These treatments most commonly come in the form of estrogen-only or the combination of estrogen-plus-progestin (synthetic progesterone). They are available by prescription from a healthcare professional.
However, experts recommend that HRT treatments should be taken after trying with lifestyle changes and herbal supplements, and at the lowest possible dosage and for no longer than six months, as the treatment has recently been associated with increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, or stroke.
You should always consult with your healthcare professional to weigh the pros and cons of treatments for menopause. He or she will be able to help you choose the approach that's best for you. Click here to read more about menopause treatments.