Looking for ways to feel your best after age 50? Consider hormone therapy for menopause and lifestyle changes to help keep hot flashes and other menopause symptoms under control.
Menopause is a natural change of life for women characterized by the end of the menstrual cycle. It occurs between the ages of around 48 to 55 as the body gradually produces less progesterone and estrogen. While menopause is perfectly natural, these lowered hormone levels can lead to some unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, physical changes, and a weakening of the bones through osteoporosis. For relief from your menopause symptoms, sometimes hormone therapy is the best option.
Is Hormone Therapy Right for You?
Hormone therapy for menopause is one of the treatments used to help offset the changes brought about by lowered hormone levels. Estrogen with progestin (for women who still have a uterus) or estrogen alone are a couple of the options, which can be taken systemically or vaginally via pills, skin patches, gels, creams, sprays, or rings.
Hormone therapy is not for women who have certain health conditions or risk factors. This includes women who might be pregnant, are at risk for certain cancers, or have had blood clots, a stroke, a heart attack or liver disease. Like most medicines, hormone therapy has both benefits and risks, and the lowest dose possible should be used for the shortest amount of time possible.
A qualified medical professional can help determine if hormone therapy is a fit for you. As for treatments like bioidentical hormones and estradiol, the FDA believes the risk and benefits of these options are about the same as for other hormone therapies. Your gynecologist at The Woman’s Clinic can help you navigate all of the different kinds of hormone therapy for menopause.
What Are My Other Menopause Treatment Options?
There are also a number of natural alternatives to hormone therapy that you can start trying on your own. Many of these alternatives promote lifestyle choices that you should be adopting anyway for continued health in your 50s and beyond:
- Regular physical activity. Studies have shown that regular exercise can have a dramatic effect in reducing the symptoms of menopause. It helps to reduce hot flashes, strengthen the bones, ease stress, boost mood, and promote more restful sleep. Four 30-minute sessions per week can make a significant difference and should ideally include strength training, resistance, and cardio.
- Go for soy. Eating more natural foods made from soy as well as legumes like garbanzo beans and lentils has been shown to reduce hot flashes in some women. Try to work soy into your diet and meal plans.
- Eat your Omega-3s. You have undoubtedly heard about the healing benefits of Omega-3s for some time now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that they can help with easing menopause symptoms as well. Try eating oily fish like salmon or mackerel three times per week, with flaxseed and walnuts as vegetarian alternatives. You can also take a fish oil or flaxseed oil 1,000 mg supplement daily.
- Reduce stress levels. While regular exercise will help, consider other self-care techniques for stress relief as well. Acupuncture, meditation, yoga and even deep, mindful breathing throughout the day can boost serotonin and keep your stress levels down.
Menopause marks the beginning of a new chapter in life, and many women are embracing their 50s as their best decade yet. Do not let the signs and symptoms of menopause slow you down or diminish your quality of life. Use these tips, techniques and therapies to get relief and enjoy life to the fullest.
For more insights on how hormone therapy for menopause can help you, contact us at The Woman’s Clinic.
*photo courtesy of Rory Macleod through Flikr