Menopause is the time in a woman's life, usually occurring during her 40s or 50s, when her body makes the transition from being capable of reproduction to being infertile. There are a number of symptoms that often accompany this transition, caused by fluctuations in hormone levels. These symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, fatigue, mood swings, and more.
A range of treatments can be used to combat these uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. They fall into three categories: lifestyle changes, natural treatments, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It can be an expensive endeavor, but there are many menopausal treatments that are a lot more affordable, and even free. Read on to discover how you can treat your menopausal symptoms without spending too much money.
Exercise is fundamental for a healthy body, and can help to combat menopause symptoms. Regular exercise helps balance the body's natural systems, and can reduce the intensity of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and other physical irritations. Furthermore, it can have a positive impact on the emotional symptoms of menopause, such as stress, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings.
Exercise gives you time to relax your mind, be alone for a while, and organize your thoughts, all of which are necessary to soothe the emotional effects of menopause. Most importantly, exercises such as running, speed walking, and swimming don't cost anything.
Regular Sleep Patterns
Many symptoms of menopause can interrupt your regular sleep routine. Night sweats can make you feel uncomfortable and cause you to lose sleep, and rapidly fluctuating hormones contribute to insomnia and other sleep disturbances. These symptoms can impact your health and attitude during the day. Making sure you have a regular sleep pattern can help ease such sleep-related symptoms. Being in bed, at least, for a sufficient number of hours every night will ensure that your body is rested, and will reduce the unpleasant impact that lack of sleep can have during the day.
Herbal remedies are an increasingly popular method of treating menopause and combating its unpleasant symptoms. Although they are not free, regular intake of certain herbal supplements can offer a cost-effective, long-term solution to the discomforts of menopause. Herbal supplements to try include:
- Dong quai
- Ginkgo biloba
- Black cohosh
The changes that you can make to your lifestyle are effective in treating menopause symptoms. However, for particularly severe symptoms of menopause, it may not be sufficient to only make changes to your lifestyle.
Follow the links below for more information on menopause treatments.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.