Women who want to alleviate or even eliminate uncomfortable postmenopause symptoms have several viable treatment options available to them.
These treatment plans fall within a framework of three different levels of intensity. These levels - lifestyle changes, alternative medicines, and prescription medicines - each have their benefits and drawbacks. It's up to each woman to decide on the treatment route best suited to her individual needs.
This section contains information to help women weigh the pros and cons of different types of postmenopausal treatments. After some experimentation, they can hopefully use this information to find solutions for postmenopause problems.
Three Approaches to Treating Postmenopause Symptoms
Experts encourage women to begin with the most natural approach when treating postmenopause symptoms: lifestyle adjustments. While these are often effective at curbing postmenopause symptoms, they don't address hormonal imbalance, the underlying cause of this stage.
Fortunately, alternative medicine and natural remedies can be combined with lifestyle changes to provide a safe and effective treatment for postmenopause symptoms.
While prescription drugs and surgery are not the only way to alleviate postmenopause symptoms, some women wish to take this route. For women considering this option, it is important to understand and carefully weigh the risks associated with such treatment.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Making adjustments to lifestyle is the mildest and safest form of treatment, but it can be challenging to implement. Lifestyle changes to treat postmenopause symptoms involve exercising regularly, finding effective ways to reduce stress, and eating a balanced and post menopause-friendly diet.
Practicing some form of exercise (e.g., running, jogging, walking, tennis, or swimming) is a good idea in general but especially for a woman trying to beat postmenopause symptoms. Exercise helps keep bones, muscles, and the brain strong and can help with symptoms such as weight gain, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Regular exercise can also help lower stress.
Stress reduction can be another key to dealing with postmenopause symptoms. Often, unnecessary added stress can aggravate certain symptoms of postmenopause, such as insomnia, weight gain, and high blood pressure. Women can reduce stress by:
- Spending time with loved ones
- Practicing breathing exercises
- Planning activities in advance
- Seeing a therapist or counselor
- Trying a fun new hobby (e.g., yoga, painting, or dancing)
Postmenopause and diet
Diet is perhaps the most important lifestyle change women can introduce to fight postmenopause symptoms. A diet with a balance of essential vitamins and nutrients is essential to overall health. Avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol intake is also a great way to prevent postmenopause symptoms. Certain foods that are high in plant estrogen have been shown to benefit some postmenopausal women. These foods include:
- Whole grains
- Potatoes and yams
2. Alternative Medicines
For women who need to seek a stronger approach, a variety of alternative medicines exist that have been shown to be effective at treating postmenopause symptoms. Alternative medicines cover a wide range of treatments, including massage, aromatherapy, and biofeedback.
The most common form of alternative medicine, however, is natural herbal remedies. Natural remedies can be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes or other alternative remedies to effectively help women reduce postmenopausal symptoms. Two types of herbs have been shown to treat the symptoms of postmenopause: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbs.
Phytoestrogenic herbs are those herbs that contain natural plant estrogen. Ginseng, dong quai, and black cohosh are well-known phytoestrogenic herbs. The plant-derived estrogen they contain can mimic estrogen in the body and help replace low estrogen levels, thereby alleviating many or even all of a woman's postmenopause symptoms.
The drawback of phytoestrogenic herbs, however, is that they continually add foreign estrogen-like substances to the body, making the body less able to produce its own estrogen. Therefore, if a woman takes phytoestrogenic herbs for a long time, she may wind up with less naturally-occurring estrogen than when she started.
Hormone-regulating herbs contain no plant estrogen or estrogen-like substances. Rather, these herbs can help alleviate a woman's postmenopause symptoms by stimulating her body to produce natural hormones. Instead of introducing a new hormone into the body, hormone-regulating herbs help a woman make more of her own.
Unlike phytoestrogenic herbs, hormone-regulating herbs (e.g., Macafem) have not been shown to cause any decrease in natural hormone levels. In fact, they do the opposite. These herbs are also non-habit forming and cause no observable side effects.
From "Nature and Health Magazine," Dr. Gloria Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands." Click on the following link if you want to read and learn more about Macafem.
A combination of approaches is usually the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine is the most recommended way to alleviate symptoms resulting from hormonal imbalance. While this approach is optimal for many women, others will find that they want or need to go to the next level of treatment.
Some women may find that they would rather treat their symptoms with conventional prescription drugs, such as those involved in hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Much like phytoestrogenic herbs, HRT introduces synthetic hormones into a woman's body, thereby balancing her hormone levels and helping to eliminate postmenopause symptoms. HRT is one of the most popular ways women in the U.S. choose to treat symptoms of postmenopause.
While the risks of HRT are not fully understood, a 2002 clinical study linked HRT to an increase in women's risk of developing life-threatening conditions, marking a dramatic decline in the number of women using this type of therapy. HRT puts women at greater risk for: Heart disease, blood clots, gallbladder disease, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer.
A Safe Way to Treat Postmenopause Symptoms
Hormone-regulating herbs for treating hormonal imbalance, as seen in the second approach, are considered to be the most effective postmenopause treatment. Low costs and the absence of side effects are only some of the reasons why this treatment option is recommended.
Macafem, for instance, is an excellent hormone-regulating herb. It's simple: rather than putting outside hormones into your body artificially, Macafem stimulates your hormone glands into producing the necessary hormones naturally. This is what makes Macafem so unique. Click on the following link if you want to learn more about Macafem.
- Love, S. (2003). Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2015). Menopause. Retrieved April 1, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause