From the beginning of their reproductive lives, women have to deal with the effects of changing hormone levels in their bodies. Over this period of approximately 30 years, some women present what is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a characteristic symptom of premenopause. While most women don't need much to cope with premenopause symptoms, others need to change their lifestyle, use herbal remedies, or even prescription medication to find relief.
To make an informed choice about how to alleviate premenopause symptoms, it's important to be aware of the different treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.
Three Approaches to Treating Premenopause Symptoms
Women are encouraged to start with the safest approach to treating premenopause symptoms: lifestyle adjustments. While these are often effective at reducing premenopause symptoms, they don't directly target the underlying cause, which is hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, alternative medicine and natural remedies can be combined with lifestyle changes to provide safe and effective treatment.
While prescription medication and surgery are not necessary to deal with premenopause symptoms, some women may wish to consider such options if they are unable to find relief. For women considering these, it is important to understand and carefully weigh the risks associated with each treatment.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Since the symptoms many women experience during premenopause are not as severe as those they experience during menopause, incorporating key lifestyle changes could be the only action necessary. These lifestyle changes are also the safest treatment method for women who are particularly concerned with health risks and side effects of prescription drugs. Lifestyle changes women can make to help treat premenopause symptoms include the following.
Diet and exercise
Ensuring proper nutrition and physical activity is essential to creating an overall feeling of well-being. For women experiencing premenopause symptoms, certain foods, such as those high in plant estrogen, can help alleviate problems naturally. Exercise is also known to improve health and mood, as well as reduce the effects of hormonal imbalance.
Stress can aggravate a woman's premenopause symptoms and negatively affect her daily life. Finding effective ways to battle stress can improve unpleasant premenopause symptoms and encourage overall well-being. Tips to reduce stress include:
- Freeing up time in an over-booked schedule
- Enjoying a relaxing hobby (e.g., painting, reading, playing music)
- Visiting a therapist or counselor
- Exercising regularly (e.g., yoga, Pilates)
2. Alternative Treatments
Often, women find that pairing lifestyle changes with gentle alternative treatments is exactly what they need to lessen premenopause symptoms. Alternative treatments include herbal supplements that can help balance erratic hormone levels. There are two major types of herbs that can be used to treat these symptoms.
These herbs - such as ginseng, dong quai, and black cohosh - can effectively combat premenopause symptoms by helping to balance the levels of estrogen in a woman's body. As their name suggests, they contain phytoestrogens, a type of estrogen produced by plants that mimics the estrogen women naturally produce.
The drawback of phytoestrogenic herbs is that they can lose their effectiveness over time. A woman's body can also lose the ability to produce its own estrogen after extended use of these herbs.
Like phytoestrogenic herbs, hormone-regulating herbs (e.g., Macafem) also work to help restore balance to a woman's fluctuating hormones, but they do so without introducing external estrogen to the body. Instead, they work by stimulating a woman's glands to naturally produce more of the hormones they are lacking.
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 often the most effective route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine is generally the best way to naturally alleviate premenopause symptoms. There are women, however, for whom these approaches will not be sufficient. These women may seek further or more invasive treatments for severe symptoms.
3. Prescription Medication and Surgery
For women who don't achieve the results they had hoped for through lifestyle changes and alternative treatments, the most aggressive level of treatment is physician-prescribed, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This is one of the more serious ways to treat premenopause symptoms, but it is also known to deliver results.
Treatments like HRT work by replacing the hormones a woman has lost (usually estrogen) with synthetic ones. Unfortunately, HRT has been proven to increase a woman's risk of developing life-threatening heart disease, blood clots, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman may use different treatments at different times or any combination of them, depending on the duration and severity of her premenopause symptoms. Today, more and more women find that dealing with premenopause symptoms is best accomplished with a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
A Safe Way to Treat Premenopause Symptoms
Hormone-regulating herbs for treating hormonal imbalance, as seen in the section on herbal medicine, are considered to be the most effective premenopause treatment. Low cost and the absence of side effects are only a couple of the reasons why this treatment option is recommended.
Macafem, for example, is an excellent hormone-regulating herb. It's simple: rather than putting outside hormones into your body artificially, Macafem stimulates your hormonal glands to naturally produce the hormones you need. This is what makes it 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 5, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause