by Rebecca Hulem
Menopause is a normal, natural stage of life that affects everyone differently. In the U.S., an estimated two million women enter menopause annually. Over the past five years, I have used my own menopause experiences to educate women and clinicians about the choices available for symptom treatment.
What are Typical and Atypical Symptoms?
Typical symptoms include: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, sleep disturbances, confusion, decreased libido, and vaginal dryness. Atypical symptoms include heart palpitations and anxiety, but are usually not reported by most women. Two options for minimizing and managing these symptoms include hormone therapy and natural relief.
What are the Pros and Cons of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?
Since the release of the findings from the Women's Health Initiative study in 2002 the practice of prescribing hormones to women going through menopause has changed significantly. Prior to the study, it was widely believed in the medical community that prescribing hormones to women experiencing menopause symptoms would not only relieve these symptoms but also protect women against heart disease and osteoporosis. The new recommendations are:
- Prescribe hormone therapy early in the menopause transition. Prescribing these hormones five to 10 years past the menopause transition can increase risk of blood clots, heart attack, and strokes. Women should also be prescribed hormone therapy for five years or less
- No hormone regimen should be prescribed to treat or prevent heart disease
- HRT treatment should primarily be used for vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, and/or treating and preventing
How Do You Achieve Natural Symptom Relief?
- Incorporating a healthy diet like an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruits, and plant-based proteins is a good first step for relieving menopause symptoms. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods to avoid triggering hot flashes. Also try to exercise daily and practice stress reducing practices like meditation, yoga, and tai chi.
- Take all-natural supplements. Look for a product line that contains natural mood and memory herbal blends to support mental clarity, restore energy, improve cognitive function, and build a strong immune system.
For more information on this topic, visit www.themenopauseexpert.com.