Mood swings, sleep disturbances, hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain are all normal parts of going through menopause. Hormone replacement therapy used to be standard treatment for these symptoms, but the use of synthetic hormones has fallen out of favor in recent years due to increasing evidence that they may pose significant health risks. Although most modern experts agree that synthetic hormones can play a part in reducing menopausal symptoms in some women, many prefer to seek out natural alternatives. If you or a loved one is among those who would rather go the natural route when it comes to alleviating menopausal discomfort, here are five strategies for your consideration.
Menopausal women who exercise on a regular basis may be less likely to develop hot flashes than their more sedentary counterparts. Adhering to an exercise routine can also help ensure a good night's sleep. Exercising outdoors will provide you with the added benefit of getting a good dose of vitamin D, which is important for bone health and cell growth. Other ways to get enough vitamin D include the consumption of foods such as wild salmon, eggs, fortified juices and dairy products, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and leafy green vegetables.
The mood swings and depression that can accompany menopause can be alleviated in many different ways depending on the individual's tastes and preferences. Many women find that practicing yoga significantly reduces their stress levels, and others rely on massage, acupuncture, deep breathing exercises, or meditation. Crafting, gardening, and reading good books are also excellent ways to reduce stress.
Remaining active and engaged in your community and circle of friends and family probably won't make the hot flashes happen less often, but it can have a substantial effect on your mood and overall level of personal satisfaction. Many women who are going through menopause tend to withdraw from social events and decline to take part in activities that they once found enjoyable. Although you shouldn't deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy solitude when you need it, you'll be happier and healthier if you nourish an active social life.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There is increasing evidence that strongly suggests that omega-3 fatty acids contain bad mood busting ingredients that can help alleviate everything from postpartum depression to menopausal mood swings to severe disorders such as schizophrenia. Omega-3s also have heart healthy properties. Eating two or more helpings of fatty cold water fish such as wild Alaska salmon is an excellent and delicious way to get the necessary amount of omega-3 acids into your diet. Flax seed oil is also a good source of omega-3s and can be sprinkled into breakfast cereals and over salads, stirred into soups and stews, and baked into bread and muffins.
Natural Hormone Therapy
Plant-based hormone therapy became popular after it was discovered that traditional hormone therapy may pose serious health risks for some women, such as risk of increased blood clotting, strokes, heart attacks, and certain types of cancer. Many women are finding relief from menopausal symptoms through bioidentical hormone therapy. As the name implies, bioidentical hormones are the same as those produced by the human body and act in the same ways. Many bioidentical products are FDA approved and available by prescription through your health care provider. Products include patches, creams, vaginal gels and suppositories, and pills.
Most women find that a personalized combination of these and other strategies designed to reduce the symptoms of menopause is more successful than using just one approach. Discussing your options with a specialist like Genemedics Health Institute will further increase your chances of alleviating the majority of menopausal symptoms.