A guide to the therapies available to treat symptoms of perimenopause.
Perimenopause is a natural part of aging that all women go through. It is not a disease that can be prevented or cured. It is the stage at which our bodies produce less estrogen in preparation for menopause. This reduction is estrogen is responsible for the signs, symptoms and discomforts that we normally associate with being perimenopausal.
Perimenopause symptoms are experienced differently by every woman. Some experience symptoms in their 30s while others don’t have it until their early 50s. Others bear with the symptoms for 10 years or more, while others complete the transition to menopause within 2 years. Some go through it with very little discomfort, while others may suffer debilitating pain that prevent them from doing the things they normally enjoy.
If you are suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of perimenopause, there are natural and medical treatments that you can consider to help alleviate your symptoms. Here are just some of them:
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) alleviates the symptoms of perimenopause by adding to our bodies’ store of estrogen. Taking low dose pills has been shown t be effective in lessening, even eliminating night sweats, difficulty sleeping and in managing periods. It comes in many forms – low dose birth control pills, estrogen skin patches, vaginal cream, rings and gels.
HRT is not for everybody. There are serious risks associated with its use. The US FDA recommends taking it at the lowest dose and for the shortest period of time necessary. Before taking any medication, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider.
Bio Identical hormone replacement therapy
Bio Identical hormone replacement therapy makes use of estrogen that is derived from plants. Unlike traditional HRT, bio identical hormones are customized to your body’s specific requirements.
No long term studies on the efficacy and safety of bio identical hormones have been conducted. Some believe that the risks associated with taking traditional HRT are also present in bio-identical hormones. Consult with a qualified naturopathic doctor or your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
Adjustment in your diet and lifestyle
The importance of eating right and exercising cannot be stressed enough. Often, by making changes and adjustments in your diet, you can drastically improve how your body copes with your fluctuating estrogen levels.
Exercise strengthens heart muscles, keeps osteoporosis at bay and improves your overall health. Limiting the intake of caffeine found in soda and coffee can help relieve hot flashes. Some women also find that there are certain foods that trigger hot flashes. By being sensitive to your body’s reaction, you can identify these foods and lessen your intake of them.
While not all herbs purported to relieve symptoms of perimenopause have been medically documented, a lot of women swear to their efficacy. Women are also keen to try these natural and alternative treatments because they carry lesser risk of side effects. Some of the more popular ones include black cohosh, St. John’s wort, tofu and primrose oil.
If you are one of the many women who suffer severe and debilitating symptoms of perimenopause, it can seem like an eternity since you felt like yourself. Whatever option you choose to manage the symptoms of perimenopause, it’s important that you do your own research and consult with a qualified homeopathic doctor or healthcare provider.
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