What to do about Your Hot Flushes, and How to Address Hormonal Changes in Menopause.
One of the worst struggles of menopause and perimenopause is just getting through the hot flushes while finding a new way to cope with the consequences of hormone depletion. Unfortunately, that’s just part of growing older.
There are a wide variety of hormones at work in the human body, each of which causes a whole host of problems when age-related phenomena -such as menopause- usher in years of poorly regulated hormone levels, but that doesn’t mean that all you can do is suffer. There are quite a few ways for you to treat yourself and get back to the you that you know and love.
Make the Necessary Lifestyle Changes
First things first, try making just a few changes to your diet and exercise routines. Smoking and/or drinking can worsen the symptoms of your hot flushes by making them more frequent and severe. It can be difficult to quit smoking or drinking, but the benefits far outweigh the costs in most circumstances.
Increasing or decreasing the number of calories you eat and exercise you do can also improve your ability to make it through your hot flushes. The reason we say “increasing or decreasing” is because everybody’s “healthy weight” is different. The real purpose of diet and exercise changes in menopause or perimenopause is to both reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Another helpful way to manage your hot flushes is through mindfulness exercises, such as yoga. Unlike with diet and exercise, the research on mindfulness techniques as a means of treating menopause is still only in its early stages. That said, mindfulness techniques have so far shown great promise as a form of menopause treatment.
Get Your Hands on More Isoflavones
As we said earlier, dietary changes have been shown to be a powerful tool in combating your menopausal symptoms. One particular dietary requirement that tends to decrease the severity of the symptoms associated with hormonal irregularities is the isoflavone, a chemical that functions in a very similar manner to estrogen.
Soy is considered a menopausal superfood for the same reason that professional bodybuilders hate it: it is high in isoflavones. These isoflavones supplement the potential deficiency in estrogen that you might be experiencing as a result of your ovaries not producing as much as they had before (a key symptom of menopause).
As with other forms of natural medicine, the science is in its early stages; however, researchers tend to agree that you should not take soy or isoflavone supplements, as they could be hazardous to your health. Instead, simply seek out foods with more soy in them.
Take Estrogen Supplements
Depending on the particular nature of your symptoms, your doctor might suggest that you take estrogen supplements in order to alleviate hot flushes and reduce the stress of the sudden change in hormone production associated with menopause. Under no circumstances should you start taking hormone supplements without first consulting with your doctor!
Unfortunately, estrogen supplements do not come without their fair share of risks. Taking estrogen without first consulting a doctor can potentially worsen your menopausal symptoms and possibly cause permanent damage to your body.
Taking estrogen without first consulting a doctor can potentially worsen your menopausal symptoms and possibly cause permanent damage to your body.
However, if taken as ordered by a licensed physician and started no more than 10 years after your last menstrual period, the benefits of taking estrogen supplements will quite likely be more prevalent than any risks.
Of course, each person is different and even more so are our individual hormonal requirements, so the effects of any form of estrogen supplement might be different from person to person.
Look Into Natural Medicine
As with soy, other forms of natural treatments are available for menopausal symptoms. If your symptoms haven’t been responding well to any prescription medications or other treatments, then you might want to consider speaking with a naturopathic doctor to discuss alternative treatment options.
That said, many people maintain harsh opinions about the effectiveness of any form of natural medicine, despite the burgeoning evidence showing the effectiveness thereof. Dr Sarah Bennett, the naturopathic doctor at Natural Med Doc, once said, “There’s a reason that healthcare professionals over the world have begun bringing back naturopathic remedies.”
As healthcare research gradually begins to settle on the benefits of natural medicine as a general treatment possibility, there remains the possibility that it might not be the best course of treatment for you.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
If no other treatments seem to be alleviating your symptoms, you might find some benefit in resorting to hormone replacement therapy. Fortunately, the name for this treatment sounds far more invasive than it actually is.
For the most part, hormone replacement therapy involves a series of supplements with the potential for injections. In either case, the current practice is for the doctor to administer laboratory-made “clones” of various hormones that are biologically identical in every way to the versions of those hormones that people naturally produce.
Unfortunately, hormone replacement therapy can be a risky course of treatment, in part because of the fact that hormones affect almost every function in the human body, meaning that a single change could affect many different bodily functions.
Before seeking hormone replacement therapy, make sure to consider the pros and cons and talk with your doctor about whether or not this treatment is right for you.
When it comes to hot flushes and hormone irregularities, sometimes we think that the struggle will never end. Fortunately, thanks to modern advancements in healthcare technology, that’s no longer the case!
There are a wide variety of potential treatment options from which to choose, each with its own list of costs and benefits. All that you have to do is talk to your doctor and see which one is right for you.
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