What Are the Alternatives To Taking a Hormone Pill for Menopause Symptoms?
Hormone pills have been the treatment of choice for menopausal symptoms for the past several decades. They have provided relief from hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, confusion and forgetfulness and other symptoms related to diminishing estrogen levels. Hormone pills aren't safe for every woman, however, and many are looking for a good alternative.
Sometimes you have to ask what women did before hormone pills were available? How did they deal with the hot flashes and other symptoms?
There is some evidence that they didn't suffer the same symptoms we do today. In fact, the intensity of menopausal symptoms seems to be a product of the Western lifestyle. Western women are stressed more and under more time pressures than women in less "advanced" cultures. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the severity of menopausal symptoms.
A relaxed, healthy lifestyle where you get enough exercise, plenty of fresh air and good nutrition is good for you under any circumstance. Reducing your stress, cutting back on time demands and nurturing relationships can also improve your health and reduce menopause symptoms.
Good nutrition, including the right nutritional supplements, can be as effective in reducing menopause symptoms as taking a hormone pill. A balanced, low fat diet with lots of whole grains and fruits and vegetables is a good beginning. Whole plant foods contain phytonutrients, including vitamins and antioxidants, that help us use our hormones more effectively.
Many women find that eating soy products helps relieve menopause symptoms. Soy is widely available in many forms, including soy beans, flour, tofu, milk and even ice cream.
Vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid supplements are very helpful in managing menopausal symptoms for some women.
Natural herbal supplements work very well for some women. Black cohosh, soy, red clover and a few other botanicals have high levels of phytoestrogen and they decrease hot flashes and other symptoms.
Another alternative to the hormone pill is progesterone cream. Many women have discovered that using progesterone cream on their skin virtually eliminates menopausal symptoms. Progesterone creams are usually made from wild yams, which are made into a form of progesterone that is identical to natural progesterone.
Estrogen cream or estrogen patches are another possible treatment for menopausal symptoms. Topical estrogen that is identical to human estrogen is available.
Taking hormone pills is not the only way to get through menopause. Menopause is not an illness, and it doesn't need medical treatment. Sometimes, however, the symptoms are disturbing or debilitating enough that we want some kind of treatment. There are lots of options that are safer than hormone pills.