There are different treatment options to aid menopause and it is important that you are aware these, including any potential risks and benefits, as this will allow you to choose the best option for you.
I do not wish to take hormones. What are my options?
Healthy lifestyle is important including:
- Good nutrition: Balanced diet with appropriate amount of protein, calcium and certain food substances containing phytoestrogens (plant sources of oestrogen) can help.
- Alcohol & smoking: Stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake is also beneficial.
- Exercise: Particularly aerobic and weight bearing exercise (walking or running) is good for the bones and in reducing risk of osteoporosis.
- Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is important for the bones and checking and maintaining optimum level reduces risk of osteoporosis.
- Screening: Breast and cervical cancer screening is important. Make sure you are up to date with your screening appointments.
What about herbal medications?
There are several herbal medications available for treatment of menopause and can help many of the menopausal symptoms. A lot of these medications contain phytoestrogens. Some common foods that have phytoestrogen are soya, nuts, lentils, chickpeas and oily seeds (sesame and flax seeds). Preparations containing St John’s wort, black cohosh, evening primrose oil, red clover and similar isoflavanes can be bought over the counter from many herbal stores and pharmacies.
What about exercise, massage, acupuncture?
Self-help remedies can help such as exercise and massage are helpful in managing symptoms of menopause. Using fans and wearing cotton clothing can also help with hot flushes, acupuncture is also known to help.