Every year, one million menopausal women in the United Kingdom rely on hormone replacement therapy – hormone replacement therapy – to help with symptoms.
But with a constant national drug shortage, some women are finding that their symptoms return in a few days.
Others are forced to switch to different brands or types of hormone replacement therapy available in gel, pill or patch. And they are having side effects.
These include hot flashes, insomnia, fatigue, loss of sexual desire, changes in skin, hair and nails, as well as increased anxiety, weight and depression.
Dr. Clarissa Kristjansson left her neuroscientist career after suffering burnout during perimenopause and is now a menopause tutor and awareness coach.
He says: “Some doctors prescribe HRT. There is nothing wrong with short-term treatment, but what if you have been doing it for years? “
Here, look for alternatives to cope with menopause.
Also known as estrogen in the diet, these compounds are found in some plants and act similarly to the estrogens produced in the body.
Research has linked them to a variety of health benefits, including reduced hot flashes.
The highest concentrations are found in chickpeas, lentils, edamame and soy products such as tofu and tempeh. They are also present in wheat bran, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic, as well as some seeds.
Other sources include alfalfa sprouts, green beans, berries, peaches and dried fruit.
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2. Bone health
Three quarters of all hip fractures occur in women. Menopause remains a high risk factor. Reducing alcohol and excessive caffeine intake, which are known to lead to bone loss, can improve bone health.
Pilates and yoga are effective when combined with weight training to strengthen and increase flexibility.
Encourage intestinal health by adopting a low-acid, plant-based diet rich in calcium and fatty fish for omega 3, as well as abundant magnesium and vitamins K and D. This combination will allow the best reabsorption of estrogen otherwise secreted in the waste of your body.
3. Herbs and supplements
Rhodiala Rosea has been shown to help with stress, anxiety and sexual problems associated with menopause. Sage helps fight excessive sweating.
A 2010 review found that menopausal women also experienced a 26% reduction in night sweats and hot flashes when using black cohosh supplements.
St. John’s wort is another popular herb that alleviates the symptoms of low mood and anxiety.
4. Bioidentical HRT
Those looking for a more natural approach to hormone therapy could consider bioidentical HRT – hormones identical in molecular structure to what women produce in their bodies, such as 17 beta-estradiol, estrone and estriol made from yam and soy .
It can be an effective way to restore hormonal balance, but be sure to consult your doctor first.
The best advice from Dr. Clarissa
1 Set boundaries – see where your energy goes. What is drying you up? Learn to say no.
2. Reduce sugar intake to stabilize blood sugar, thus helping you sleep better and keep spreading in middle age.
3. Specialized vaginal moisturizers can relive dryness, pain, itching and burning often associated with menopause.
4. Stay connected with friends and family. Menopausal women have a tendency to isolate themselves when trust and anxiety and depression creep in. Forums can be negative spaces, but blogs like Feeling Flushed and 50 Sense provide a much more founded and positive dialogue on menopause.