Seven Great Ways to Ease Menopause Symptoms
Article by Doug Hart
Many women that are going through menopause right now have hot flashes, which can be very uncomfortable. However, with all of the bad news out now about HRT, most women want to take something else for a safer relief. Something that is natural, more organic, and without the nasty side effects that some pharmaceuticals can have.Well, here are some really great ways to get relief that you need without those side effects: Soy – Some studies have found that soy has a very positive effect for controlling hot flashes, whereas others suggest that there isn’t much benefit. In her book The Wisdom of Menopause, Christiane Northup, MD cites research that indicates that women who ate 60 grams of soy protein per day in the form of a powdered drink mix had a 45% reduction in hot flashes after 12 weeks. The following servings contain about 35-50 mg of soy isoflavones: one cup soy milk, 1/2 cup tofu, 1/2 tempeh,1/2 cup green soybeans (edamame), and three handfuls of roasted soy nuts.
Vitamin E – Many women experience a reduction in hot flashes when taking Vitamin E. However a placebo-controlled, random study that evaluated vitamin E supplements (800 IU/day for four weeks) for 120 breast cancer survivors with hot flashes and found that vitamin E only marginally decreased hot flashes. Results apparently vary for different individuals?
Behavior modification – Wear layered cotton clothing, also avoid coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, and stress. Sip cool drinks or use ice packs. Try relaxation and deep, abdominal breathing (6-8 breaths per minute) – this has have been shown to reduce hot flashes by about 40% when practiced as minimally as twice per day. Eliminate hot baths or showers before bedtime.
Natural progesterone cream – A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1999 found that natural progesterone cream significantly reduced hot flashes compared to the placebo group. A little as 1/4 tsp once per day can ease hot flashes. Make sure that you read the labels of natural progesterone cream products careful as there is great variability of progesterone content. Some creams contain less than 5 mg progesterone per ounce, whereas others contain more than 400 mg progesterone per ounce. This can be obtained over the counter or by prescription.
Natural Herbs – Probably the most common herbal remedy for hot flashes is black cohosh. However, the results of trials have been mixed. Three randomized, controlled trials found that black cohosh was as effective as pharmaceutical estrogen in relieving hot flashes. However, a placebo-controlled, randomized trial, involving 85 women with a breast cancer history, found that black cohosh and placebo similarly decreased the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. However, the authors did note that black cohosh was significantly more effective than placebo in reducing excessive sweating. Side effects are rare but may include gastric discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. It can, however, lower blood pressure.
Acupuncture and yoga – The benefits of acupuncture and yoga for menopause symptoms haven’t been carefully studied. Many women, however, say they help. One Swedish study found that women who had acupuncture experienced relief from hot flashes. Also, women are increasingly turning to yoga to alleviate menopause symptoms. Suza Francina in her book The New Yoga for People over 50 describes specific yoga postures to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and depression. Some yoga studios are now offering special yoga classes for the menopausal woman.
Exercise – For many women choosing not to take HRT, regular weight-bearing exercise and strength training can also help maintain strong bones. Miriam Nelson, Ph.D, author of Strong Women Stay Young, has done extensive research at Tufts University on the benefits of weight training. Nelson compared two groups of healthy postmenopausal women who were sedentary at the start of the program. O
ne group lifted weights for forty minutes twice a week; the other group remained sedentary. The sedentary control group lost about two percent of their bone density during the year, while the strength-training women gained one percent in bone density.
About the Author
Find out more about menopause and you may be able to ease those symptoms of menopause that keep you up every night. It can be very frustrating for a woman, but help is not far away. Visit natural menopause remedies and find out more!