Signs Of Menopause - Cool Off Your
Hot Flashes Without HRT
Signs of menopause can be relieved by hormones, but at what cost? Hormone replacement therapy known to help relieve symptoms of menopause also increases heart disease, strokes and breast cancers.
Menopause normally occurs when a woman permanently stops menstruating and her ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. Menopause itself is not a disease or disability. It is rather a normal, natural event of aging that every woman goes through.
However, as much as menopause is a normal process of aging, the transition from the reproductive years is not necessarily smooth. As the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decline, menstrual periods stop and menopause begins.
Signs of early menopause can even start at age 35, but on average, most women begin to experience pre menopause symptoms from age 45, and typically go into menopause from the ages of 50 to 55. This is when they begin to have signs of menopause such as hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and poor concentration.
Hot flashes can vary in the intensity of one hot flash per month or as severe as one hot flash per every hour. Whew! just thinking about it can make you start sweating.
These symptoms and signs of menopause vary in different women and can last for four to seven years and then disappear. But for a small percentage of women, the symptoms can persist.
What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause
The following are all symptoms and signs of menopause. Genetically, you might only experience a few or all of these symptoms.
* Hot Flashes
* Dry Skin
* Vaginal Dryness
* Urinary Tract Infections
* Night Sweats
* Mood Swings
* Lack of Concentration
* Weight Gain
Effects Of Menopause
Many women experience menopause with few symptoms, while others are confronted with extreme discomfort. The important changes at menopause affect both life expectancy and the quality of life. Before menopause, a woman’s hormones protect her from the heart disease that is more common in men. With menopause, that protection is lost, and by 55 years of age, the risk of death by heart disease for women becomes the same rate as men.
Another effect of menopause is the acceleration of bone loss. The gradual loss of bone mass that most women experience from age thirty begins to speed up, making the bones thin and causing osteoporosis, which increases the risk of fractures with the prospect of permanent disability and pain.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy
Hormonal replacement therapy does help relieve menopausal symptoms by lowering body heat and stopping hot flashes, relieving dryness, strengthening bones and helping with the insomnia that comes with menopause. But what is the health cost one has to pay for hormone replacement therapy? This is a question every menopausal woman experiencing signs of menopause has to answer for herself before they decide on undergoing this therapy.
Despite it being touted for relief from menopausal symptoms, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has shown some worrisome side effects recently. Researchers were startled to see significant increase of heart disease risk as well as invasive breast cancer with HRT. The following are some of the risks found to be associated with hormone replacement therapy.
Heart Disease. Recent studies have shown that heart problems may actually increase with HRT. If you are among the many women with a history of heart disease, then this can be disturbing news. Experts recommend that you do not take hormones.
Increases cancer risk. Studies have proven that women who used HRT for more than four years had higher risk of breast cancer than women who had not used HRT. Latest scientific research also found that high risks of cancer persisted for two years after women stopped using HRT. Some studies have also shown that HRT may result in less common types of invasive tumors.
Breathing impairment. Use of HRT can make airway inflammation or spasms worse, which increases risk of developing asthma by as much as 80%, and the risk increases in terms of how much and length of time you take estrogen.
Uterine bleeding. HRT can cause occasional uterine bleeding and blood clots.
Risk of developing gallstones. Women taking estrogen replacement therapy are at higher risk for developing gallstones. One study found those with heart disease taking HRT were 40 percent more likely to develop gallbladder disease.
Natural Treatment For Menopause
Menopause is not a disease that requires a cure. It is rather the symptoms and signs of menopause that women have to contend with. There are many reasons why you would turn to nutrients and herbs for menopause relief, but you will have to sit down with your doctor and honestly assess your overall health, your risks for osteoporosis and heart disease and the pros and cons of drugs.
If after all the assessment, you decide that hormone therapy is wrong for you, and your signs of menopause persists, you might want to explore alternative therapies, which are after all, the source of many conventional medications.
The following are nutrients and herbs for menopause symptoms relief.
Black cohosh to cool you down. If you are bothered by hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, then black cohosh could be just what you need. This herb has been used by Native Americans for thousands years to treat female problems.
The plant has estrogen-like effect and reduces levels of the hormone that causes hot flashes. It comes in capsule form and it's sold at many health food stores. Recommended dose is 40 milligrams a day, taken not longer than six months in a row.
St. John’s Wort has helped menopausal women feel better physically and sexually for thousands of years. It is said that Hippocrates of ancient Greece recommended this herb for menstrual problems and signs of menopause over two thousand years, it is still being used effectively with very few side effects. Recommended dose is 300 mg. taken three times daily. Again be sure to talk to your doctor about taking this herb for longer periods.
Calcium cuts hot flashes. Research has found that the lower your calcium level, the higher your hot flashes symptoms. Drinking a glass of low fat milk can keep you cool. Calcium also strengthens your bones which is essential during menopause. Foods rich in calcium are yogurt, cheese, spinach, beans, Chinese cabbage and almonds.
Vitamin E reduces hot flashes and keeps the skin looking fresh and young. The added benefit of vitamin E is its antioxidant properties that keeps cholesterol from damaging your arteries and therefore protects your heart in middle age. Increase vitamin E in your diet by eating nuts, seeds, avocados and canola oil. You can also take a supplement of 400 IU daily.
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