Menopause is a natural part of life and does not necessarily require treatment. Symptoms and health risks associated with low estrogen can be treated. These include hot flashes, irritability, and an increased risk of hearth disease and osteoporosis. Treatment may include:
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
A number of different types of hormones are available. They include natural, synthetic, and plant-derived estrogens and progesterone, combinations of estrogen and progesterone, or the addition of small amounts of male hormones. Hormone preparations are available as tablets, gels, skin patches, vaginal rings, injections, and pellets inserted into the skin.
A high intake of phytoestrogens may help menopausal women. They may reduce the risk for diseases associated with estrogen. Phytoestrogens are found in soybeans, black cohosh, whole grains, legumes, and flax seed.
A healthful diet during menopause can improve a woman’s sense of well-being. It may also reduce the risk of hearth disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. The diet should be low in fat and hight in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and vitamin D.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol may reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and loss of calcium.
Giving up smoking can reduce the risk of early menopause, hearth disease, and osteoporosis.
Regular exercise may reduce hot flashes. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, or lifting weights help to strengthen the bones and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
Stress management may help ease tension, anxiety, and possibly other menopausal symptoms. Deep breathing, massage, warm baths, and quiet music are examples of relaxation techniques.
Moisturizers and lubricants are used to help vaginal dryness. Some women claim that vitamin E decreases the incidence of hot flashes, although this has not been proven.
Bellergal is sometimes prescribed to relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Certain blood pressure medicines have been moderately helpful in relieving some menopausal symptoms. These medicines include clonidine (Catapres) and methyldopa (Aldomet).