The use of hormone therapy (HT) is highly effective when used in the correct fashion. In the past referred to as ‘hormone replacement therapy’ (HRT), HT is the only government approved therapy for the treatment of vaginal dryness and strong hot flashes. In addition, HT reduces bone loss whilst improving sleep and lowering mood swings.
So called ‘bioidentical’ hormones are available from your doctor. There is much confusion over what this term actually means. These are simply products containing the exact same hormones that a woman produces naturally. A variety of well tested products exist in the marketplace.
Exercise should be taken after discussing it with your doctor. Aims should be to reduce the risk of serious diseases like diabetes or heart disease whilst maintaining your weight. Typically this consists of a minimum of 30 minutes exercise each day.
Symptoms like hot flashes are able to be reduced by lowering the quantities of spicy or hot food, alcohol and caffeine consumed. Less stress, and turning down the heating also work to halt flashes. By putting clothes on in layers controlling your temperature can be fine tuned through removing or adding a layer or two. Nearby fans, whether in the office or at home, offer fast and effective heat or cold relief. Exercise has been seen to both reduce and sometimes increase hot flashes. If hot flashes don’t disappear and your doctor informs you that HT is not an option available to you ask about taking epilepsy medicine or antidepressants. Evidence exists that indicates some women have had their hot flashes reduced with the use of both of these last two prescription medicine types.
Water-based prescription vaginal lubricants (e.g. KY Jelly) can make sex less painful. Prescription vaginal moisturizers enable lubrication and moisture retention in the vaginal tissues. For severe vaginal dryness HT is advisable, if purely used for dryness a vagina-specific estrogen product, in the form of creams, tablets or rings, is most effective.
Sleep problems can be reduced by regular 30 minute exercise routines each day. It is important not to exercise too late since this may keep you awake for longer into the night. Try to avoid smoking, working right up to bed time, large meals, and afternoon and evening caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Consuming a warm drink just before going to sleep, e.g. herbal tea, can sometimes promote sleepiness. Your bedroom should only be used for sleeping and sex, at all times kept cool, dark and quiet. Cat-naps should be avoided, try to wake up and go to sleep at the same times every day. Whenever you can’t get to sleep in the middle of the night getting up and reading works well to induce sleepiness. If hot flashes appear to be the cause for most poor nights sleep then specifically work to reduce them.
Mood swings (PMS) often occur around the time of menopause. HT can in some cases, when already being used to treat hot flashes, lower mood swings.
Gaining sufficient quantities of sleep whilst also undergoing an effective daily exercise routine will help lower any memory deficiencies you may have due to hormone imbalances from the menopause.
Women who’ve had a hysterectomy where their ovaries have been removed tend to get a more sever form of menopause. Treatment for this more abrupt menopause should be discussed with your doctor.
By: Alex Rider
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