There seems to be some hype about this one and a lot of controversy. Should you do it? Shouldn’t you do it? That is a personal decision but with most things in life there are going to be advantages and disadvantages and this subject is no exception.
Well let’s dive right into it and note that to begin with some of the side effects that have been reported in women who go for the combination estrogen-progestin therapy are as follows; heart disease, breast cancer, dementia, blood clots to the lungs and legs and then to the Women’s Health Initiative.
Furthermore some women found no difference in their quality of life; they still had to endure the typical symptoms of perimenopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats. However the women who were on just estrogen therapy were more susceptible to experiencing strokes than those who were not.
They did however find that this particular hormone replacement therapy aided in decreasing the chances of them suffering from osteoporosis and in turn hip fractures. Yet then back to the other side of the coin there is a higher statistic of women suffering from Uterine Cancer than those women who did not partake in estrogen therapy.
The less severe side effects yet side effects none the less vary from having tender and swollen breasts to migraines, nausea and vomiting to heavy menstrual bleeding and intolerable cramps. Sometimes these side effects will be separate or the individual will suffer from a combination of the above.
The safer and more natural way of dealing with perimenopause is to do it with a combination of diet and alternative or natural treatments. As far as the diet is concerned the more popular choice is to add more soy into your diet. Soy food has phytoestrogen which is a natural form of estrogen which helps bring back that imbalance of hormones experienced during perimenopause. Soy has also been known to promote a healthy and stronger heart.
When dealing with the hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia, cut back on caffeine. It may give you that added energy boost that you are looking for but once it wears off it will leave you feeling worse off than you did to begin with. Just as all stimulants do. Drink lots of water and do lots of exercise, even if you DON”T feel like it.
Vitamin B6 is said to increase the progesterone levels and is successful in treating headaches and moodiness. It produces serotonin in the body bringing on a happier mood and a feeling of calmness. It also alleviates water retention and is said to be really affective in subsiding hunger pangs. Good food sources of Vitamin B6 are bananas, potatoes, cauliflower, most breakfast cereals such as muesli and avocado.
Avoid spicy foods and alcohol as women have reported that these things make their perimenopausal symptoms worse.
The most popular herbal treatment in combating those perimenopausal symptoms is undoubtedly Black Cohosh. The root of this plant also contains phytoestrogen. It is only recommended to be used for 6 months. Black Cohosh is predominantly used for alleviating hot flashes, mood swings and insomnia. It has been reported to be rather effective with few side effects.
These side effects are dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and aching joints. More recently repots have shown that Black Cohosh may cause an autoimmune hepatitis where the liver becomes inflamed and the cells attack each other. However the reports have been that there are not enough cases that prove that it is Black Cohosh that is responsible for this disease. Rather be safe than sorry and request a liver test from your Doctor.
Evening Primrose Oil has been claimed by some to have an ability to alleviate some symptoms experienced during perimenopause such as hot flushes, irritability, breast tenderness and insomnia. Some have reported great success while others have not had any noticeable differences. Evening Primrose Oil is more popular for treating Rheumatoid Arthritis and Asthma. Stomach upsets; headaches and rashes are the proposed side effects.
Whichever route you may choose to go it is always a good idea to have all your facts before you and weigh up the pros and cons. Nothing is without its disadvantages but in my opinion the side effects of dealing with Menopause the Natural Way is far less severe and not as potentially traumatic than Hormone Replacement Therapy.