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Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) In an earlier article, we discussed the dangers of hormone replacement therapy. In this article, we will explore some of your safer, natural alternatives.

1.      Optimal Nutrition

When you're looking for natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, it's best to start with your plate. Junk food junkies may experience more pronounced menopausal symptoms than those who choose to eat healthier. A balance of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates offer your body the nutrition it needs to keep up with the physical and mental changes associated with menopause.

2.       Regular Exercise

When your estrogen levels fluctuate, it can cause your body to hold on to fat. If that wasn't bad enough, fat actually produces estrogen, which can create even more fat. Without exercise, this cycle continues until the weight becomes especially difficult to lose. A combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching can help smooth your transition by reducing hot flashes, improving your mood, and increasing those essential periods of restful sleep.

 3.      Deep Breathing

If you have a high-stress lifestyle, you may experience additional disruptions in your hormone balance, which may be caused by poor thyroid function, blood and sugar imbalances, and poor digestive health. Balance those stressful moments by practicing deep breathing. This can be done in the form of meditation or by simply training yourself to take deep, restorative breaths throughout your day.

 

4.      Red Clover

Red clover has been shown to reduce hot flashes, bone loss, and vaginal dryness.  A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Gynecological Endocrinology showed that, compared with placebo, red clover isoflavones significantly decreased the symptoms of menopause and had a positive effect on vaginal cytology and triglyceride levels.

5.      Black Cohosh

Black cohosh has been used for centuries to relieve anxiety, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. A clinical study cited by the University of Maryland Medical Center showed that black cohosh was more effective at relieving hot flashes and night sweats than the antidepressant, Prozac.

6.      Evening Primrose Oil

This water-soluble B vitamin contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that may help influence prostaglandin synthesis while decreasing the breast tenderness, bloating, and mood swings associated with menopause.

7.      Damiana

Damiana is an herbal aphrodisiac that has been shown to revive sexual interest when a flagging libido and vaginal dryness get in the way. It also exhibits properties that may relieve mild depression, reduce hot flashes, improve nervous system function, and boost the immune system.

These alternatives to hormone replacement therapy can offer you the natural menopause relief you want without the potential dangers and side effects of prescription drugs.

If you have a history of reproductive disorders, breast or uterine cancer, have gone through surgical menopause, or have a bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners, talk with your doctor before using natural menopause supplements.

See also:

Dangers of Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Whole Truth about Bioidentical Hormones

It's Time to Stop Being Afraid of Hormones

For more information:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373244
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/black-cohosh

Keywords: hormone replacement therapy, natural menopause relief

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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