Hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances – for some women midlife can be rather warm and edgy.
But there is help.
In fact, keeping your cool through menopause can depend on keeping an open mind with today’s treatment options ranging from traditional hormone therapy to Chinese herbs, yoga, naturopathic and energy medicine, says Mills-Peninsula obstetrician and gynecologist Lisa Dyer, M.D.
“Unfortunately, the media has made women unreasonably afraid of hormone therapy, which can be an excellent treatment for some,” she said. “Although there are risks, there also are many benefits which don’t always make the news.”
Antidepressants can also help with hot flashes, she adds. But, so can a lot of homeopathic treatments such as herbs, vitamins, acupuncture and energy work, such as Reiki.
“No two women are alike,” says Dr. Dyer. “That’s why you should discuss your symptoms with your doctor and help make informed decisions.”
Yet, the very first place every woman should start is with a healthy diet, exercise and meditation, the doctor said.
“It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of all medical treatments and prescriptions could be eliminated if people would make these lifestyle changes – and such factors make a huge difference hormonally.”
In fact, yoga has been recognized by the World Heath Organization as a help for menopausal symptoms, Dr. Dyer said.
“Walking, swimming – all exercise – can help reduce and minimize hot flashes and other symptoms, along with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in alcohol, caffeine and refined white flour and sugar.”
That being said, some women may still benefit greatly from hormonal therapy, she adds.
“What works for one, will not always work for another – so keep your options open.”