Reduce Refined Sugar And Processed Foods
In fact, one study found that diets high in refined carbs may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women .
Diets high in processed foods may also affect bone health.
A large observational study found that among women aged 5059 years, diets high in processed and snack foods were associated with poor bone quality .
Diets high in processed foods and refined carbs are associated with a higher risk of depression and worse bone health in postmenopausal women.
What Alternative Treatments For Menopause Have Been Scientifically Studied
The alternative treatments for menopause that have been studied in well-designed trials include phytoestrogens , black cohosh, and vitamin E.
Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in soy and other plants that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. Red clover is another source of isoflavones that has been used by some women in an attempt to relieve hot flashes. Isoflavones have a chemical structure that is similar to the estrogens naturally produced by the body, but their effectiveness as an estrogen has been estimated to be much lower than true estrogens.
There is a perception among many women that plant estrogens are “natural” remedies and therefore safer than HT, but their safety has never been proven scientifically. Further research is needed to fully characterize the safety and potential risks of phytoestrogens.
Some women report that vitamin E supplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes, but scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving hot flashes. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units of Vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.
Other alternative therapies
Emerging Areas Of Interest
Brain imaging techniques such as functional MRI are being used to examine brain function during hot flashes. Initial studies of brain activation during hot flashes have found that the insula and anterior cingulated cortex are activated during hot flashes . Better understanding of the neural control of hot flashes will provide further insight into mechanisms.
Another area of growing interest is the relationship between hot flashes and polymorphisms of genes involved in estrogen function, such as sex steroid metabolizing enzymes and estrogen receptors. Given that estrogen plays some role in the hot flash phenomenon, investigators are examining variation in genes coding for enzymes involved in estrogen synthesis and hormone interconversion for a possible role in the variance in observed circulating hormone levels . Genetic polymorphisms are also being studied in an attempt to explain observations of race/ethnic differences in hot flash prevalences , such as seen in the Study of Women Across the Nation in the US. Two studies indicate that there are certain race/ethnicity associations between polymorphisms for sex metabolizing hormones . This line of research is in its infancy but may provide new insights into the often conflicting and variable results of studies examining factors that might predict who most is at risk for hot flashes.
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What Is A Hot Flash
It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.
How To Stop Night Sweats Naturally
With the fact in mind that night sweats can continue to be a problem for many years, even after going through menopause, and the fact that conventional treatment options do not always attend to this particular symptom or come with certain side-effects, quite a lot of women are searching for natural remedies for night sweats during menopause. Fortunately, there are many ways in which a woman can alleviate these particular symptoms without having to take expensive treatments that may cause side-effects to develop.
Healthline explains that the following natural remedies seem to be the most effective in reducing night sweats during menopause:
Complementary Therapies For Hot Flushes
Women often turn to complementary therapies as a “natural” way to treat their hot flushes.
There’s some evidence that isoflavones or black cohosh may help reduce hot flushes.
But the research is patchy, the quality of the products can vary considerably, they can interfere with some medicines, and they can have side effects .
It’s important to talk to your doctor before you take a complementary therapy.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021
Natural Treatment For Menopause
1. Eat Foods that Help Manage Menopause Symptoms
When trying to balance hormones and reduce menopause symptoms, your diet should include plenty of essential minerals and healthy fats. Filling up on the following foods which are hormone-balancing, nutrient-dense and unprocessed can help you eliminate your intake of empty calories and manage weight gain.
Keep in mind that you might need to consume less calories overall in order to maintain your weight as you get older. Due to a decrease in muscle mass and slowing of your metabolism, its more important than ever to limit processed foods and focus on eating a clean diet.
Foods that can help manage menopause symptoms include:
2. Avoid Foods that Make Menopause Worse
3. Take These Supplements for Menopause Relief
Although less commonly used at home on your own, other botanicals/herbs can also help manage symptoms including: evening primrose oil, licorice root, wild yams, red raspberry leaves, chaste tree and sarsaparilla. Each one has a specific symptom that they are able to help treat, so it can be very helpful to talk with a trained naturopath doctor to help guide you into using proper dosages and combinations.
4. Reduce & Manage Stress
Many women experience increased anxiety, moodiness and even episodes of depression during the menopause years. Managing stress in your life is one important way to reduce behaviors or symptoms like emotional eating and weight gain, fatigue, getting poor sleep and low libido.
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Sociocultural Issues In Measuring Hot Flashes
Hot flashes occur worldwide, and starting in the 1970s, research documenting such occurrence increased substantially. A wide distribution of the prevalence of hot flashes around the globe continues to be examined, with reports, particularly in Asian countries, of prevalence less than that in the US and other Western countries . Interest in understanding these differences has raised questions about whether these differences are due to genetic, cultural, environmental, or lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
Research in Japan has provided particular insight. Japanese women have a high dietary intake of soy and it was hypothesized that this might explain why they have fewer hot flashes than women in the US, Canada, and Europe. Basic science research has established that isoflavones have estrogen-like activity . Interest in the relationship between the soy consumption of different populations and hot flash prevalence led to epidemiological studies comparing level of dietary soy intake and frequency of hot flashes in countries such as Japan, where an inverse association between soy intake and hot flashes has been demonstrated . Clinical studies of soy foods and soy isoflavones to treat hot flashes proliferated, with mixed results, although there was a tendency toward a beneficial effect .
Natural Remedies For Menopause Relief
Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. You can start to transition into menopause as early as your mid-30s, with most women entering menopause in their 40s or 50s . For some, menopause comes earlier due to health conditions, including a history of eating disorders, cancer treatment or surgical removal of the ovaries.
Menopause is a completely natural biological process, and therefore not a problem to solve. And although it concludes the time in a womans life for fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual through your 50s and well beyond. That being said, there is generally a hormonal shift that occurs in women during menopause that may lead to mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia and other common symptoms.
What types of things can you do to help get find relief from menopause symptoms? First and foremost, its important to realize that in most women, symptoms such as night sweats will decrease over time and then often go away completely without any treatment, including hormone replacement drugs. As the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care puts it, Menopause is not an illness. It is normal for hormone levels to fall in middle age. These hormones do not need to be replaced.
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Mechanisms Of Hot Flashes
Estrogen has been studied and used to treat hot flashes for > 60 y, but the mechanism by which it works is still in question. This is due to relatively little examination of basic hot flash physiology, which has not received the research attention that has been accorded clinical trials of therapeutic agents. Thus, the body of knowledge on the endocrinology, neurophysiology, thermoregulatory physiology, and other aspects of hot flash biology is limited.
One long-standing assumption has been that hot flashes involve transient dysregulation of the thermoregulatory system, triggering homeostatic heat loss mechanisms to return the system to normal. During a hot flash, many of the easily observed physiological changes involve the thermoregulatory and vascular systems. This remains an area of incomplete research.
What Are Night Sweats
Approximately 75% of women will suffer from night sweats before, during, and possibly after menopause. Characterized by extremely heavy sweating during the night, night sweats can disrupt sleep and be uncomfortable and inconvenient – often requiring a change of clothes or bed linens.Night sweats symptoms will vary from woman to woman, as the intensity of menopause is experienced individually. Some women may have intense and severe night sweats, while others may experience few or none at all.
How Long Do Hot Flashes Last
Hot flashes often come on suddenly, but how long any single hot flash lasts will vary. Some hot flashes pass after a few seconds, while a long hot flash may go on for more than 10 minutes. On average, hot flashes last about four minutes.
The frequency of hot flashes also varies. Some women experience a few hot flashes per week, while others may have several an hour. Depending where you are in perimenopause, that can change. There are a range of treatments and lifestyle changes that may help lessen the symptoms and frequency of your hot flashes.
Natural Ways To Reduce Symptoms Of Menopause
Menopause begins in the late 40s or early 50s for most women. It usually lasts for a few years.
During this time, at least two-thirds of women experience symptoms of menopause (
In addition, menopausal women are at a higher risk of several diseases including osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes (
Here is a list of 11 natural ways to reduce the symptoms of menopause.
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Menopause And Excessive Sweating: When Medication Is In Order
Some women find relief with lifestyle changes, but others need more. The most important thing to remember: talk to your doctor and think about all of the possibilities for treatment, says Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University School of Medicine in New York City.
Finding a treatment that works for you is a highly individual thing. âI tell patients to keep trying,â Polan says. Sooner or later youâll find relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormone therapy. Hormone therapy is the most effective way to treat hot flashes, but the Women’s Health Initiative study found an increased risk for heart disease, blood clots, and stroke, and an increase in breast cancer when women took oral estrogen and progestin long-term, Omicioli says. The increased heart disease risk was in older women who were 10 or more years postmenopausal, she says.
But thereâs emerging evidence that non-oral forms of estrogen — a cream, gel, patch, or ring — may have safety advantages in reducing risk of blood clots and stroke, Omicioli says.
The WHI study didnât find an increased risk of breast cancer in women who took estrogen alone, Omicioli says. The study also looked at one dose of oral estrogen and synthetic progestin. âThere may be a lower risk with progesterone vs. synthetic progestin,â she says.
The supplement black cohosh may also help some women reduce hot flashes, although the results of scientific studies have been mixed.
Causes Of Hot Flushes
Hot flushes usually affect women who are approaching the menopause and are thought to be caused by changes in your hormone levels affecting your body’s temperature control.
They can happen without warning throughout the day and night, but can also be triggered by:
- eating spicy foods
- some health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes and tuberculosis
Uterine Bleeding: What’s Normal What’s Not
One concern for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women is knowing whether irregular uterine bleeding is normal. Most women notice normal changes in their cycle as they approach menopause. Periods are often heavy or more frequent, and they may stop and start. But abnormal uterine bleeding may be a sign of benign gynecologic problems or even uterine cancer. Consult your physician if any of the following situations occur:
- You have a few periods that last three days longer than usual.
- You have a few menstrual cycles that are shorter than 21 days.
- You bleed after intercourse.
- You have heavy monthly bleeding .
- You have spotting .
- You have bleeding that occurs outside the normal pattern associated with hormone use.
When you report abnormal vaginal bleeding, your clinician will try to determine whether the cause is an anatomic problem or a hormonal issue. He or she also will investigate other possible causes. In addition to identifying the cause, he or she will help you manage any excess bleeding, which sometimes leads to anemia.
On rare occasions, postmenopausal women experience uterine bleeding from a “rogue ovulation,” which is vaginal bleeding after a hiatus that may be preceded by premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness. Presumably, the ovaries are producing some hormones and maybe a final egg.
Adverse Effects And Dosage
Most of the studies reported transient, dose-related adverse effects. The most common adverse effects reported were insomnia or excitement, nausea, constipation, and anorexia.2,5,7 In the trials using venlafaxine for hot flashes there were no reported increases in blood pressure, which is a dose-related adverse effect commonly associated with this agent.6,8
The dosage and duration of these medications most appropriate in alleviating hot flashes is unknown however, regimens using low to moderate dosages seem to be as effective as those using high dosages and have significantly fewer reported adverse effects. Therefore, when using an SSRI or venlafaxine to treat hot flashes, it is prudent to initiate the medication at a low dosage and titrate to effect.
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How Your Gynecologist Can Help Manage Challenging Menopausal Symptoms
Oh the joys of going through menopause! You know, the night sweats, hot flashes, weight gain, and moodiness. Of course we are kidding, because every woman who has experienced menopause knows its no fun. Some women have it easier than others, but regardless of the severity of your symptoms, learn how your gynecologist can help manage challenging menopausal symptoms.
How Are Hot Flashes Usually Treated
Traditionally, hot flashes have been treated with oral or transdermal forms of estrogen. Hormone therapy , also referred to as hormone replacement therapy or postmenopausal hormone therapy , consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . Oral and transdermal estrogen are available as estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progesterone. Whether oral or transdermal, all available prescription estrogen replacement medications are effective in reducing hot flash frequency and severity.
However, long-term studies of women receiving oral preparations of combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
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Breast Cancer Risks Of Estrogen Therapy
Does that mean menopausal women with vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats must just suffer?
When a woman stops menopausal hormone therapy, she often experiences rapidly worsening vasomotor symptoms. About a quarter of women find they cant stop therapy because the withdrawal symptoms are so severe.
Drink Water And Eat Healthily
How can I lose my menopause belly? The majority of people will say you to follow a diet and drink water, and they are right. Please, do forget about soft drinks, as they contain huge amounts of sugar and additives that only contribute to the growth of your menopause belly. Drink only water, however, ensure you do not wash down the meal with it, as it will only expand the stomach and you will feel hungry again. As for foods, greens and fruits are obviously top-picks but you may also try to follow diets with less content of fats and carbs. Note, they should be present at all times, as protein only wont provide you with energy and anti-aging effects.