Thursday, June 16, 2022
HomeEditor PicksHow To Treat Severe Menopause Symptoms

How To Treat Severe Menopause Symptoms

How Does Menopause Affect Heart Health

Menopause Symptoms & Treatment

People are more likely to develop heart disease after menopause. Lower estrogen levels may be part of the cause. It also could be that other health issues that are more common as people get older. These include gaining weight, becoming less active, and developing high blood pressure or diabetes. You can reduce your risk of these health problems by eating a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. It also helps to stay active and maintain an appropriate weight.

Using Hormones To Treat Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

Some women may choose to take hormones to treat their hot flashes or night sweats. A hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries begin to work less effectively, and the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone declines over time. It is believed that such changes cause hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. They can also help with , , and maintaining bone density.

Hormone treatments can take the form of pills, patches, rings, implants, gels, or creams. Patches, which stick to the skin, may be best for women with cardiac risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease.

There are risks associated with taking hormones, including increased risk of , , blood clots, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, and . Women are encouraged to discuss the risks with their health care provider. The risks vary by a woman’s age and whether she has had a hysterectomy. Women who still have a uterus would take estrogen combined with progesterone or another therapy to protect the uterus. Progesterone is added to estrogen to protect the uterus against cancer, but it also seems to increase the risk of blood clots and stroke.

What Is Topical Hormone Therapy

Topical hormone therapy is usually a low-dose estrogen cream applied directly to the vagina. It relieves vaginal dryness but does not help with other symptoms, such as hot flashes. It also is available as a vaginal ring, insert, and gel. The risks of topical hormone therapy are different from the risks of menopausal or hormone replacement therapy.

You May Like: Estrogen And Dizziness

Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes

Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. If hot flashes , lower the temperature in your bedroom and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed and turn on a fan. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:

  • Dress in layers that can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
  • Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
  • Avoid , spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
  • , not only for hot flashes, but for your overall health.
  • Try to . Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
  • Explore mind-body practices. Some early-stage research has shown that hypnotherapy and mindfulness meditation could help with management of hot flashes.

What Causes The Menopause

20 Tips How To Treat Menopause Symptoms Without Hormone

The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older.

It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.

Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases there’s no clear cause.

Sometimes it’s caused by a treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries , some breast cancer treatments, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or it can be brought on by an underlying condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.

Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021

You May Like: Which Of The Following Best Describes Possible Symptoms Of Menopause

Hormone Replacement Therapy After Breast Cancer

Many women in the UK take hormone replacement therapy to reduce menopausal symptoms. But doctors don’t recommend taking HRT after breast cancer.

This is because we know that HRT can increase the risk that the breast cancer will come back. It also increases the risk of developing another breast cancer. But some doctors will prescribe HRT, particularly if you are having very severe menopausal symptoms.

Choice Of Hormone Therapy

For women who have had a hysterectomy, estrogen is used alone. Oral, transdermal , or vaginal forms may be used. Treatment should start with the lowest dose the dose is increased every 2 to 4 weeks as needed. Doses vary by preparation. Low doses include

  • 0.3 mg orally once a day

  • 0.5 mg orally once a day

  • 0.025 to 0.375 mg a day released by a patch applied to the skin once or twice a week

Women who have a uterus should be given a progestogen in addition to estrogen because unopposed estrogen increases risk of endometrial cancer. The progestogen is taken with estrogen continuously or sequentially . The dose is

  • Medroxyprogesterone acetate: 2.5 mg for daily use and 5 mg for sequential use

  • Micronized progesterone : 100 mg for daily use and 200 mg for sequential use

Bleeding due to progestogen withdrawal is less likely with continuous therapy, although irregular bleeding can occur during the first 6 months of therapy.

Combination products of estrogen and a progestogen are available as

  • Pills

  • Patches

The risk of endometrial cancer is higher in women who have a uterus and are given unopposed estrogen therapy. Nevertheless, any vaginal bleeding in a woman on hormone therapy should immediately be evaluated to rule out endometrial cancer.

Recommended Reading: Does Menopause Cause Dizzy Spells

More Night Sweat Questions

Dryness and Pain

While it can feel awkward to bring this up, if you are having these symptoms please tell your provider because it helps narrow down whats going on with you and gives the best chance at resolving your issue.

Dryness and pain are treated a little differently than most other symptoms. Thats why its so important to discuss this issue in particular. We want to help soothe the area and apply the hormones where they will work best. Dryness and pain dont usually resolve unless its applied directly to the affected area.

Normally these symptoms stem from low estrogen or low testosterone. And many times, its fixed fairly quickly compared to symptoms that affect your whole body like hot flashes and mood swings.

Over the counter there are a variety of options, but most are some form of lubricant to keep the pain and discomfort down to a manageable level. If you want to try and fix the issue, though, you may need to consider hormone therapy. Again, a full list of symptoms and lab values will go a long way to determining if hormones are the right treatment.

Brain Fog

What was I doing again? Oh, thats right During menopause hormone fluctuations can cause severe brain fog or memory loss.

With brain fog we will need a hormone test to determine whether estrogen or testosterone is the culprit and then make a plan to treat it. If you are trying to treat this on your own, ask your doctor before you make any sudden supplement decisions.

Dealing With Specific Symptoms

Menopause: Symptoms and Treatments
  • 1Manage your hot flashes. Try dressing in layers so you can remove some items of clothing when you experience a hot flash. Wear clothing made of natural fibers like cotton. Keep sandals nearby, so you can remove your socks and shoes.
  • Consider adding a room-size fan, or even a smaller personal-size fan, to your work area or rooms where you spend most of your time. You may also try slow and controlled breathing when you feel a hot flash beginning.XTrustworthy SourceUS Office on Women’s HealthU.S. government agency providing resources for women’s healthGo to source
  • 2Consider other types of medications that are sometimes helpful. If menopausal hormone therapy is not right for you, other medications have been shown to be helpful with handling the hot flashes associated with menopause.
  • Low-dose antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can help to manage hot flashes, plus this type of agent also helps with mood swings associated with menopause.
  • Two of the more commonly prescribed antidepressants for hot flashes are venlafaxine and Paxil.
  • Gabapentin is a drug primarily used for seizures, but is also helpful in treating hot flashes, headaches, and some mood symptoms associated with menopause.
  • Remaining sexually active during this time can help to maintain the elasticity of the vaginal walls. XResearch source
  • A decrease in libido can also occur from mood swings, a natural decrease in testosterone with age, or emotional strain in the relationship.
  • Don’t Miss: What Causes Hot Flushes Apart From The Menopause

    Transitioning From Contraception To Hormone Therapy

    Transitioning from contraception to hormone therapy may be challenging because oral contraceptives have higher dosages than typical hormone therapy regimens. Also, measuring follicle-stimulating hormone levels after stopping oral contraceptives can be inaccurate during perimenopause.26 One small study found that a rise in follicle-stimulating hormone level without a change in estradiol levels two weeks after stopping oral contraceptives is evidence that it is safe to transition to hormone therapy.26 Others suggest discontinuation of contraception when women are in their mid-50s because spontaneous conception is rare at this age.27

    Surgical Menopause: Effects Symptoms And Treatment

    Preparing yourself for surgical menopause is the first step of your journey without estrogen and progesterone. Knowing what to expect from surgical menopause will help you prepare for this procedure. Lets take a look at the risks and benefits of surgically induced menopause.

    Read Also: Sweet Potato Hormone Therapy

    When Does Menopause Begin And How Long Does It Last

    Most women first begin developing menopause symptoms about four years before their last period. Symptoms often continue until about four years after a womans last period.

    A small number of women experience menopause symptoms for up to a decade before menopause actually occurs, and 1 in 10 women experience menopausal symptoms for 12 years following their last period.

    The median age for menopause is 51, though it may occur on average up to two years earlier for Black and Latina women. More studies are needed to understand the onset of menopause for women of color.

    There are many factors that help determine when youll begin menopause, including genetics and ovary health. Perimenopause occurs before menopause. Perimenopause is a time when your hormones begin to change in preparation for menopause.

    It can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Many women begin perimenopause some point after their mid-40s. Other women skip perimenopause and enter menopause suddenly.

    About 1 percent of women begin menopause before the age of 40, which is called premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency. About 5 percent of women undergo menopause between the ages of 40 and 45. This is referred to as early menopause.

    Eat More Foods That Are High In Phytoestrogens

    Menopause: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment  Healthsoul

    Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

    Therefore, they may help balance hormones.

    The high intake of phytoestrogens in Asian countries such as Japan is thought to be the reason why menopausal women in these places rarely experience hot flashes.

    Foods rich in phytoestrogens include soybeans and soy products, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, linseeds, sesame seeds and beans. However, the phytoestrogen content in foods varies depending on processing methods.

    One study found that diets high in soy were associated with reduced cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reduced severity of hot flashes and night sweats among women who were starting to enter menopause .

    However, the debate continues over whether soy products are good or bad for you.

    Evidence suggests that real food sources of phytoestrogens are better than supplements or processed foods with added soy protein (

    20 ).

    Drinking 17 oz of water, 30 minutes before a meal may lead you to consume 13% fewer calories during the meal .

    Bottom Line:

    Drinking enough water may help prevent weight gain, aid in weight loss and reduce symptoms of dryness.

    You May Like: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause

    How Do I Know If My Menopause Symptoms Are Severe

    Every menopausal woman will experience a different range and severity of hormonal imbalance symptoms. For some women, their hormonal imbalance symptoms will be mild and will not affect their daily activities. However, others will have severe hormonal imbalance symptoms.

    Severe hormonal imbalance symptoms are those that impinge on daily activities. For example, vaginal dryness that leaves a woman unable to have sexual intercourse or depression that leaves a woman feeling like a different person are severe symptoms.

    Menopause Symptom: Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes, also called hot flushes, are the most common menopause symptom. As many as three out of four women experience hot flashes. Some women begin having hot flashes before menopause, when they are still getting a period.2

    Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part of your body. Your face and neck may become red. Red blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. You may also get heavy sweating during hot flashes or cold chills after the hot flashes. Some women get more cold chills than hot flashes.

    Hot flashes are most common in women in the year before their period stops and in the year after their period stops. However, recent studies show that hot flashes can continue for up to 14 years after menopause.1,3 Doctors and researchers do not know why hot flashes are so common during menopause. There are medicines that can prevent some hot flashes, and there are ways you can try to manage hot flashes when they do happen.

    Also Check: Endometrial Thickness Of 7mm After Menopause

    Flaxseed Ground Or Oil

    Hot Flashes


    Flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which act as phytoestrogens. Results from studies have been mixed, but it may help symptoms in some women. It is also believed to help lower cholesterol. Avoid whole flaxseed because it is difficult to digest.

    Vaginal Dryness, Hot Flashes


    Topical vitamin E oil applied to the vagina helps improve lubrication and may also reduce hot flashes.

    Other Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

    Perimenopause: Treating the Symptoms

    Studies have shown that some prescription medications can reduce hot flushes and sweats. These treatments may be an option if HRT cannot be used for health or other reasons, and should be discussed with a doctor.

    The herbal medicine, black cohosh, may take the edge off hot flushes and sweats, but there is no data to support long-term use. There is also a rare liver condition that may be associated with the use of black cohosh.

    Other complementary and alternative medicines have not been shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms when compared with dummy or placebo treatment in research studies.

    Commercially available vaginal moisturisers may reduce vaginal dryness if used regularly. Consult your doctor about what will work best for you.

    Don’t Miss: Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness

    What Causes Vaginal Itching During Menopause

    Estrogen is the primary reproductive hormone in the female body. Throughout the reproductive years, estrogen levels fluctuate in a predictable pattern to trigger ovulation and menstruation.

    But during perimenopause, the bodys reproductive function begins to shut down. Estrogen levels fluctuate and eventually decline as perimenopause continues.

    With declining estrogen levels, you also have thinner, drier skin and dry skin often itches!

    Unfortunately, your body relies on estrogen for more than just regulating the monthly menses. Estrogen also triggers the production of collagen and natural skin oils to keep your skin hydrated and glowing.

    With declining estrogen levels, you also have thinner, drier skin and dry skin often itches!

    Can My Diet Affect How Well I Sleep

    The following tips can help reduce sleep problems:

    • Eat regular meals at regular times.
    • Avoid late-night meals and heavy late-night snacks.
    • Limit caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks. Caffeine stays in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours and can interfere with sleep.
    • Avoid alcohol. It may make you feel sleepy, but it actually affects the cycle of REM and non-REM sleep. This may cause you to wake up throughout the night.

    Read Also: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause

    Memory And Concentration Problems

    During perimenopause, women often complain of short-term memory problems and difficulty with concentration. Study results looking at the relationship between falling hormone levels and cognitive function have been inconsistent. Some women do believe that low dose estrogen after menopause helps them think. But the research has not supported this. Stress likely plays a more important role in memory and thinking compared to hormonal fluctuations.

    Treating memory and concentration problems. Just as it isn’t clear what causes memory and concentration problems, there is no obvious remedy. Staying physically active and scheduling at least 150 minutes per week of dedicated exercise may be the best way to maintain brain health. Brain and memory experts also recommend that people work to keep their brain functioning at its peak by taking on new and interesting challenges. Use your mind in many different ways. Do crossword puzzles. Learn a new musical instrument or sport. Play chess. Read more books. Learn a new language or how to use the computer. The idea is to challenge your brain in new ways.

    Menopause Symptom: Memory Problems

    treatment for severe menopause symptoms

    You might become forgetful or have trouble focusing. As many as two-thirds of women going through perimenopause say they have problems with memory or trouble focusing.10 Menopausal hormone therapy does not treat or prevent memory loss or brain diseases, including dementia and Alzheimers disease. In a recent study, memory problems were linked to depression and loss of sleep but not to levels of the hormone estrogen.10

    Read Also: Intrarosa Pros And Cons


    Popular Articles