Up to 75% of menopausal women experience hot flashes, and a whopping 87% of these women experience them on a daily basis. HRT is a common solution, but there are also many women who seek alternative options.
Dr. Brightman, of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a member of the North American Menopause Society, shares insights on fitness and menopause safe alternatives to HRT, including the US's first and only non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes with clinically shown efficacy which has been endorsed by numerous women's health physicians.
How does being physically fit help women endure menopause or improve it?
The more physically fit a woman is, the easier time she will have during the menopause transition. Not all women experience menopause the same way. Eating healthfully, avoiding recreational substances, and drinking in moderation can ease menopausal symptoms. Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt sleep as well as trigger hot flashes. Women who smoke cigarettes also have been shown to go through menopause at an earlier age than their non-smoking peers.
Women who exercise regularly not only feel better, but also sleep more soundly. This is very important, as sleep disturbances and night sweats are very common for women as they go through menopause. Both of these factors can negatively impact mood. An exercise regimen that incorporates cardio and light weights can improve mood, tone muscles, and help women maintain their bone density which starts to decline after menopause.
Does body weight have relevance in the nature of severity of symptoms in menopause?
Women who are overweight tend to have worse menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances). They are also at greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiac disease when compared to women of normal body weight.
What are ways to diminish the symptoms?
It is never too late to start an exercise routine and to start to eat more healthy. A healthy lifestyle, one that incorporates exercise and a healthy diet with minimal caffeine and alcohol, will help with sleep. Winding down before sleep by putting away the electronics, doing a session of yoga, or meditating, will help women fall asleep and sleep less fitfully. Some women benefit from taking melatonin nightly. Dressing in layers to avoid becoming overheated will effectively help women manage hot flashes and night sweats.
If lifestyle modifications don't help, women should be encouraged to discuss their symptoms with their healthcare provider. The good news is that there are several ways a women can treat her menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement is known to effectively treat symptoms, but has risks and is not for all women. For those women who prefer a non-hormonal alternative, only low dose paroxetine has received FDA approval for the treatment of night sweats and hot flashes.
While some women have found relief with soy, vitamins and nutritional supplements, there are potential safety concerns and these substances rarely have been found to be more effective than placebos. Relizen, made from a unique Swedish flower pollen extract, has been available in Europe for the last 15 years, and has been used by over one million women. In clinical trials, Relizen has been shown to be more effective than placebos in the treatment of night sweats, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances. An improvement in mood has also been noted in women who have taken Relizen. Relizen is a safe option for women who want to treat menopausal symptoms in a non-hormonal manner. You can find more information regarding Relizen at www.Relizen.com.