Menopausal symptoms affect about 70% of women approaching menopause. The symptoms of menopause usually last for the whole menopause transition (untill the mid 50's), but some women may experience them for the rest of their lives. Menopause is not an illness, but a natural process in a woman's body. The symptoms of menopause are just indicators of changing levels of the hormones estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. These changes result in a hormonal imbalance in a woman's body and cause the common 34 menopause symptoms.
Though the pharmaceutical companies would have women believe that for the treatment of menopause, drugs are the best solution, that isn't the case. Before a woman makes the choice of taking synthetic hormones, she should consider less risky approaches, like alternative medicine or lifestyle changes. The medical establishment is becoming increasingly interested in alternative medicine since breast and ovarian cancer, as well as heart diseases, blood clots and other side effects, are associated with conventional HRT treatment.
Three approaches for Menopause treatment:
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating menopause. These are categorized as: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine and (3) Drugs and Surgery. Women should always start with the least risky approach (lifestyle changes) and go on to riskier approaches (surgery/drugs) only if necessary.
(1) LIFESTYLE CHANGES
The first level involves no risk but may be the hardest way to go. Women have to restrict theirself from many things. So if a woman is considering this approach, she will need strong self-discipline and a positive outlook in order to stick with this healthier lifestyle.
Surprisingly, there has been less research on how lifestyle changes can affect hormonal imbalance. Nonetheless, techniques for stress reduction (e.g. yoga), a diet rich in estrogenic food (soy, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams), or even becoming more fit by doing regular exercise, will have positive effects on a woman's hormonal imbalance.
It's not easy to follow up with this approach, which is why most women might want to consider the next level of treatment. Alternative medicine has proven to be excellent for balancing hormonal levels in a safe and natural way.
(2) ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative approaches involve little or no risk and can be considered as the best and safest way for treating menopause. In this level of approach, Herbal remedies and Acupuncture have established themselves as the best treatments. Acupuncture is a Chinese medical treatment involving the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the body at specific points according to a mapping of "energy pathways". It's an excellent treatment, but complicated to follow. A successful acupuncture treatment involves time, money and finding the right practitioner. Therefore, most women look for less complicated forms of alternative treatment and think herbal remedies are a safe and effective solution.
There are basically two types of herbs for treating unbalanced hormonal levels: phytoestrogen and non-estrogenic herbs. The phytoestrogen herbs (e.g. Black Cohosh, Dong Quai) contain estrogenic components produced by plants. Though these herbs are good for treating low hormone levels, because they replace some of the missing estrogen hormones, they aren't the best solution for treating hormonal imbalance. As a result of adding hormones from the outside, a woman's body will become less responsive to producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of body-own hormone levels.
Unlike phytoestrogen herbs, non-estrogenic herbs, as the name suggests, don't contain any estrogen. These herbs nourish the hormonal glands into more efficiently producing body-own, natural hormones. This ultimately results in balancing not only estrogen, but also progesterone and testosterone. In other words, non-estrogenic herbs stimulate a woman's own hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands. Non-estrogenic herbs, like Macafem, can therefore be considered the safest way to treat menopause naturally.
Nature & Health magazine. Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands". Click here to read more about Macafem.
A combination of approaches is a good route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will probably most effectively treat a hormonal imbalance. Nonetheless, there will always be some women who need or want to go through the third level of approach. Side effects are inevitable, but sometimes they can be worth it if the benefits will outweigh the risks.
(3) DRUGS AND SURGERY
Interventions at level 3 involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for menopause treatment in the US is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There's no doubt that this is the quickest and strongest way to combat hormonal imbalance; unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different cancer types among women, as the following study has proven.
In 1991 the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the largest clinical trial ever undertaken in the United States . The WHI was designed to provide answers concerning possible benefits and risks associated with use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This study was canceled in July 2002, after it was proven that synthetic hormones increase risks of ovarian and breast cancer as well as heart disease, blood clots and strokes. The findings were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
If a woman still want to consider this approach, she should visit her physician to become better informed about what this treatment option involves.
These three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. A woman can use different approaches at different times or combine several at the same time. Today, more and more women think dealing with hormonal imbalance is best accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.
A safe way for balancing hormones:
Non-estrogenic herbs for menopause treatment, as seen in the second approach, are considered to be the most effective solution. Low costs and the non existence of side effects are only some of the reasons why this treatment option is preferred.
Macafem, for example, is an excellent non-estrogenic herb. It's simple: rather than putting hormones from the outside into a body artificially, Macafem stimulates woman's hormone glands to produce the necessary hormones naturally. This is what makes Macafem so unique for treating menopause. Click here to read all about Macafem.