Somewhere in a woman's fourth decade, she may enter a totally new phase in her life: perimenopause.1 With it may come a wide range of symptoms of hormonal imbalance that approaching the end of fertile years entails, from hot flashes and night sweats to loss of libido and irregular periods. Luckily, there are ways to tackle them with ease!
Keep on reading to discover 4 hormone imbalance treatments for women over 40 like you so that you can cope with these unfamiliar changes equipped with the right tools for ultimate success!
Although menopausal hormonal changes are inevitable, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help the body pass through them more smoothly and with ease. In essence, keeping your body in check will minimize the effects of fluctuating hormones.
As such, opt for regular exercise of 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week; consume a nutritious diet rich in phytoestrogenic foods, like flax or oats, as well as lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Drink plenty of water, and cut down on alcohol and excess coffee. Also, explore stress-relieving techniques, like yoga or meditation.2,3
To complement lifestyle practices, women can also consider herbal supplements to help their bodies regain hormonal equilibrium and reduce the severity of perimenopause symptoms.
They can choose from two types: phytoestrogenic supplements, like black cohosh, that contain estrogenic compounds that imitate the body's estrogen can be used short-term to promote hormonal balance, or hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem, that nourish the endocrine glands to improve hormone production safely and lastingly.4,5
Bioidentical or natural hormones are often perceived by women as a safer alternative to pharmaceutical hormone treatments. While they are, indeed, derived from natural sources, like plants or animals, they are still processed in a laboratory and present certain health risks. As such, caution and doctor's evaluation is key before starting any regimens.6
Nonetheless, bioidentical hormones with estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or a combination of thereof, are still a valid hormonal imbalance treatment over 40, especially for women with severe symptoms that were not relieved with natural methods.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Once a go-to method of symptom relief during the menopausal transition, the use of HRT has decreased with the wave of discoveries of its side effects and risks of long-term use, including some cancers, stroke, and heart disease.7
Despite that, HRT is an effective treatment and might be the most appropriate option for some women over 40 in order to balance out the fluctuating hormones and relieve severe symptoms. As with bioidentical hormones, a thorough evaluation before the regimen is necessary.
Just like every woman's menopausal transition is different, the choice of hormonal imbalance treatment over 40 will also vary depending on her symptoms and medical history. Nonetheless, women are encouraged to begin with the most natural and least invasive treatment approaches, like diet or herbal supplements, before they consider more advanced and risky treatments, like bioidentical hormones and HRT. To learn how to sail through the menopausal transition with more ease, explore our guide to a smooth perimenopause by clicking on the preceding link!
- Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. (n.d.). Alternatives to HRT: Complementary Care. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.drsusanloveresearch.org/alternatives-hrt-complementary-care
- The North American Menopause Society. (n.d.). News You Can Use About Hormone Therapy. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/news-you-can-use-about-hormone-therapy
- Women's Health. (2019). Hormone therapy for first-line management of menopausal symptoms: Practical recommendations. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6683316/
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Perimenopause. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20354666
- Menopause. (2014). Efficacy of Exercise for Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3858421/
- Harvard Medical School. (2018). Diet might delay - or hasten - the onset of menopause. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/diet-might-delay-or-hasten-the-onset-of-menopause
- Climecteric. (2015). Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis and systemic review. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4389700/
- International Jorunal of Biomedical Science. (2005). Use of Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum) in Early Postmenopausal Women. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614576/
- Cleveland Clinic. (2014). Bioidentical Hormones. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15660-bioidentical-hormones
- NHS. (2019). Side effects: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Retrieved November 18, 2019 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt/side-effects/