Menopause symptoms are caused by fluctuations in the body's hormone levels. In preparation of making the transition from fertility to infertility, the body's levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone enter a state of flux. These changing hormone levels produce certain symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular periods.
There are different ways to treat menopause symptoms. They can be combated by certain lifestyle changes, such as improving diet or completing more exercise, by turning to alternative therapies such as herbal supplements, or by hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Read on to learn more about HRT as a menopause treatment.
The Hormonal Solution
HRT is a method used to address menopause symptoms which involves introducing external hormones into the body. Introducing estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone into the body stabilizes the fluctuating levels of the body's natural hormones, and reduces their uncomfortable symptoms.
The advantage of using HRT to treat menopause symptoms, over changes to lifestyle and herbal supplements, is that HRT is a hormonal solution, which treats the root of the problem. HRT is preventative rather than curative; addressing the hormone imbalance directly, it eliminates the cause of the problem, preventing the symptoms themselves.
Unlike lifestyle changes or herbal remedies, HRT has a relatively immediate effect. Changes in diet or exercise routines may take weeks or months to show improvements, and herbal remedies need to be in the blood for some weeks before they begin to have a positive impact. Hormones, however, when introduced into the body, begin to address hormonal imbalance straight away.
HRT can have some positive side effects, which lifestyle changes and alternative remedies do not. Not only does HRT prevent uncomfortable menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido, but it can also have the following benefits:
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis
- Decreased risk of bowel cancer
- Decrease in LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and increase in HDL (“good” cholesterol)
- Decreased risk of colorectal cancer
However, despite these advantages, the process of introducing external hormones into the body has fallen under much scrutiny. Serious health issues have been linked to HRT, such as an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or endometrial and breast cancer. It is important to take into account all of the potential risks and benefits of HRT, before embarking on treatment. For more information on HRT, its risks and advantages, click on the link below.