Comparison of Menopause Teatments
by Kelli Bingham
There are numerous comparisons and options available for the treatment of menopause symptoms. Women spend a third of their lifetimes in the menopausal process. Menopause treatments include remedies from exercise and a simple change of diet to more aggressive treatments. As with any medical condition, consult a doctor before beginning any treatment.
Exercise, including aerobics and strength training, can be a productive menopause treatment by effectively relieving hot flashes. A study of exercise during menopause found that it decreased the acuteness of hot flashes in 55 percent of women. As little as two hours of aerobic exercise and strength training two times every week can have a dramatic effect on menopause symptoms.
Adjusting a diet to include soy may have a positive effect on the symptoms of menopause. The book "The Wisdom of Menopause," written by author Christiane Northup, MD, reveals research that suggests a 45 percent reduction in menopausal hot flashes over a 12 week period in a diet containing 60 g of soy protein each day. Adding vitamin E to a diet has been shown to relieve menopause symptoms in a small number of women. Black cohosh, a common herbal remedy, has been proven as effective as some pharmaceuticals in relieving the symptoms of menopause. Dong quai, another herbal remedy, may relieve some symptoms including hot flashes.
Some antidepressants are proven menopause treatments. Paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine have been shown to relieve some menopause symptoms. Clonidine is a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure, but it may also reduce menopausal hot flashes. Bisphosphonates including risedronate and ibandronate are commonly prescribed to treat menopausal osteoporosis.
Vaginal estrogen comes in three forms and is a commonly used menopause treatment. It is generally used to relieve vaginal discomfort and dryness and occasionally urinary symptoms.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is widely considered the most prominent and effective treatment for menopause symptoms. HRT is prescribed only for the short-term relief of certain symptoms of menopause. Doses of estrogen are given in tailored quantities for the treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, colorectal cancer and heart disease. This treatment sometimes combines estrogen with progestin, a synthetic version of progesterone, for the relief of menopause symptoms.