Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
“Bioidentical hormone therapy” for menopausal symptoms can refer to certain FDA-approved prescription drugs. Or it can refer to custom-compounded hormones derived from plants prepared at compounding pharmacies to match each unique patient. Some doctors claim that compounded bioidentical hormones are safer, but the FDA isn’t convinced. The FDA’s advice — take the lowest dose for the shortest time — applies to bioidentical hormone therapy. Custom-compounded bioidentical hormones aren’t FDA approved.
Alternative Menopause Treatments
Interested in trying alternative or complementary treatments for menopause symptoms? According to the National Institutes of Health, there hasn’t been a lot of well-designed research on this topic, so the research isn’t firm enough to draw conclusions about treatments such as black cohosh, dong quai, red clover (shown here), and soy. Talk it over with your doctor, and tell him about any supplements you take, so he can check on drug interactions.
Menopause: Staying Healthy
Living a healthy lifestyle is important throughout a woman’s life. And, it’s not too late to start at menopause. Get a checkup that includes measuring your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar and make appointments for routine screenings such as mammograms. Menopause is also a great time to upgrade your diet, physical activity, and stress management skills — your doctor can give you pointers as you work together to plan for a healthy menopause.
Active Menopause Is a Must
One of the smartest things a woman can do as she transitions to menopause and afterward is to get regular physical activity. That includes aerobic exercise for her heart and weight-bearing exercise for her bones — both of which may help ward off weight gain and provide a mood boost. Even if a woman hasn’t been very active in her younger years, it’s never too late to start. Menopause is a new beginning, and the perfect time to weave more activity into your life.
Menopause: A New Era Starts
Western culture has long been obsessed with youth. But today’s post-menopausal women are making the most of — and even celebrating — their new phase of life. Instead of looking back mournfully, physician-author Christiane Northrup recommends using it as a time to redefine yourself with positive thoughts, love yourself, explore what brings you pleasure, and revive (not retire) your sex life.