Premenopausal symptoms and treatments

Premenopause can best be described as the specific stage in a woman’s life prior to the onset of menopause. It is often referred to as perimenopause and is typically the stage at which the menstrual cycle will permanently cease. Most women begin to experience premenopausal symptoms at approximately 45 years of age, although women as young as 25 or as old as 70 may show the signs of premenopause. There is no exact length of time that premenopause will last and it is known to vary from woman to woman, although you can expect it to typically last from one to six years.

The symptoms of premenopause are caused by the fluctuating and declining hormone production. This will lead to certain changes within the menstrual cycle.  The menstrual cycle will typically shorten as soon as a woman’s levels of estrogen start to decline. This is also known to cause far more the frequent periods, although some women may experience longer menstrual cycles and far less frequent periods. Some women have even been known to totally skip periods. Even though there are various menstrual changes going on, you will not be considered menopausal until you have gone for a period of 12 consecutive months without a period.

This drop in estrogen levels will cause a whole host of physical symptoms which include hot flashes, weight gain, night sweats, headaches, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness and sleep problems. Some women have also been affected by certain emotional changes such as anxiety, depression, irritability and an inability to handle stress. Those in the medical profession believe that the stage of premenopause is the perfect time to start artificial hormone therapy. This is mainly because the additional supplements will replace the declining hormones in a woman’s body. In order to control the emotional changes that you may be going through your physician may prescribe Zoloft and Prozac.

In order to treat the symptoms of premenopause there are three specific forms of treatment and these include:

Lifestyle changes – this is potentially the hardest way to deal with premenopausal changes, although it is a method that involves no risks. This will involve restricting yourself from certain things and will need a strong mindset. You should consider certain techniques to reduce your stress such as yoga and your diet should include estrogenic foods such as apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, soy, wheat and yams. It is also highly recommended that you should regularly exercise as it is known to have a positive effect on your overall hormonal balance.

Alternative medication – this is often considered the safest and best premenopausal treatment. It will involve certain herbal remedies and acupuncture. However, you should consider that successful acupuncture treatment will take time, money and you will also have to find the right practitioner for you. This is why many women turn to herbal remedies as the most effective solution for premenopausal symptoms. The main herbal remedies to treat the symptoms will be phytoestrogen herbs such as black cohosh and dong quai. Both these herbs are known to be excellent in treating low hormone levels as they are able to replace some of the missing estrogen hormones. You may also use non-estrogen herbs to treat the symptoms as these herbs are known to nourish the hormonal glands, which in turn will increase the body’s ability to produce its own natural hormones. This method will not increase the level of estrogen in your body, but it will definitely improve your overall hormonal balance.

Drugs and surgery – this is usually considered a last resort to treat premenopausal symptoms as it presents the highest costs and most risks. Hormone replacement therapy is typically the most common drug therapy used. This will quickly tackle any hormonal imbalance however you should be aware that there are certain side effects. Unfortunately, the side-effects can be extremely serious and may even increase the risk of certain cancer types amongst women.

Prior to deciding on a specific course of treatment you should always visit to your physician and find out more information about what is involved with these premenopausal treatments. You should also be aware that these three different approaches are not exclusive and you can actually combine certain treatments, or even use different treatments at different times. The majority of women tend to treat the symptoms of premenopause with a combination of a healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments. This is known as the safest way to balance your hormones and also the least expensive. One of the most popular non-estrogenic herbs available is Macafem. This herb does not involve placing hormones into the body artificially, but will rather stimulate a woman’s hormonal glands to naturally produce the hormone is required. As mentioned, alternative medication can be considered extremely affordable and there are absolutely no side-effects for you to worry about.

Last updated on Jun 1st, 2011 and filed under Women's Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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