For mild to moderate perimenopausal symptoms, a few lifestyle changes, some alternative remedies or mild drug therapy may be all that’s needed to continue life as usual. More severe symptoms, on the other hand, often lean toward hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Because of some elevated risk of breast and uterine cancer with HRT, many women are looking for alternatives that might help keep their symptoms under control. According to the American Cancer Society, citing information from clinical studies, “If 10,000 women took combined HRT for a year, this would add up to about eight more cases of breast cancer per year than if they had not taken HRT.”
Lifestyle changes. Managing perimenopausal symptoms may take a little bit of preparation when you’re going to be away from home and also may require a few changes in diet and habit. If you get hot flashes frequently, wear light clothing in layers to allow you to find the most comfortable temperature during both hot and cold spells. Smoking may trigger hot flashes, so many doctors advise perimenopausal women to quit, or at least cut back. Drink caffeine in moderation, and exercise during the day if you have difficulty getting sufficient high-quality sleep. Avoid alcohol, and pay attention to what food or drink might trigger a hot flash.
Naturopathic remedies. A few herbs and dietary supplements are commonly used for perimenopausal symptoms, though the evidence for some is mostly anecdotal. Try adding legumes such as soybeans into your diet; these have various types of phytoestrogens, which are chemically similar to human estrogen and may help relieve some symptoms associated with menopause. Other recommendations include licorice, evening primrose oil and flax seed. Many people looking for a natural alternative may find benefit in trying these before resorting to more dangerous treatment, and most of these natural remedies are not associated with dangerous side effects. However, be sure to always consult with your doctor before using these remedies and certainly before combining them with prescription therapies.