In the past century many women have chosen to counteract the effects of estrogen loss with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a combination of estrogen and progestin prescribed by their doctors. It was offered not only to treat the symptoms of menopause, but it was also believed that it provided protection against chronic diseases. However, recent findings of a major U. S. study on HRT showing that the risks of taking HRT appear to outweigh the benefits, have caused women, and their doctors, to rethink this strategy.
The Women's Health Initiative Study, which included more than 16,000 women, concluded that, although HRT is effective in relieving symptoms of menopause, its long-term use increases a postmenopausal woman's risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots. Combined estrogen progestin therapy also seems to increase the risk of dementia after age 65.
As a result of these unsettling findings, experts are now recommending that HRT be used in the lowest possible dose, for the shortest period of time, when symptoms of menopause are so severe that they are interfering with quality of everyday life. To treat milder symptoms, and to avoid the development of chronic disease, women are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to try other approaches, which can include dietary change, exercise, and herbal remedies.
Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D, such as low-fat dairy products. Fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, and bioflavonoids. Soy products, such as tofu, soy beverages, and soy nuts. Limit Alcohol and caffeine.
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